For the two days after Professor Jeon Hye Jin came and left, Yoon Kwang Hun contemplated some more and sat Jun Hyuk down to talk.
“Jun Hyuk. Can we talk?”
Jun Hyuk started to feel a little nervous at Yoon Kwang Hun’s serious expression.
“I’m sure you’re already contemplating it, but have you thought about it?”
“Are you talking about studying abroad?”
“Honestly, I’m most scared of being by myself again.”
Yoon Kwang Hun saw Jun Hyuk respond without hesitation and knew.
He wants to study music.
He needs an education in order to create better music.
He realized that Jun Hyuk had these thoughts but feared standing alone.
“That means you’re not against going abroad to study with great musicians, right?”
Yoon Kwang Hun needed persuasion, not force. Something that gives him courage may be necessary.
“Hm… Then you say that you’re becoming independent in a situation like this, not alone.”
“Yeah. You’re going your own way. There will be a lot of new people waiting for you on that road. You’ll go on living with a repetition of meetings and farewells.”
Farewell. It is the word that Jun Hyuk fears most.
“Then what about you?”
“Me? Are you thinking that going abroad means you’ll be saying bye to me? Why would that happen? I’m your home.”
“Yeah. The home you can come back to at anytime to rest if you ever become tired on that road. That’s me. And that’s not only me. All parents in this world are people who guard their homes to protect their children.”
Yoon Kwang Hun finally said the word ‘parent’. Though he could not say that he is a parent with confidence, he was showing his will to play the same role.
“And all young kids are the same. The only difference is in when this independence comes. You’re just being independent a little faster than most.”
The word ‘parent’ from Yoon Kwang Hun. Jun Hyuk who had heard it clearly put his head down and could not lift it for a while.
When he raised it again, he had a bright expression as though nothing had happened.
“Do you want me to go abroad?”
“Of course. But if you say you don’t want to, I’m not going to force you. And I hope you don’t think that you should go just because I want you to.”
“Can I think about it some more?”
“Take all the time you need. Like I just said, I’m okay with whatever path you take. I won’t even stop you if you decide to become an idol singer. Ha ha.”
Yoon Kwang Hun gave Jun Hyuk the freedom of choice, but it also seemed like the time for him to become independent had come.
Jun Hyuk felt like he would never forget the day he got his license. It was the first exam he had ever taken and he passed it in one go. He did not know that it felt this great to pass a test.
When he got his license and went back to the dealership to buy the Ducati Monster, the manager and staff were out. In exchange for taking a few pictures, they gave them celebrity discounts and sent the bike to the cafe on the back of a truck.
For Jun Hyuk who had only practiced for the license exam on a 250cc, the 700cc is a monster like its name. He did not have the technique to control this monster that rushed forward at the slightest touch.
Eventually, Jun Hyuk became absorbed in the joy of riding once he enrolled in a riders’ club as Yoon Kwang Hun had said and learned to control the monster himself.
There are quite a lot of people who do not have to work for a living in this world. There were a lot of people whose jobs were unknown who participated in the riding club everyday. Jun Hyuk did not care about music until he rode with these men so often that he was able to ride at 180km/h without fear.
He went out in the morning and did not return until sundown, and there were times when he did not come back for a few days. His long-distance rides on nationwide routes became more frequent.
Yoon Kwang Hun did not nag at Jun Hyuk about anything other than riding safely, and only asked about the destination of the riders.
He was also busy moving into the newly built cafe.
He created a soundproofed studio in the basement and was going to look into the best equipment to fill it with when Jun Hyuk said they should push it off.
That is when Yoon Kwang Hun understood Jun Hyuk’s intentions. Even if he brought in the best equipment, there would be no reason to use it. He also realized that Jun Hyuk was riding his motorcycle all over the country in order to make memories before he went abroad.
After falling into riding for 3 months, Jun Hyuk suddenly did not come out of the studio. He wrestled with the guitar and drums for a month and came out of his studio with a large stack of scores.
“Were you locked up making a new song?”
“Yes. I was thinking of making an album with this.”
“Yes. Teacher Jo Hyung Joong said that he wants to work on my first album.”
“Really? What’s the genre?”
Yoon Kwang Hun put out his hand with an expression full of anticipation. However, Jun Hyuk put the scores under his arm and put his hand down.
“Listen to it if the record comes out. I’m not going to show you the score. Ke ke.”
Jun Hyuk put the scores in his backpack and got on his motorcycle. The Ducati Monster he had treated like a lover had become a means of transportation.
“Teacher, it’s been a long time.”
“Oh, Jun Hyuk. How have you been? I’ve spoken to Yoon Kwang Hun over the phone a few times… I heard you’re into riding these days?”
When Jun Hyuk walked in with his helmet, Jo Hyung Joong was surprised by how much he had changed in a matter of months.
His face had not changed in any way other than getting a little tanned, but he looked more mature. He had gained confidence.
“Now it’s just… withering. I rode as much as I wanted. Teacher.”
“I wanted to start working on an album. Do you have time?”
“Of course. I’ve been waiting. I just didn’t push you because I figured you needed to rest after having a hard time with the broadcast. Wait a second. I’ll have to tell Jung Su to hurry over.”
Jo Hyung Joong called Yoon Jung Su to bolt over and chat with Jun Hyuk until he arrived.
The two versions of Kanon had not brought in as much profits as they had expected, but they had gained tremendous profits in advertisements because it had explosive views on YouTube. Jun Hyuk had been surprised by the number that came up in his bank account. The $20,000 he had earned in modeling fees was nothing.
As soon as Yoon Jung Su arrived, Jun Hyuk went through his backpack and pulled out the score. Jun Hyuk had a total of 10 songs. They varied from 2 minutes 40 seconds to 5 minutes 10 seconds. The overall running time was 40 minutes.
The two men looked excitedly through the thick stack of scores.
“Are these all new songs?”
“Yes. I didn’t move from the studio for a month and made these.”
Jo Hyung Joong and Yoon Jung Su looked through the ten scores carefully and put them down.
“You haven’t arranged them yet?”
“No, because you both said that you would work on the album.”
However, the scores had the clear message about the genre. It was also a request to preserve the genre. There were various genres mixed in including a light ballad, blues, jazz, rock, and powerful heavy metal.
“Oh right. There’s an order to these tracks. I wrote the numbers at the top of the scores… We have to put them in that order.”
Arranging the track order also meant that he had already chosen the title song.
“Jun Hyuk, this is your first album. We have to arrange it together. It’s not like you aren’t able to or anything.”
Jo Hyung Joong had a puzzled expression. The joy of working with Jun Hyuk. He wanted to savor the happiness of seeing his talent.
However, Jun Hyuk laughed without responding. Yoon Jung Su was so absorbed in the scores that he had not seen Jun Hyuk’s face and was mumbling.
“Looking at this, it seems there’s a concept. There’s a motif melody hiding in each song.”
“Yes. I listened to the 1st album of Wild Chrysanthemum Teacher Jo mentioned again carefully.”
Wild Chrysanthemum’s debut album, the best record in the history of Korean pop music. Jo Hyung Joong had said that he wanted to make an album to surpass this with Jun Hyuk.
“They had incorporated the theme of their title song, ‘March’, into the other songs. It was incredible. I didn’t realize at first even when he used the lyrics of March in the title of other songs.”
“So are you saying that you used that technique in all of your songs?”
“Yes. That way, it won’t be lacking to say that it’s a concept album.”
“Then what’s the concept you want to get out of this?”
“There isn’t a big meaning… but I guess you could just see it as a day in the cafe.”
“A day in the cafe?”
“Yes. Cleaning in the morning, opening the doors, doing business, closing the cafe, cleaning. I made this the concept.”
The sharp Yoon Jung Su finally took his eyes off of the scores and whistled.
“The cafe owner will be happy.”
Jo Hyung Joong just blinked at Yoon Jung Su’s words out of the blue.
“Hyung Joong, this seems like a song Jun Hyuk made for the cafe owner. And it means that he was happy every single day he spent at the cafe. Is that right?”
It seemed Yoon Jung Su’s guess was not wrong from the way Jun Hyuk smiles without responding.
They had thought it contained a great meaning, but it was just a day in the cafe. Jo Hyung Joong who had thought that Jun Hyuk’s music style was too grand to capture a simple daily life, nodded.
“I see. I was wondering why the ten songs are so refreshing. Alright, since it’s your first album… it might be something definite.”
He made the theme of his first album himself instead of bringing it in from elsewhere. This in itself is a great development. Yoon Jung Su was even pleased that Jun Hyuk finally realized how to put his own story in his music when he had been the one who said he heard music in all sounds.
“Jun Hyuk certainly has classical running through his blood. I think this follows the flow of classical. The introduction – chorus – middle portion – reappearance of the chorus – you configured it as a coda?”
“Yes. I made the album as if it were one song and then remade that into 10 songs.”
They could easily create a concept album. The consumer who could recognize the melodic concept would be able to enjoy it fully.
“This is great. The framework is perfect. I guess the key will be how you build on it.”
The two men could not stop complimenting him, but their expressions were not very bright. It did not feel like it would be popular. The two had not thought of creating music that would sell well from the beginning. However, people tend to aim for success while they are at it.
“Jung Su, can you write the lyrics quickly? There are 10 songs.”
“Since Jun Hyuk created a concept. I’m thinking of writing the lyrics with the concept in mind. It won’t take very long.”
Yoon Jung Su is good at creating lyrics with everyday language. He thought that it would be perfect if he included Jun Hyuk’s desire to say thank you to the cafe owner, his joy in working with music everyday at the cafe, and even a farewell.
There was no longer talk of studying abroad, but will he not leave the country at some point? It would not be bad to say farewell to the person he is grateful to in advance.
Yoon Jung Su did not take his eyes off of the score and Jo Hyung Joong was locked in thought.
“Then who would be fitting to sing the songs? There’s no need to worry about the session since Jun Hyuk can play it himself.”
At this, Jun Hyuk said something surprising.
“Teacher, since this album is something we’re making all together, I wanted to leave the session to other people. And I’ll leave the arranging and producing entirely up to the both of you.”
Again, the sharp Yoon Jung Su understood Jun Hyuk perfectly. He could tell from what Jun Hyuk was saying that he would be going abroad as soon as the album is completed.
That is why he is leaving everything including the arrangement and performance up to others. He would be able to remember every person he worked with on the album whenever he listened to it.
“You want to cherish the memories?”
Yoon Jung Su mumbled. It was a tone at which they could not tell if he was talking to himself or asking a question.
Jun Hyuk’s cautious response meant that Yoon Jung Su’s prediction was correct. He was sad when he actually heard the response.
Then his shoulders suddenly became heavy. An album capturing Jun Hyuk’s memories. He would listen to it in another country while thinking of his motherland. Unless it was perfect, it would not serve Jun Hyuk’s purpose.
“Alright. Then let’s leave the drums to the drummer of Steel Blade and I’ll ask Jong Suk about the bass. And of course we’ll have to ask Teacher Hwang Suk Min for the orchestra part.”
Jo Hyung Joong thought of Jun Hyuk’s moments on broadcast and thought of each person who had worked with him.
“The problem is choosing the contributing singers since I’m going to think of the singer while I write the lyrics. Jang Na Rae, Kwak Hye Sung, Nam Seung Hee… Who else should we call?”
Yoon Jung Su said the name of each person who was connected to Jun Hyuk.
“Lee Hae Jun.”
“Yes, we were roommates.”
“Right, that’s true. Good, then Hae Jun. Also, we’ll have to call those 2 guys too.”
“The rappers you met in the preliminaries. We can think about whether we want to use them for a rap featuring as we arrange the songs.”
While Yoon Jung Su was thinking of the people that Jun Hyuk was linked to, he started joking and spoke while laughing,
“Jun Hyuk, don’t you have to sing a song? This time, you’ll sing it properly.”
Jun Hyuk’s face turned bright red.
“Ugh! Why are you being like this? From now on, I’m only going to sing by myself in a karaoke room… No, I’m just not going to sing.”
Jo Hyung Joong spoke to Yoon Jung Su when he saw Jun Hyuk panicking,
“Jung Su, why don’t you sing a song for the first time in a while?”
“Honestly, I do want to sing, but… I’m not confident. Let’s think about that after writing all of the lyrics.”
He knew that Jo Hyung Joong was joking, but it is music that he would like to work with. But all of the people who would sing are young and fresh. It is inevitable that he would be compared to them the second he sang… He needs to hold back.
After Yoon Jung Su looked at all of the scores, he thought of the best way to wrap up the album’s ending.
“Jun Hyuk, I think an instrumental would be best for this last track. What do you think about ending it on the piano?”
“Okay. Like I just said, I’ll follow your direction.”
Jun Hyuk left the studio after deciding on a day to come back to record his part.
When the two men were alone, they faced each other and realized that they had left out the most important part.
“Hyung Joong, what’s the title of the album?”
“Jang Jun Hyuk.”
“What? Jang Jun Hyuk album 1? Isn’t it too ordinary?”
“No, let’s just go with Jang Jun Hyuk. This could become the first and last album he releases in Korea. Doesn’t it have no meaning that it’s the 1st album? It could become Jang Jun Hyuk’s only Korean album.”
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