On July 12 to 13, 2019, Moon Hye-joon, a member of the Chungju-si, Chungbuk, Korea Museum of Uruk, traditional music, achieved an award for first place at the ‘Park Dong-jin Pansori competition’. Having been a student at Hanyang University (HYU), she has inspired not only students who are indulged in the fields of traditional music, but also the students at HYU as a whole.
Q. What was your motivation behind challenging yourself to compete at the ‘Park Dong-jin Pansori competition’?
A. The ‘Park Dong-jin Pansori competition’ is a great event in terms of its scale and reputation. Normally, competitions in Korea that feature Pansori embrace all kinds of other traditional Korean instruments. Unlike such competitions, the Park Dong-jin Pansori competition only features elements of Pansori which makes this event extremely special for me. This competition also gives evaluation sheets to every contestant. So, I thought that the assessment would be greatly helpful for my future performances regardless of my ranking.
Q. Were there any moments when you wanted to quit doing Pansori itself?
A. Actually, I never wanted to quit doing Pansori before. There were times when I wanted to skip practices or have a day off, but I never thought of quitting it. I knew that Pansori was my strength, but apart from that, I really liked the activity itself. Finding what you love is really difficult, but that is the solution to the dilemmas people face, especially university students, who encounter concerns about their profession or jobs. I think it is really important to do something that comes to your liking, and everyone should take the opportunity to find their likings.
Q. Which performance or competition would you refer to as the ‘turning point’ in your profession?
A. My turning point was after taking part in the ‘Donga Traditional Korean Music contest’ in 2015. While preparing for the contest, I really went deep into the lyrics and tried to translate the lyrics into my own words so that I could be in deep touch with the character’s and the author’s feelings and emotions. My ability to interpret the song’s vibe or the meaning of the lyrics has improved exponentially while preparing for the contest and it still helps me now.
Q. What kind of Pansoriggun do you want the public to view you as? And what efforts have you made to make yourself look alike to your ideal Pansoriggun?
A. I want people to view me as an approachable musician. Most of the times, people find Pansori difficult and boring because they feel that it is really formal music. I want to help people overcome such stereotypes and show them that Pansori is not actually too difficult. The contents are deep and traditional so it may be hard to understand, but that is what makes it so interesting. I compose Pansori songs in more modern styles so that people can find Pansori music more approachable.