“Why I Can Never Play Jazz,” which grew out of Eng. 349 Jazz: Fact Film and Fiction, links my personal experiences with classical music with the jazz art form. Because I was raised as a classical musician, the improvisational and free qulities of jazz music are rather alien to me. The presentation describes my failure at becoming a classical musician and how that failure contributed to my reluctance to ever play any sort of music– including jazz music.
My project is composed of three parts– the prelude, the overture, and a blues performance. The prelude, describes the education system of Korea and explains how and why I was turned away from music. The overture, including excerpts of my own classical performance, gives a pseudo-biographical account of my life as a classical musician and as a student of music in Korea. The conclusion, consists of the blues that I have composed, which describes my current situation and hopes for the future.
My own musical life was filled with physical and emotional problems; restricted by expectations and rules. Many of the jazz musicians we dealt with in 349 had similar problems, but the jazz art form gave them a music which both expressed personal problems and transcended rigid rules. “Jazz and freedom go hand in hand,” said Thelonius Monk. Going in this vein, my conclusion is my own blues– written and performed by me.
Soo-yeon Choi, ’02 Seoul, Korea
Major: English, Music
Sponsor: Richard Martin