I really like K-dramas and I really like music. I watch/read about/write about K-dramas every day. I play/teach/practice music every day. So when there is a kick-ass K-drama with a rockin’ OST, I can have my cake and eat it too.
Now, as a university-trained musician and a self-admitted music snob, there are a few things that I require out of an OST. I require a score and songs that actually reflect MUSICALLY what the drama is trying to bring across visually, emotionally, development-wise, etc. It can’t just be a song I like. It has to actually be functional.
So I ask myself, did the composer of the score actually understand what he was writing background music for? Did the music producer (or just the producer) realize that “Goodbye, My Princess” was NOT the right choice for any drama…ever. (Oh Jun-sung, what were you thinking?) In songs, does the music actually follow the lyric or does it wander and do its own damn thing and completely counteract the message of the lyric?
I also like when scores are well executed. I don’t want to hear a soprano miss her high note or strings be out of time. I don’t want to hear bad mixing on a music engineer’s part or bad part-writing by the orchestrator. I don’t want to hear white noise. I don’t want to hear a wooden/acoustic cello sound like a synthesizer. Seriously, if you’re going to have a cello solo, bring out the ACTUAL sound of the instrument and not have shitty microphones making a perfectly wonderful cellist sound like he’s playing a tin can. RAWR!
(Poor, sad little cello. He’s getting a hug because he NEEDS one.)
All of this is great for me to bitch about, because I do it anyway. But what REALLY drives me INSANE is when I find an OST I actually (mostly) like, I can find all the pop singer/band names without blinking twice. When I search for the score composer or the conductor or the orchestra or the orchestrator or the arranger or the instrumentalists who played the solos for Jang Geun-suk and Lee Jia in Beethoven Virus, I get NOTHING. ZERO. ZIP. ZILCH. NADA, NIENTE. RIEN.
You have no idea how many times I’ve read comments that say, “I love that song where the voices sing ‘ah, ah, ah,’ where can I find the song?” “I love Destino.” “I love the piano song.” They don’t CARE who played that piece of music they so dearly love or who composed it. Well, they do care if its SSN1 or Superjunior or Wonder Girls. The actual score not comprised of pop singers/tunes is said to be composed/performed by ‘various artists’. I want to know who sat down and penned the amazing music that we get to listen to, not be told that the poor musicians get lumped under an umbrella term. Various artists is a nasty, nasty cuss word. Various artists. *shudder*
K-films are better about this. I’ve actually found a few composers. But I haven’t found one SCORE composer as of yet for K-dramas. I admit, although I can read Korean script, I have no idea what it means so I’m lost in searching better sources for the composer. HOWEVER, I have bought a few soundtracks and they DON’T LIST COMPOSERS.
WTF?! WTF?! WTF?! WTF?!
I suppose at this point I should define what I mean by score. The score is the part of a soundtrack that is mostly instrumental. It’s the incidental music of the drama. It provides emotional stimulus. It’s the stuff that gets the adrenaline pumping without you noticing it. Its NOT the pop songs with lyrics and famous people singing them. Those songs actually have names you can look up in order to hear other songs that the musician has come out with.
Here’s a comparison: John Williams. Everyone knows who he is. He writes some amazing music and people can look him up, check out all of his tunes and call it a happy end to a day. Harry Potter? Accio! Memoirs of a Geisha? Hai! E.T.? Phone home, baby.
Or how about Hans Zimmer? He likes to hire himself some famous violinists for his work. Which violinist? Oh, Hilary Hahn, Joshua Bell. You know, the ones listed ON THE DAMN CD INSERT!
(Forget the insert. It’s on the COVER.)
I know. I know. “But Raine, they’re world famous. They get paid the big bucks. It costs money to print extra pages with names of people we don’t care about.”
Wah-wah. If the ink is too expensive to print, post it on a website. Seriously, saves time, ink, paper AND gives credit where credit is due. POST IT!
Please, please, please, pretty please post it. And no, I’m not talking about the yellow ones with the sticky stuff on the back.
Please, please, please put my out of my misery. Put others out of their misery. Do you know how many forums I haunt asking the question, “Who’s the composer? Who’s the composer?” Dígame, por favor.
WHO’S THE DAMN COMPOSER?!
He has Van Gogh’s ear for music. -Billy Wilder
End Rant 4.