012.

김윤아 - 꿈 // Kim Yoon Ah - Dream

"마치 나의 꿈은 꿈이 아닌 것처럼"

“As if my dream isn’t even a dream.”

I remember watching I Am A Singer (Season 1) in high school and watching Jaurim’s performance in awe. I found myself immediately drawn into the beautiful harmony of the band, and the narrative and the affective experience of the song. 

I had a huge Jaurim phase in high school. I had all of their albums on my iTunes. I wanted to be like Kim Yoon Ah. I still want to be like her. But the band disappeared for awhile. Until finally last month, vocalist Kim Yoon Ah came back with her fourth solo album, 타인의 고통 / The Pain of Others (2016)

As one production director states, “I like her. Actually, to be more precise, I like her facial expression.” Kim Yoon Ah sings with her face. No, she tells a story with her face. Her eyes, her eyebrows, her lips, her breath, and the way her face cringes or opens - every part of her face moves along with the melody to express every detailed emotion the lyrics carry. Along with the simple harmony of her vocal and the instruments, emotions are heightened and she draws us in while creating a small world for us to immerse, even for that short three or four minutes.

From the title to the songs, this album is a reflection of current social landscape (in South Korea). She tells us to sympathize with the pain of others, and to seek strength through loss, sadness, and empathy. Her words may be cold and distanced, while simultaneously, her words are efforts to come close to you, to consolidate you, to tell you you’re not alone.

때로 너의 꿈은
가장 무거운 짐이 되지
괴로워도 벗어 둘 수 없는 굴레
너의 꿈은
때로 비길 데 없는 위안
외로워도 다시 걷게 해 주는

Sometimes your dream
becomes the heaviest burden
a harness you can’t take off
despite how painful it is
Your dream
sometimes an unsurpassable comfort
helping you to walk
despite your loneliness

She describes how we live in a society where people tell you, you just have to try hard and then you can achieve your dream. But all these people who haven’t achieved their dream - haven’t achieved the work, the love, the life they have dreamed of - have they not put in their efforts, passion and energy? What if you tried hard - and then of course, others will tell you to “try harder” - but what if you did try the best that you can, but couldn’t achieve your dream? Is it the case of your own lacking or failings? Or what if certain social, political, and economic barriers - external barriers which you have no control of - restrict you to reach your dream? 

She never really mentioned external barriers or influences, but I believe the process of (trying to) achieve your dream isn’t always a matter of your own doing or will.

“간절히
원하는 건 이뤄진다고
이룬 이들은 웃으며 말하지
마치 너의 꿈은 꿈이 아닌 것처럼”

“If you very much crave it
it will come true
says those who have already achieve it
with a smile
as if your dream isn’t even a dream”

I heard her speak alongside a talk by mayor Lee Jae Myung who described how young adults in South Korea are increasingly losing hope for the future and for what they can do in the future (and to explain the reasons becomes a longer discussion). Maybe the order of the talks had an impact, but hearing Kim Yoon Ah speak about “dreams” and listening to her song after his talk, I found a sense of vulnerability and empathy within her lyrics, especially as someone who has recently been struck by reality and contemplating about her future and the future world, and as someone who is very much dependent and connected to Korean culture.

I want to say more, but I can’t put my feelings and affect into words.

I’m glad she’s back.