Music of film Minari (Jung Soon-young)-한국국제교류재단 뉴스

음악평론가 정순영의 영화음악 평론


Music of film Minari (Jung Soon-young)-한국국제교류재단 뉴스

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Music of film Minari

Jung Soon-young
Film & music critic

Youn Yuh-jung, the actress who is widely known as the grandmother in the acclaimed Minari, opened a new chapter in Korea’s 102-year history of cinematic arts by winning three major awards in 2020: the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Minari is a film that vividly portrays the daily difficulties (as well as deeper struggles and insecurities) of Korean immigrants in the United States. The theme song, “Rain Song,” effectively embellishes multiple scenes through arrangements for the piano, flute, and voice. The music elicits an unusually intense effect whenever a scene changes that stays with the viewer for a long time afterward as a distinct memory. A line in the lyrics (“After a long wait, you and I sing a song in warmth”) seems to express the burgeoning yet unstated love between the elderly woman, Soon-ja, and her grandson.

The theme song can, in a single word, be summarized as possibility. Driven by the question of whether the “American dream” can be achieved at all, the film delicately delivers, through music scenes, the friction between husband and wife in their struggle to achieve the famed dream as well as the scope of their children’s curiosity. The song creates tension and leaves a lingering impression that I am confident will transcend our times—both of which are cautiously yet effectively expressed alongside the film’s visuals.

The piano track is a bit underqualified to fully support the scenes but is nevertheless able to hint at what will be unfolding. At the end of the film, after Soon-ja accidentally causes a fire, she and her grandson have a moment of reconciliation that demonstrates the formation of a strong family bond. The music fits the scene so perfectly that it greatly amplifies all of its complex emotions. The power of sound is also remarkable in the scenes of the fire’s outbreak and the family’s dangerous attempts to save their crops from the blazing flames.

Han Ye-ri, who plays Monica, the mother, proves her acting skills by singing the Korean version of “Rain Song” at the end of the film. The tune ignites viewers’ interest by accentuating several scenes and, at a few points, directly conveying the strength of the characters’ feelings about themselves and one another.

The soundtrack of Minari is superbly matched with the beautiful natural features of Arkansas. Images and sounds are presented in expert unison: the music, in particular, harmonizes well with natural objects. “Big Country,” the third of the soundtrack’s 16 tracks, is a piano piece that offers a subtle, gently-flowing rhythm that perfectly complements the scenes of nature. The natural environment of Arkansas and Steven Yeun’s portrayal of the tractor-driving father form a visual contrast that, ironically, forms an unexpected harmony with the music. The music is not “forced onto” nature: instead, it chooses to intervene in a matter-of-course way. “Rain Song,” the album’s fifth track, fulfills its responsibility as the theme song as a summary of both the film and score.

Composer Emile Mosseri crafted the score for Minari to reflect the sentiment of immigrants who arrived in the US in the 1980s: in several scenes, he positions nostalgic melodies embodying the children’s love for their grandmother alongside a dream-like sound sequence. Every scene forms a musical context as an unusual (but not overly-eccentric) melody and rhythm hover around what is unfolding while the piano, guitar, and vocals suggesting what will happen next. The first scene opens with the vibe of a 1980s Korg Mono/Poly synthesizer. while a rather unusual soundtrack results as the Yi family’s difficult circumstances and drudgery of the daily routine is illustrated by the harmony of a Gibson L2 guitar and vocals.

Mosseri studied film scoring at the Berklee College of Music. Two of the soundtrack’s songs, “Rain Song” and “Wind Song” are sung by Han Ye-ri. All of them are a beautiful testament, like the film itself, to the humanity and resilience of immigrants everywhere.


[출처] 한국국제교류재단


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정순영; 작곡가, 영화음악평론가, 베스트셀러 작가, 명동성당 오르간 반주자 역임

경희음대 강사역임, KBS-FM 국군의 방송 <정다운 가곡> 진행자 역임,

제16회 신춘음악회 작곡부문 출연, 미국 오하이오 주립대 위촉작품[For Recorder]연주,

서울 예음홀에서 [정순영 작곡발표회] 가짐, KBS-FM 교육방송 주관으로 [정순영 창작 발표회]가짐, 

군산대학교 예술대학 음악과 전임강사역임, 한국국제예술원(구)서울종합예술원 작곡과 교수역임, 

한국 예술평론상 수상,음악 춘추사 평론상 수상, 한국국민악회 회장역임, 한국평론가협의회 부회장, 

서울 작곡가 포럼 부회장, 한국작곡가회 부회장 역임, 동서음악연구회 이사

주요저서: 「민속악과 양악에 관한 비평」, 「가곡 프로젝트」, 「현대음악 후아유」, 

「작곡으로 먹고 살자」,음악 감상과 비평의 이론과 실제-공저」 외 논문집 및 작품집 다수