Can you tell us about your new album?

“Enlightenment – Solid waves” is my first composition album, a collection of 8 pieces of my original music written towards a specific theme that I’ve been building and growing for the past couple of years. “Light and Dark”.

Similar to one’s feelings and thoughts, the meaning and emotions that people have towards Light and Dark is very personal and it is very difficult to accurately understand and translate directly. Light and Dark coexists. Light and dark do not stay in one place, it flows and circulates as time passes. The compositions in this album picture these various abstract forms of light and dark within the scope that I built. This project started as a study towards finding the many feelings and thoughts that were lost and couldn’t be described due to the fast moving society that we live in. Wanting to live with awareness, I took time to find myself, my feelings and thoughts and built a palette. This album is to remind myself to be present and aware of these many thoughts and feelings, and to remind myself of this journey I took to learn how to do so.

A lot of the “light” aspects that I talk about relate to the people and community around me and how their bright energy helped me recover from any darkness I had faced in the past. Without these people, this music cannot exist. I am truly grateful to all the people in my life who have been there for me. This music is for them.

I’ve invited some of the most inspiring musicians who have inspired and taught me great values in music and have helped me bring my music to life. Shai Maestro on piano, Kanoa Mendenhall on Bass, Jongkuk Kim on Drums, Vid Jamnik on Vibraphone, Brad Kang on Guitar, and Nicola Caminiti on the Alto Saxophone. The album was recorded at Bunker Studio (NYC) by Alex Conroy, and was mixed and mastered by Jeremy Loucas at Sear Sounds (NYC). I was so grateful to have these beautiful people on board.

What other projects are you currently involved with?

I’m always developing new concepts for my next projects.

Playing my music in Korea at my Korea tour (2023) and having many people feel and communicate at a very deep level with my music, made me realize that I want to bring my music to more people around the world so I’m currently in the planning process to perform around the world.

I’m also trying to record a piano and voice duo album “Raw Sketches of a Musician’s Mind” (for now) which will include my process of composing music from the very rough sketches to development, tearing down and reconstructing, and then to the final touches. I decided to work with mainly piano

(my favourite instrument) for this upcoming project because I always compose with the piano. I’m very much looking forward to it!

What are you currently listening to and what was the last CD or download you bought?

I’m currently listening to some electronic ambient/abstract music. I really have no idea how electronic instruments work and I thought it would be great to explore a bit because I would love to write music with electronics one day. I regularly listen to Classical music, it inspires me a lot and because of my childhood memories (my father would play a lot of classical music), I think a write a lot of melodies and harmonies that come from that origin. I always like to listen to new music, but almost always, I love to listen to music from my friends. I think listening to music and being inspired from close friends of your community helps to bond and build a true community full with love and support. The latest album I listened to was [Deepmind II] by Deep Mind.

What is your all-time favourite album and why?

My all-time favourite album is Keith Jarrett’s [The Melody At Night, With You]. Not to mention how hugely I’ve been influenced by Keith Jarrett and his music, this specific album has helped me get through my hard times. This record always gives me what I need at that moment of listening. Sometimes sleep, sometimes thoughts and inspiration, sometimes space to cry or vent, sometimes encouragement or advice, and I am always left with comfort and peace at the end.

Who has caught your attention recently that we should be listening out for?

There’s so many amazing musicians around the world and obviously I’m always checking out new music and new people, but I would like to take advantage of this question to give a shout out to some Korean jazz musicians and composers who have new projects coming up and are performing widely across the world. JK Kim [drummer] who’s playing everywhere now and killing it all around the world with some great bands. Dabin Ryu [pianist], if you haven’t heard of her playing you’re definitely missing out. Jihye Lee [composer], who always brings unique and inspiring and powerful music to listeners. Yonglee [pianist] ouch, watch out for him and his band at Jazzahead 2024! Yechan Kim [vibraphonist] who writes music that soothes your heart, body and soul. I could probably spend a whole year to name and recommend all the amazing Korean jazz musicians who have been inspiring me and it probably wouldn’t take you long to listen and discover how amazing they are.

Check out our review of June Yun’s new album here.