A new musical recording that blends the popular Mexican song Cielito Lindo with a famous South Korean folk song celebrates the growing friendship between the two countries.
Two weeks after the South Korean soccer team helped Mexico to qualify for the second round of the World Cup by beating Germany — triggering an outpouring of love for the east Asian nation — musicians from Mexico and South Korea this week launched their music video entitled Cielito Lindo Coreano at the official residence of South Korea’s ambassador to Mexico.
Starring Korean-born pianist KL Joon, Mexican flautist Horacio Franco and Korean multi-instrumentalist Gamin Kang, the video also features some of Oaxaca’s most famous and stunning sights, while a trio of mariachi trumpeters makes a cameo appearance.
The natural rock formations at Hierve el Agua, the streets of the state capital’s historic center, the city’s cathedral and Santo Domingo church and the Tule tree — which has the widest trunk in the world — all get their moment in the limelight in the five-minute clip directed by Carlos Santos, ensuring that it will also be a good advertisement for tourism in the state.
Speaking at yesterday’s presentation, South Korean Ambassador Sang-Il Kim said the recording was not just a video but a production that extols the goodness of humanity.
He also said the song could serve as comfort for people who are suffering and hope for those who are attempting to overcome difficult times in their lives.
The folk song Arirang, which is often considered the unofficial national anthem of South Korea, also features in the musical fusion, which Joon and Franco played live at Tuesday’s presentation.
“Mexican and Korean music combine with the beautiful landscapes of Oaxaca, which was the location for this magnificent video,” Sang-Il Kim said.
KL Joon, who was born in South Korea but moved to Mexico during his teenage years and is now a Mexican citizen, said he has loved songs such as Cielito Lindo since he was a young boy but he didn’t realize that it was a Mexican song until he moved to the country.
He later decided that he wanted to find a way to combine the music of his country of birth with that of his adopted homeland, explaining that initially people thought it was a strange idea but eventually he found a willing accomplice in Franco.
The aim of the pair — along with New York-based Gamin Kang — is to show that instrumental music is not boring, Joon said.
“The world is full of reggaeton and pop and a lot of people think that instrumental music is boring but it’s not and it’s also very cultural. That’s why we wanted to make this fusion . . .” he explained.
Franco — an acclaimed musician who plays both flute and recorder in the song — said that for him the musical project is representative of the democratic transition that Mexico is currently passing through, adding that he thought that Korea’s development could serve as a model for progress here.
“It’s a dialogue with another country, another culture. I hope that Korea, with its example of economic growth and technological development, inspires us to change for the better,” he said.