focus: yiruma

the first song, or rather songs, that come to mind when i think of soundscape are those by south korean pianist and composer extraordinaire, yiruma. if his name sounds familiar, it may be because he composed river flows in you (sometimes incorrectly known as bella’s lullaby), a beautiful piece of piano solo music that has gained worldwide popularity.

yiruma (born lee ru-ma – “yiruma” means “i shall achieve” in korean) began playing the piano at the age of five and moved to london at 11 to study at the purcell school of music. continuing his studies in music, he attended king’s college london and completed a composition major there. fun fact: he was the first korean artist to be honoured with an invitation to perform at the 2002 MIDEM in cannes, france.
(reference: yiruma’s official profile)

his music can be considered to be of a modern/pop classical style, producing simple yet intriguing and luscious sounds. my friend introduced him to me through river flows in you and from that moment, i absolutely fell in love with the tranquility of his music – bought most of his albums & his sheet music to play for whenever i need something relaxing and not as technically challenging. here are some of my favourites:

  1. river flows in you (of course)
  2. kiss the rain (second most popular. hint: listen to this and rainy mood simultaneously)
  3. hope
  4. maybe (third most popular)
  5. loanna
  6. time forgets 
  7. chaconne
  8. 27. may (a song he wrote for his wife. may 27th is their anniversary – how sweet!)

but honestly i like most, if not all, of his stuff so rather than my favourites, a more accurate way to describe this playlist is the pieces i’ve listened to/played more than others and particularly enjoy. maybe i should start listening to more than just the stuff in his piano book… once i get them performance-ready i’ll post some covers. maybe.

that’s all for now.
(p.s. click here for bonus video – i love the arrangement!)