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Skeleton Flower: Things That Have Been Released and Set Free - A Novel by Kim Jonghyun

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‘What is music to me?’

This question might seem a bit tiring, but it was once a big issue for me.


The first time I held a bass guitar was in middle school.

At that time, music was a fun thing to play with for me, but since I started my career as a singer, the two syllables of ‘music’ weighted on me heavier than anything in the world. For a long time I worried about it, a surge of shame coming over me as I thought ‘while I don’t understand the real meaning of music, I’m not really making it’.


‘The three basic elements of music: melody, harmony, and rhythm······.’


I wanted to know what music was to me beyond this dictionary definition. I spent a long time with this question hovering over my head, and carefully I arrived to the answer: ‘music is a story’.

A story that can be imagined, empathized, and identified with.

No matter what sort of story you sing, if the singer’s tale stirs up feelings inside of the listener, that’s how I know it’s good music. And the empathy and identity born from good music, in turn, draw out the most wonderful power within music. The power to expand your imagination.


‘What is the story before this song starts?’

‘What story will happen after this song ends?’


In music, the lines of start and end are ambiguous.

That’s why it has so much effect on the listeners. It creates curiosity.

So when I’m listening to good music, these emotions will spark up like I am the protagonist of that story, like that song is my world.


When I want to make good music, I’m ambitious, always fantasizing about the before and after as I write it. And by the time this turned into a habit, I wondered if it couldn’t be even more interesting to connect all these fantasies into one world.


If there was a single story that expanded through the ambiguous starts and ends of my songs, it could create more complex feelings; if I gave them context and characters, we could draw a clearer picture of it. I thought this could be another way of appreciating music.


I wrote this book with this ambition.

Not just to appease the imagination of the listener about the before and after of a song, but from the desire to retell it in a different color as the person who made it myself. (And thus I had to do with my disheveled writing skills.)


For the sake of my own imagination.

I wanted to try it.


If you know the songs presented throughout this book, I hope you’ll listen to them once more as you read······. And that it’ll feel different than before. Otherwise, I hope that you can feel it deeper than before.


Even though this is just a loose piece of writing, I hope that this book in its ambiguous genre as novel, lyrics, or essay, can become your own story with him and her and me.