Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child Performed on a Korean Gayageum

If you’re not impressed by this then you might not be much of a music lover since….wow. Yeah, that’s about how to describe it at first since honestly it’s something that sounds so exotic and so inherently cool that it makes you sit there and want to listen without even thinking about clicking the X to close the video or the pause button to look for something else. Reid McCarter from AV Club would likely agree since just listening to a few seconds is enough to get hooked. The Korean gayageum is something I’ve reported on for various songs in the past but hearing Jimi Hendrix‘s song Voodoo Child on it was simply great since it’s so easy to hear each note that she could easily create her own concert with some moderate backup to make it even better. Having covered videos like this in the past I was actually pretty excited to see it again since the sound of this instrument is what you could call distinctly Asian and it’s enchanting in a way that it’s almost discordant but stops well shy of that description and becomes something great that strikes the ear in a way that makes a person want to hear more even if they don’t know why.

Recorded and released back in the 60s, Voodoo Child was actually the last song that Hendrix is said to have performed while he was alive as he played it live in 1970. His legion of fans have made him into a legend as much as his music did and there’s no need to explain just why this is the case. For many, Hendrix was a god when it came to music since he had such an innate sense of what was hip and how to reach the people on a level that they could relate to. In so many ways he was one of the voices that they wanted to use as their own that he became the mouthpiece for a generation that was lost in a few different ways and needed someone to help shepherd them through a world that made little sense. He did all that and more and he became insanely popular doing it as well. One could almost think that by spreading the message that so many want to hear that a person with enough talent and enough pull could find a way to convince just about anyone that they’re on another level. The truth of it is that Jimi was on another level, but it’s the same level that many artists tend to go to when they feel the need to create, or to commune with the unseen forces that create inspiration for their works. A lot of people know this place, and they know how to get to this level even if they don’t know how to master it.

Listening to the gayageum is an experience that with just about any tune is pleasant since the strumming and picking of the chords is enough to jar the senses and then soothe them in the same breath as a skilled artist plucks and strums their way through whatever selection they’ve made. Watching this woman play is nothing short of amazing as her fingers dance their way across the strings and then pause at certain ones to belt out the song in a way that the original achieved in a big way. Ellie Houghtaling of Mashable is correct in stating that a lot of guitarists have trouble trying to match Hendrix when it comes to Voodoo Child, but think of the difficulty in mastering the gayageum first and then being able to translate different songs onto it while figuring out just how your fingers have to work and how fast you’ll have to go to achieve it. Now imagine this slowed down and set to a more moderate pace. It would be insanely different, wouldn’t it? The strange qualities that music has tend to become even stranger when it comes to speed, pitch, and the many different variables that can be tweaked over and over to produce something entirely different than the source material.

It can’t be said enough just how great this is and how much a person might want to keep listening over and over to full absorb the sound that’s produced. Hendrix will always be the greatest when it comes to this song, but Luna Lee is certainly one of those that can lay claim to being among the best of those that have come later on and decided to enjoy and share the legacy of Hendrix that’s been left behind. It’s fair to say that we might not see another talent like Hendrix in our lifetime, and to be honest it’s presumptuous to think that anyone might even come close. Luna Lee though is definitely worthy of his legacy.


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