On Saturday, May 18th, the Sydney Opera House was transformed into a place of tranquility when Yiruma brought his ‘Frame Tour’ to Sydney. The performance took place in the recently renewed Joan Sutherland Hall with 360 degree seating. It’s been two years since Yiruma has visited Australia but he welcomed his audience with nothing but warmth, saying that it was good to see Sydney once again.
Although the album, ‘Frame‘, was released in 2017 – it is a new album for his Australian fans. Yiruma explained that the intention of his concert is not just to experience a performance but to journey through a memory trip. Each song was ended with a seated bow to each direction of his fans.
The audience was welcomed with the piece ‘Sometimes… Someone‘. Yiruma encouraged the audience to think about their memories, loved ones, even themselves – he joked that in turn he thinks about himself while he plays.
Yiruma then introduced ‘Love Me‘, which he wrote in his early 20s when he longed to be loved by someone. ‘Fairy Tale‘ was transitioned smoothly into the end of ‘Love Me‘. He noted that the two songs are similar and have a sort of healing energy which he was sure the audience would enjoy.
The next pieces came from the album ‘Piano‘. The name of this album came about as he was unable to think of another album title, and Yiruma thought of the word “Piano” as simple and beautiful, not to mention that it just seemed like a logical choice. A concert version of ‘Dance‘ was played, the original of which was written when he was experiencing true beauty at the island of Jeju. He combines this with the song Heart.
Yiruma followed this piece by asking the audience if they were enjoying themselves. Joking that he needs to check on them after every few songs to see whether they’re awake, he acknowledged that his music is calm and quiet and playfully asked his fans not to snore too loudly.
The next song is one of healing and was dedicated as a tribute to those who aren’t with us. Serenade was written about the innocent people around the world that are suffering. Yiruma asked himself if there was something he could do that makes people feel good and happy, to make people feel glad that they are there. He started getting overwhelmed with his words and laughed, “Oh gosh, my English is getting worse!”. He summed up his meaningful rambling with the fact that he strives to make people happy with his music, this was followed by applause from the audience.
Violinist, Kim Sangeun, joins Yiruma onstage for ‘Passing By‘ followed by ‘Blind Improvisation‘ and ‘Destiny of Love‘. He explained that ‘Blind Improvisation‘ is just that. The score distracts him during this piece, so Yiruma makes the title much more literal and doesn’t look at the score while playing. This piece is one where he feels free while playing, as it’s one that can be changed at any time.
Before the shows’ interval he introduced ‘Kiss The Rain‘, which was greeted by applause from the audience. Yiruma noted that due to the sunny disposition of Sydney on the day, the piece can temporarily be called “Kiss The Sunshine”.
The second part of the performance followed with the same pace and healing energy. ‘Blind Film‘, ‘Nocturne No.1‘, ‘f l o w e r‘, and ‘Chaconne‘ were played before Yiruma looked onto the audience for a volunteer. During the concerts in Melbourne and Brisbane, the audience members chosen were female so it was only fair if he chose a male in Sydney. Alex, the lucky fan who got chosen, sat with Yiruma and assisted in playing a song which was dedicated to Alex’s mother.
‘A Moonlight Song‘ was then introduced when the lucky fan left the stage. The song was named by Yiruma’s daughter, who was then pointed out to be with his wife, watching on with the audience. He was again joined by Sangeun Kim and his brother Sang-ji Kim playing the cello, they stayed on stage to play ‘Autumn Finds Winter‘ and ‘Indigo‘.
The crowd exploded with applause when Yiruma mentioned the next piece, ‘River Flows In You‘. He introduced it as “the song you can all play” and joked that “even though you could probably play it better, you have come to see me play it”.
‘Framed‘ was introduced as his last song, summing up his performances in a metaphoric frame created to hold together all the good things, as well as ourselves – he hoped that his audience would make room for him too in each of their frames. Celebrating his album and the concert as a whole. The stringed performers and Yiruma bowed to each direction of the hall, and left the stage – farewelled with a huge amount of applause.
A couple of songs followed as an encore. Yiruma put together a medley of ‘Waltzing Matilda‘ and ‘Over The Rainbow‘ to show his appreciation toward his Australian audience. During this piece, the piano was illuminated in green and gold. It was a great tribute to Australia and his fans, filled with gratitude.
The true last song of the concert was ‘Reminiscent‘, completing the journey Yiruma set out to take his audience on. With a meaningful bow to each direction of the hall and a final bow to his piano, the lights dimmed as Yiruma left the stage. The cheer from the audience was heartwarming and powerful.
We want to thank Yiruma for taking his Australian fans on such a magical journey. As well as his passion, talent, and most of all his music. We would also like to thank Castiglione Arts and Culture for giving us the amazing opportunity to cover this event.
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Written by Rachel
Edited by Lindsay
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