JeongJae Lee is the аlias of ALEPH [알레프] – a South Korean folk-pop music project
Interview: Ljubov Dzuzhynska
Are you the person that you are trying to be?
I do not think so. Honestly, I had to give up many possibilities in order to live as a musician. Being a musician requires to build a limited daily routine and isolate yourself from the outer environment. I spend most of my time in the studio or home working on my music. Of course, there are times that inspirations come when I am outside working. However, delineating and digitalizing the idea have nothing to do with just ‘having an idea’. It is almost a battle. I never tried to be a person the way I am right now. Yet, I do not regret it. It is more like I am becoming a certain figure just by consistently doing what I can do.
What makes you feel truly alive currently?
The word ‘truly’ sounds really dangerous. I wonder if the condition of the question ‘truly alive’ is right for me. I guess I cannot guarantee me being alive because senses could fake reality. Having said that, I rely much of my life on my senses as they bring feelings. I think eating, seeing, and listening. These three actions make me feel alive.
What does music mean to you?
Music is auditory design. Musical trends change in times and come back aligning with the visual design. So I guess to me music is an auditory design that arouses tension.
If not music what would you do?
Many times I thought about the same question. I think I would have become a visual designer or an art dealer. I love seeing artworks and I love visual art as much as I love music.
I try to keep my interest in art superficial because there are feelings that only a blind can feel.
I hope you know what that means.
If you could have a conversation with any historical or famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would talk to myself in the past. As we all know, accumulated experiences and big events build the person. I would love to witness and hear the events that I no longer remember. Then, I think I can understand myself better.
What question would you like to know the answer to?
I would like to change and ask the second question to ÂUGHT Magazine, ‘what makes you truly alive?’
What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Every person should explore internally/externally to enlarge the capacity of their feelings.
You’ve said: ‘whatever you do, do it for the love of the craft.’ Are you always in love with your craft or are you sometimes tired of it?
I think there is unconditional love as long as you are not aware of the condition. In that unconditional state, most sorts of feelings are automatically put in the love category. Hence, I could say I am still in love with whatever I do.
Do you have a goal or an ambition of becoming famous? Why?
I do have the ambition to get famous just for one reason: to expand the boundary of my art by collaborating with other artists.
What is your goal and purpose as a musician? What are you trying to achieve with your work?
I loved music but I honestly never intended to become a musician. Doing music was an impulsive choice and It just happened to last in my life. Hence, I should say I still haven’t found the purpose of being a musician yet. Perhaps, I am doing it for a little more than having fun.
I think music is like a background music of life itself. In that sense, I want to make a piece of music that could comprehensively fit into my life. It means it has to be classic and never gets worn out.
How are you trying to be a better human being and how do you seek the best within yourself?
I believe that the basic human nature does not change. Yet some characteristics can be refined and adjusted through education and experiences. I personally think everything looks beautiful and best without any trial. For example a pure crystal and a rusty metal, they are all beautiful as they both have an unique trait.
However, functionally, I do try to become a better human being by reconstructing my lingual habits and thoughts.
What anime/manga/movie/book reality would you like to live in? Why?
I love classic, thriller, and SF genres. I think those three depict the past, present, and future. I like the books, ‘Stoner’ by John Williams and ‘The Human Stain’ by Phillip Roth. Please read them when you are able.
What is a rule that you always follow?
Don’t Rush. I am a rusher when it comes to work. My mind always walks a few steps more than I can walk. Then I get disappointed when the result comes out. So I try not to rush and be relaxed.
As art admirer when and how did you first fall in love with art? What is the beauty of art for you?
I remember I was mesmerized when I saw Joan Miro and Mark Rothko’s paintings. I liked writings (as it literally depicts the feelings of the content) more than the visual art. But as time goes by, I started to admire the paintings, graphic designs, and architectures. Art became a choice nowadays. You can choose to call something ‘art’ if you want to. In my case,
the beauty of art is that anyone can become an artist.
Do you think it’s necessary for everything to have a deeper meaning in art?
Some do and some do not. Artwork that needs a lot of pre-knowledge and technological skills would want people to find out the deeper meaning as they enjoy the work. Yet, some are out spontaneously or accidentally. I think instant works get better meanings as they are being watched.
What is beauty to you and how do you integrate it into your work? Does your perception of beauty differ over time?
Beauty is what you can fall into.
I try to put words, tones, and noises that I enjoyed at the time. I can call I fell for every music piece I made. I think my perception has not changed yet. It is more like I choose to find different sources to fall and embody it into reality.
What was the wisest thing you have ever heard in your life?
‘Everyone Dies.’ I couldn’t fathom this when I was little but as I grow older, this really hit me. This phrase granted me to live in the moment and stopped me from sizing people.
What kinds of questions are you asking yourself?
I often ask myself, ‘Am I satisfied? ’ I am happy as a whole but I do not know if I am satisfied with anything.
What is next in your journey?
For the next 2 years, I am planning to keep releasing as much music as I can. I have to find the cornerstone of my music. Then I really dig into visual art.
What question would you want to be asked in an interview and what would your answer be?
‘Where do you want to go?’ I want to go to Portugal. I heard the food and wine there is really good. Also, the view is spectacular.