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Pianist Steve Barakatt to compose anthem for Saemangeum

By 줄리 잭슨 (Julie Jackson)

Published : Dec. 26, 2016 - 16:56

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Canadian pianist, composer and producer Steve Barakatt has agreed to compose and record the official anthem for the city of Saemangeum, North Jeolla Province. 

Saemangeum lies at the mouth of the Dongjin and Mangyeong rivers on the coast of the province. The area comprises reclaimed tidal land and is currently being developed as a free economic zone.

“It is now official, I will compose the Official Anthem of the revolutionary City Project of Saemangeum, South Korea,” the New Age pianist tweeted yesterday. 
 
From left: Canadian pianist Steve Barakatt poses with Saemangeum Development Chairman Oh Jong-nam and Saemangeum Development Manager Lee Byeong-kook at a meeting at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Sunday. (Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism) From left: Canadian pianist Steve Barakatt poses with Saemangeum Development Chairman Oh Jong-nam and Saemangeum Development Manager Lee Byeong-kook at a meeting at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Sunday. (Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism)

The news comes after Barakatt visited the coastal region in November last year. According to a statement from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism released Sunday, the pianist was so moved by the beauty of the area that he wished to compose his own song representing his experience and gift it to the city. 

“I am so happy I was able to experience such beautifully mysterious Saemangeum,” said Barakatt in the official statement. “I am also very happy to have the opportunity to be able to melodically express how I was emotionally touched (during the visit).”

Barakatt is slated complete the composition of the three-minute piece by February. The artist will then record the song with an orchestral accompaniment and unveil it to the Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency.

“It is my dream to one day construct a concert hall and art gallery in Saemangeum and create a city that breathes culture,” said Saemangeum Development Chairman Oh Jong-nam, adding that he intends to provide Barakatt the opportunity to perform the new anthem in Saemangeum. 

Steve Barakatt (Rainbow Bridge Story) Steve Barakatt (Rainbow Bridge Story)

The Canadian pianist recently completed a nationwide concert tour, performing his “Christmas Dream” holiday concert series in Seoul, Ulsan and Guri and Ansan in Gyeonggi Province.

Barakatt is no stranger to Korean audiences, enjoying a sizeable local fan base that allows the musician to perform concerts regularly throughout the nation. Barakatt even performed alongside K-pop megastar Chen of EXO earlier this year, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the pianist‘s first performance in Korea.

His “California Vibes” track is played during announcements on all high-speed KTX trains, while “Rainbow Bridge” has appeared in many Korean TV dramas, radio programs and TV commercials.

As a UNICEF Canada Ambassador, Barakatt also composed the UNICEF International Anthem, “Lullaby.”

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)