10 years ago, Kang Gun Woo the conductor walked out of a concert nine minutes before the performance, refusing to conduct the symphony because the orchestra was, in his opinion, unfit to play Brahms’ piece.
10 years later, Kang Gun Woo the policeman drove one car into the butt of another to move the two cars out of a third’s way to the hospital in a symphony of the near-labor woman’s wailing, two men’s bickering, and the sound of classical music.
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C, Op. 68, 4th movement
Du Ru Mi (do re mi fa so la ti do~) is at her company’s party, breaking glasses with her head and bitterly ranting her little heart out at the request of playing violin, not knowing in 63 days, she will become the first violin of an orchestra. She plays for her peers at the thought of possibly being fired and the experience turns out to be… not so bad. (She looks so novice, but hey it’s a drama so I’m willing to let that one slide.)
Du Ru Mi has been playing violin for as long as she can remember. Music is her dream and wonderland. The only thing that’s keeping her is money. She needs money. Lots and lots of money to start an orchestra of her own. Not willing to give up the joy of music, this modern day troubadour suggests to the mayor to form an orchestra. He grants the idea and gives her full responsibility and money and executing the plan. Unfortunately for Du Ru Mi, when the conductor embezzled all the money, she is no longer capable of paying the musicians and they leave the orchestra without letting her finish her convincing story for them to stay.
Paradise lost, she decides to commit suicide. Er, in a bath tub while envisioning the grand act of jumping from a cliff. Her phone rings, disrupting the symphony playing in her head and pulls her above deep water. She reaches out to answer it, it’s the mayor asking for progress. She hurriedly lies to assure him everything is under control (when they are so not) then she looks in the mirror and tells her reflection to start working.
The next day, Du Ru Mi is out to paste flyers, seeking musicians who are willing to perform for free. (Then she’s looking at amateurs or passionate music lovers like herself.) She firmly glues a flyer on each pole. As soon as she moves on to the next pole, a fat man who’s been sitting around idly sneaks to the pole Du Ru Mi has finished gluing and tears off a number. Then with the same stealth, he looks around, making sure no one seeks him, and shoves it into his pocket. (Making progress aren’t we?)
By the end of however many days, Du Ru Mi has gotten enough people EXCEPT for a trumpet player. As she is ranting and complaining on the phone, the sound of someone playing trumpet carries through the window and enters her room. She puts down the phone and yells, “Who’s making that noise!” in annoyance. Then picking the phone back up, she realizes: Hey! Someone’s playing trumpet! She hangs up and grabs a jacket before running out to catch the sound.
She finds the house where the sound came from and rings the door bell. The resident answers the call and without giving her the chance to spit out her intention, he promises to stop playing before it gets too late and cuts the line.
Du Ru Mi’s landlord finds Du Ru Mi at the trumpet player’s door and tells her that the guy is her nephew. He’s a cop and has been put on probation for two months. Du Ru Mi’s eyes sparked, two months (!) that means he has enough time on his hand to join the orchestra. The landlord tells Du Ru Mi that Kang Gun Woo the police has a soft spot for people enduring misfortune and he is sure to help if he knows she is in need.
The next day, she rides the subway with Kang Gun Woo the cop. She walks by him and hands everyone a paper which introduces herself as a deaf musician, seeking a trumpet player so she can fulfill her dream of performing. Then, watching Kang Gun Woo from the corner of her eye, she takes out her violin and starts to play. He reads it, raises an eyebrow, thinks about it, and puts the paper behind the newspaper he’s been reading. When the song is done, she walks over to collect the papers and notices that although reluctant, he pretends not to take notice of her. She prompts him again, asking if it’s a trumpet case he’s holding. He denies and gets off the subway. She doesn’t give up and follows him down. But all the crowd and the bulky violin case really gets in the way, so she loses sight of him and dejectedly, turns to go back.
When she least expects it, he taps her on the shoulder and asks if she still needs a trumpet player. She is thrilled that he is soft-hearted after all and is sly enough to continue the role playing of a “mute musician”. She asks him to repeat his question, causing him minor embarrassment and finally asks Kang Gun Woo the cop to play for her. He raises an eyebrow and asks, with raised voice, “Aren’t you… hard of hearing?” She rolls her eyes and explains that she can feel the vibration by putting a finger on the bell of the trumpet. (good luck feeling the sound Ms. I-am-deaf.) He explains before demonstrating that he is self-taught and therefore no where near professional level.
Kang Gun Woo the cop blows into his horn. (I doubt it’s the sound of JGS playing ‘cos it sounds nothing like an amateur.) She is pleased because he is absolutely exceptional at it. Then her phone rings. (It’s always the phone that ruins everything. First the suicide attempt, now the big fat fish that’s just up the hook.) She attempts to ignore it at first but seeing the caller ID, she picks it up in haste, despite Kang Gun Woo the cop being there. And that’s how Kang Gun Woo realizes that he has been fooled.
The mayor calls and gives her a date of when he will be visiting the orchestra to check on their progress. This injects a heavy dose of adrenaline down her spine. She hurries to all the poles where she had posted up a flyer to change the audition date. (This is when you see 4 little Du Ru Mis running around poles, donning different clothes and hairstyle, replacing the old date with a slip of new date. Entertaining.)
She continues to bug Kang Gun Woo the cop to join, he refuses on every account, explaining that he dislikes classical music.
Finally, the date of the audition comes. As expected (by the audience of course!) a hive of quirky freelance “musicians” (who will hopefully, one-day be professional level. hopefully.) came, Du Ru Mi’s landlord included. Unfortunately for Du Ru Mi, not all of them have their own instrument and some of them want compensation for time commitment, while others need to put on “special” gear before performing. Of course there are people who do know how to play, much to Du Ru Mi’s relief. (for the purpose of the drama, yes. But if you care as much as to look, the fingerings are all off.)
First day of practice, things get a little out of hand. The oboe player is an old man in his 70s whom the flutist that asked for money had met earlier in the episode during one of her part time jobs. The old man had complained about receiving a carton of strawberry milk instead of pure white milk and had crushed the carton under his foot. She was freaked out at the time, and now he sits next to her, sipping milk. (What!? he eats/drinks before playing?! does he not care he’s playing a wind instrument!?) Du Ru Mi’s clumsy entrance puts a stop to the musician’s little interaction. She will be responsible for conducting the band before the proper conductor arrives. They start playing, skipping tuning all together. But the peculiar trumpet player who can blow but lacks musical knowledge interrupts practice with his eh, “carefree” way of performing. When pointed out, his anger takes the best of him. He moves across the room to threaten the bass player, who is Du Ru Mi’s elder and friend. A fight ensues.
The good thing about the chaos is, Du Ru Mi becomes more determined than ever to have Kang Gun Woo the policeman join the orchestra. So she enters Kang Gun Woo the cop’s house to beg and threaten him to join. He refuses, noting that people who invest their time to classical music are snobs and recalls an encounter 10 years with Kang Gun Woo the conductor. After bitterly retelling his unpleasant meeting with the haughty conductor, he questions Du Ru Mi’s intention of creating such an orchestra. She apologizes for forcing him, before leaving, she tells him that it’s not all for the glory. She’s been playing for 17 years, yet she has never performed in public. Nor do the musicians in her orchestra. It’s just a dream, to want their music be heard.
The mayor is coming in a few days and the orchestra still doesn’t have a decent trumpet player. Frustrated, Du Ru Mi visits a trumpet teacher and performer to join the orchestra. The greedy man wants her to pay him well. Forced in a really tight corner, she had to say yes. At the orchestra practice, Kang Gun Woo the cop shows up. (lol) Du Ru Mi is half surprised and half embarrassed. She showed him to the practice room and they are joined by the trumpet pro she invited. The man proves himself to be a pain in the arse. He talks loudly on the phone during the practice, calling the practice session a child’s play, which irks most of the players in the orchestra. Du Ru Mi starts conducting, hoping the darn old man would put down his phone and join the rest of the orchestra because the piece features the first trumpet. He chatters on, louder than ever, and ignoring his entrance all together. The surrounding players are getting impatient. Then a loud and clear trumpet picks up where the pro should be playing and replaces him as the first trumpet – Kang Gun Woo is our hero of the day. (although it feels good to see this greedy, insensitive guy getting whipped in the rear like that in a drama, it’s not all that plausible in life. First trumpet and third trumpet have different sheet music, unless Kang Gun Woo has committed the first trumpet’s part in memory, he is unlikely to read the music from two stands away. But wth, it’s a drama.) The pro feels threatened and hangs up on the phone. “I’m done talking, we can start over now.” Du Ru Mi ignores him and sits down to fulfill her duty as the first violin. The man grabs his trumpet and walks away with his tail tucked between his legs.
When the mayor, who knows nothing about classical music, comes to inspect, he is swept away by the beauty of music and showed enthusiasm for the upcoming performance. When prompted the whereabouts of a conductor, Du Ru Mi answers that she has asked the (in)famous conductor Kang Gun Woo to direct the orchestra. A few people gasped in apprehension. Kang Gun Woo the cop begrudgingly turns his face away.
In a late gathering, the old man, who drank milk before playing the oboe (i’m never gonna let him off the hook of that one.) tells the crew the story of Kang Gun Woo.
Kang Gun Woo the conductor is a talented man with his own vision and high standards of how good classical music should sound like. Because he is exceptional himself, he expects no less from the orchestra he is to conduct. Yet the extreme perfectionism also marks his pitfall. He had once abandoned an entire orchestra in the middle of a performance (playing Schubert), disregarding the four presidents listening and the hundreds more so who paid to hear him conduct. He promptly stopped and walked down stage before reminding the audience to listen to a Schubert’s CD and wash their ear.
Much to the orchestra’s dismay, Kang Gun Woo the orchestra killer has already arrived.
Interesting. Although it bugs me that the main cast, selected to play the various roles in the orchestra don’t all know how to actually play the particular instrument they are assigned. Granted that they do hold the instruments right. At least, GKS looks like he knows how to play the trumpet and is actually following along.
On a side note, while it’s great for an orchestra to have two basson players, considering how Du Ru Mi’s is put together at the very last minute, there is NO French Horn players whatsoever. *aghast*