What will an orchestral version of “Red Flavor” taste like?
The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and SM Entertainment finished creating an orchestral rendition of “Red Flavor” as part of the two companies’ collaboration. The song will be released digitally through SM Station and various online music streaming platforms. This marks the first time the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra played a K-pop piece.
SM Entertainment partnered with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in order to create a cross-genre collaboration. After releasing the rearrangement of “Red Flavor,” an orchestral version of SHINee Jonghyun’s ballad “End Of A Day” will be released.
The rearrangement was done by music director Park In Young. After he majored in classical music, he became an active pop music composer + lyricist and film score composer. He arranged popular songs like Kim Bum Soo’s “I Miss You,” Sung Si Kyung’s “Two people,” and Kim Dong Ryul’s “Reply.”
There was great thought put into the 60+ member large orchestra. In the end, due to COVID-19, the orchestra had to be reduced to 44 members (30 strings; 9 brass; 5 woodwind) with the addition of one pianist (Moon Jung Jae). In order to retain the bouncy rhythm of the song that the general public knows and loves, electronic beats were added into the rearrangement. The result was music that combined rich and classy sounds that are characteristic of orchestras and the original song’s refreshing feeling.
“Red Flavor” also includes a rap part. In the orchestral version, the violin bows seem to be “rapping” as they dance on top of the strings. The woodwind instrumentals support the rap part underneath. Director Park said, “I was thinking about how to express the rap part, and eventually decided to portray the highs + lows and the flow of the rap in the music; the violins would lead this part.” Though the rap part is eight bars in the original song, the rap part was rearranged to be twelve bars at SM Entertainment’s request.
This collaboration is significant, as K-pop and K-Classical Music combine to explore sounds that transcend their respective genres. K-pop will earn prestige and dignity, and K-Classical Music will be heard by a wider population. SM Entertainment will establish classical music label “SM Classics.” It intends on producing content that is infused with the classical genre.
Music Critic Kim Yoon Ha commented on this collaboration: “K-pop has a lot of different elements. It is not just about the music— it is also about fashion, dancing, music videos, and more. Even though this collaboration will remove the ‘visual’ aspect of K-pop, the music itself will be enough to still retain its charms and attractiveness, and will prove that it can be enjoyed by the greater public.”