by Jarrett Hoffman
“I grew up with the story of the separation of south and north in Korea,” cellist Sol Daniel Kim said during a recent interview. “And when I went to Berlin, of course I knew the history of the city, how it was separated into east and west.”
The parallel between German reunification and the hope for peaceful reunification of Korea took physical form in late 2015 with the construction of Berlin’s Pavillon der Einheit (Pavilion of Unity).
It was around that same time when Kim met Korean-born Dayoung Yoon, who plays the gayageum, a traditional Korean zither. They started talking at a concert organized by the Korean Cultural Center in Berlin, and hit it off over a shared interest in creating music.
“That was my first real encounter with a Korean traditional instrument,” said Kim, who was born in Austria, with Korean roots. “And actually she was having quite a hard time in Berlin, because it’s not easy for a Korean person to get used to the Berlin vibe. Then she met me, and everything turned around because we were making music together.”