“Jazz” in the DPRK: Autumn Whispers and the forbidden fruit of Richard Clayderman

I’ve just finished reading Jang Jin-sung’s memoir, Dear Leader. It’s a real page-turner that will appeal to many types of readers, including people who like a good adventure story (the passages describing Jang’s evasion of Chinese and North Korean security forces once he has fled from the North Korean capital are genuinely exciting) and of […]

Elevator music leads to defection

To many it’s the sort of music one would endure all sorts of hardship to get away from — but to a talented North Korean pianist it was a revelation which led him to defect to the South. Yes, it’s the easy-listening grooves of Richard Clayderman which inspired the conversion. It says something about the […]