BUSAN, South Korea - Musicians worldwide pour their hearts and souls into their music, in hopes of connecting with their listeners in some way. Some do it with the most basic instrument of sound, a capella. Dynamic Wave is a seven-deep group of Americans that has been doo-wopping around Busan for since early in 2010.
That doesn’t sound like a long time, but less than a year into the crusade, Dynamic Wave have some rather notable gigs under their belts. They have scatted up the stages of Starface on Dalmaji Hill, Naru Park’s Global Gathering, and were the musical guests at the Busan Night Live sketch comedy show in November. The all-English radio station 90.5 eFM has featured the Wave live on-air twice as well.
The band is comprised of four females — Jillian Watts, Tabitha Hrynick, Elisse Linari, and Rebecca Thompson, who swap between alto and soprano depending on the song. Three males, Chad Sweatt singing tenor, Brian Green and Walvi De Jesus splitting the low end with baritone and bass, round out the group.
So why do these seven Americans fancy a cappella? According to Sweatt, “When it’s done right, it’s magical. If you can do it with the human instrument, it’s truly special.”
“It’s primal,” adds Hrynick, “because it’s so raw and natural, something people have been able to do for thousands of years.”
Watts, the founder of Dynamic Wave feels that, “Music has always been a part of our lives and it’s who we are. It’s why we came together — it’s us.”
Seeking a vocal outlet in Busan, she described the recruiting process as merely “word of mouth at the beginning.” She met Green and De Jesus while salsa dancing, and mustered up the others by asking around and posting comments on Facebook and Busan Meetup.
Hrynick cherishes what she has shared, “We’ve come to be really close. We get together, talk, laugh, and have a good ‘dynamic’.”
Every person that signed on boasts backgrounds imbued in the arts. Dynamic Wave is a heterogeneous mixture of music majors and minors, experienced church choir and a cappella singers, and multi-instrumentalists.
With over twenty tunes in their repertoire, Dynamic Wave still face obstacles with song selection. “It is difficult to find a cappella arrangements here. Sometimes interpretations have only been written for women or need piano accompaniment,” Watts points out.
Amazingly, The King’s Singers, the world-renowned a cappella group from the UK, crossed hemispheres for a one-time only spectacle in Ulsan in July. Most of the members of Dynamic Wave made the trek to witness one of the best there is in the business. The King’s Singers arrangement of the Christmas traditional “Gaudete” is presently in their routine.
You can see what Dynamic Wave is up to on their Facebook page. They are currently auditioning new members.
Koreabridge has archived video up here.
You can check out Dynamic Wave this Sunday February 6th on Busan eFM.
You can read more J. Lipsky here.