Testimonies from Hyo Jin Moon Band Members and Staff
Keyboard Player and Arranger for Hyo Jin Moon Band
Last year, 2018 was the 10th anniversary of Hyo Jin Nim’s passing. And we, the members of the Hyo Jin Moon Band had an opportunity to regroup and perform together once again. Yet for us, the real significance was that Hyo Jin Nim’s three children had come to sing their father’s songs along with us. We were delighted to support them on stage just as we had done with Hyo Jin Nim on so many occasions.
Looking back, before any performance Hyo Jin Nim always gave detailed directions to the band. We came to appreciate how serious he took each performance and we directly experienced his personal commitment in making sure that we each performed as he expected. It remained truly intense throughout the entire performance as we followed his lead.
Before we performed with his children last year, I hoped we could create the right atmosphere so that they could experience their father as we had. And that I thought to be the very best gift we could give to them.
Certainly, as the members of his own band, we had a very distinct experience of Hyo Jin Nim than most church members. For us he was not a person to worship, someone remote to be looked up to. Rather, he was our commander in the battlefield where we fought side by side. But at the same time, he was a loving elder brother who took such good care of us. He simply treated us as his very own family. So, as we performed together again, my other hope was that Hyo Jin Nim’s children could readily feel that we were their brothers and very much part of their family.
It is true that not many people understood who Hyo Jin Nim really was. So, through this concert I hoped that people would feel Hyo Jin Nim’s pure heart. I believe Hyo Jin Nim was always concerned about what Father needed to accomplish in fulfilling God’s Will more than anyone else. That is why he established Manhattan Center Studios and why he engaged in what may be called the Media Providence. At the same time, he worked very hard in the creation and production of his music even though no one really understood him nor what he was singing about. He expressed what he knew about the cause of the contradiction rooted so deep in human beings and society. He searched for the most effective ways to lead humanity towards the ideal world. It remains my hope that throughout this 2018 live concert everyone could have the opportunity to think about what strenuous efforts Hyo Jin Nim was making through his music.
To be very honest, only a handful of people supported Hyo Jin Nim throughout his life, and they did so in different ways. Those individuals really loved him and they did their very best to support him. Unfortunately, some of the musicians and church members who worked with him at different times formed their own opinions about each other, and in some cases their relationships even became bitter. But right before this last concert in New York, I believe that Hyo Jin Nim called all of us together from the spirit world. On the day of the concert, many people who supported him and loved him at different times did come together, including some who hadn’t spoken to each other for a long time due to past misunderstandings. I felt as if Hyo Jin Nim was saying “Hey, forget about your stupid nonsense. Just come. I’ll be there, OK?” And when the concert was over, it was just as he had said. It was a great festival aligned and centered on the one and only Hyo Jin Nim.
I hope we may have a concert like this again in the future.
Backup vocals in 2003 Hyo Jin Moon concert in Osaka, Japan
Backup vocals & guitar in Hyo Jin Moon concert tour 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007
I am the leader of the Los Angeles church band. We were invited to perform our original songs and some of Hyo Jin Nim’s songs at this 10th anniversary concert at Manhattan Center. Four days before the concert, one of the regular guitarists of the Hyo Jin Moon band (Nao) who was planning to come to NYC had a death in his family and had to cancel his flight. Suddenly I was asked to take his place in the band as a second guitarist. That was on the Monday evening of May 21st before the concert on the 26th. In that short time, I had to learn all of the songs that were scheduled to be played in almost 40 hours before my flight to New York. This was in addition to organizing the Los Angeles band for the trip to New York including its own rehearsals. That week was really busy. But it just reminded me how busy and hard it was working with Hyo Jin Nim during the concert tour when he was alive.
I had practiced for almost 30 hours straight when my left hand started hurting. I got tenosynovitis on my left hand and wrist and couldn’t practice anymore. It just got worse but I pushed on anyway. Just grabbing the neck of the guitar was difficult. I felt so much pain and couldn’t even straighten my left hand. Eventually I had to stop practicing even though I wanted to do more as I wanted to make this concert successful for Hyo Jin Nim’s children and for Yeon Ah Nim, his wife. All I could do at that point was pray. Suddenly it hit me: “Hyo Jin Nim’s life was like this, with pain. But he had to push through so many difficulties to achieve his mission and goal for his parents.” I realized that he often wanted to do more but he had to stop working so many times. He must have been frustrated by his physical limitations as well as our limitations. We limited him because we didn’t understand him enough and couldn’t support him enough. He was crushed in pain many times but he never gave up. He kept pushing himself for God and his parents. So, I let go of the fear of not preparing enough and the fear of messing up in the show. I determined instead to let God work through me. I thought, “I’ll do my best to make the audience happy and make True Parents smile through Hyo Jin Nim’s children singing with their father.” When I woke up in the morning on departure day for New York, the pain was almost gone and I knew I could play with the band.
In New York, I met with the band members - Masaya, Masahiko, Shunya and Makotomo – and also Janine, Toshi and those others who worked closely with him. I felt strongly that Hyo Jin Nim was gathering everyone for his 10th memorial concert. Hyo Jin Nim’s children came and only stayed less than 24 hours in New York for this concert. So, I worried about them. But at the same time I was grateful for them and for Yeon Ah Nim.
While performing during the concert, I felt Hyo Jin Nim’s presence from the very beginning as he performed with us on the stage screen. When Shin Heung Nim sang “Eternal Friend” I felt not only Hyo Jin Nim but also Heung Jin Nim right there with us. Also, when Hyo Jin Nim sang with Shin Chul Nim on “One Word” and Shin Yuh Nim on “I will always treasure your love,” I felt Hyo Jin Nim’s presence with them and my tears just rolled down. I had to focus on my guitar and vocal parts but whenever I looked at Masaya, the bassist, he looked back on me as if he knew what I felt there and he was smiling and nodding to me during each of the songs. On the song “Rebirth,” during Shunya’s guitar solo, even many young Second-Generation Unificationists in the audience were screaming so loudly. I felt “omg, they know his song.” I felt that everyone came into oneness as the song progressed. I couldn’t stop crying on the stage, grateful for God’s grace in having us all here and for being able to perform with Hyo Jin Nim while he sang with us and with his children.
Hyo Jin Nim’s recording engineer from 1987 to 2002 in both the Manhattan Center and his Belvedere studio, recorded over 11,200 songs in that time period with Hyo Jin Nim
Roy started working at Manhattan Center in 1979 recording and doing live sound for True Father around the country for the ICUS Science Conferences and building the studios.
Doing the live sound in the Hammerstein Ballroom for the memorial concert in 2018 was great fun. It was nice to see his children singing so well and really pouring their hearts into each song. Mixing the concert in studio 7 was cool, but really challenging. As you may know, Hyo Jin Nim mixed all his albums by himself and paid great attention to the blending of each element within each song. He’d sometimes mix one song for a few days until he was satisfied and pushed himself very hard. When you mix on an automated sound console you create a mix/pass tree so you go back and forth within each section of the song adjusting many parameters until it comes out right. This can easily get into the hundreds of mix/passes. I hope that he was happy with the results! It was an honor to be involved with this project!
Drummer, Hyo Jin Moon Band, 1992 ~ 2007
I was not on stage at this time. I watched the concert video. I felt it was a miracle to see Hyo Jin Nim’s children performing with their father on stage. Every time I watch this video it moves me to tears. This video will be an eternal treasure.
President, Manhattan Center Studios, 1997-1999
President, Manhattan Center Productions, 2002 – 2015.
General Counsel, Manhattan Center, 2002-current.
Co-editor & publisher (along with Frank Kaufmann), Speeches of Hyo Jin Moon 2006-2008
Hyo Jin Nim continues to warrant respect for what he did in a short but intense life. (I’m reminded of my favorite Maya Angelou quote: life loves the liver of it.) But whatever I may say about him, an unbiased viewer will gain much from watching this terrific recording of the 2018 concert from the Manhattan Center – his concert. Its distinct elements are immediately apparent: great virtuoso performances by each member of Hyo Jin Nim’s band; the courage of Shin Chul, Shin Heung and Shin Yuh to perform and interpret their father’s songs; and the production values that included footage of Hyo Jin’s past performances and the presentation of his lyrics in English. More, not only was he inserted into the concert by way of the technical ingenuity of Toshi Tagawa and his team, but Hyo Jin Nim manifested himself throughout the performance. He was right there on stage, alive and kickin’, as he remains so to this day.
Whatever you may know of Hyo Jin Nim’s 1988 song, Rebirth, watch it anew. In my opinion, it will go down in the music annals as one of rock’s greatest anthems. As I watched Masaya and Shunya begin together mid-stage, accompanied by the thundering drumming of Makotomo, Masashi’s additional guitar, and then Hyo Jin Nim’s own committed and driven performance, I had a flash-back. I remembered being at Belvedere when Hyo Jin Nim looked at his father and declared to us all, “I want to be a weapon in my father’s hand against evil.” The image I retain is of Hyo Jin Nim offering himself as a baseball bat to be swung by his dad. But it was not a baseball bat that Hyo Jin Nim himself used, it was the guitar. He took it and used it in the most committed manner until the end of his all-too-short earthly life. I encourage you to read the opening of Tolkien’s lesser known work, The Silmarillion. Tolkien describes how evil seeps into an otherwise harmonious and peaceful realm through an insidious and increasingly powerful discordant chorus. By his life, Hyo Jin Nim sought to bridge the divide between humanity and God and the divisions that yet plague our human family.
We may speak of Hyo Jin Nim’s legacy through his extensive catalogue of original songs and his many efforts in the Arts or by his speeches and writings. But surely his greatest legacy is his children who were beloved by him and who continue to love him to this very day. That is why they perform and sing his songs (not at all easy to do!) and they will continue to manifest that love in whatever else they may undertake to do in their lives. Watch a tearful Shin Yuh sing a duet with her dad of I Will Always Treasure Your Love.
That you may not have been here for the live performance, don’t worry. You now have a great opportunity to watch and have your own experience. Enjoy!
Dr. Frank Kaufmann
Co-editor & publisher (along with Peter Ross), Speeches of Hyo Jin Moon 2006-2008
Frank Kaufmann was blessed to spend tens of hours in intimate settings with Hyo Jin Nim, our elder brother (Christmas 1988 until the present). Publisher, New World Encyclopedia under True Parents' direction
We all want to get close to greatness. This is natural, because it comes from our yearning for God. This greatness-seeking heart awakens in us as we watch this concert.
Hyo Jin Nim’s great fruits and wonder flow to us through this 10th Anniversary concert. From these we grow to know him better, and feel closer to him.
His music and art makes present for us his genius and passion. But our deepest thirst is much more for love, than it is for genius and passion. That love we seek discover is seen and felt intimately during this concert, which overflows with all he poured into these people whom he loved and served… his children above all.
Producer, Director & Video Editor, Hyo Jin Moon 2018 Concert
Graphic Designer and Assistant Sound Engineer at Manhattan Center Studios 1991~1998
Hyo Jin Nim held concerts in Japan and Korea from 2003 to 2007, but nowhere else during that time. His last concert in America was in 1993. So, many people, especially young folks, never had a chance to experience Hyo Jin Nim’s deep heart through his live performances. I was hoping that this concert could become the means for people to feel Hyo Jin Nim’s heart through his music. Now looking back, I believe this concert was able to do that. With the same purpose I produced the biography video of Hyo Jin Nim for people to understand him and to feel his heart behind all that he had done.
When I first dreamed about it, it was Hyo Jin Nim (in video) and his band playing together in the concert. But this time there was to be a very special added bonus: Hyo Jin Nim’s children were able to come and sing their father’s songs on the stage together with their father. I feel Hyo Jin Nim was waiting for the right time for this to come about. While my dream never died all these years, I didn’t see how to make it happen until this concert in New York. But many miracles happened and everything worked out. I strongly felt Hyo Jin Nim was guiding me and pushing me to do this.
In order to make this concert to become a realty, we had to overcome a lot of difficulties. But with the helpful efforts of a lot of people who continue to love Hyo JIn Nim, and with so much help from God and Hyo Jin Nim in the spirit world, we were able to host this concert. I want to share with you just some of the incredible story behind the scenes.
In order to produce this show, I had to have certain essential elements:
#1, I needed the videotapes of Hyo Jin Nim's concerts from 2003 to 2007 in Japan. I needed to find the individual tapes from each of the cameras that followed only HJN on stage.
#2, I needed the isolated audio tracks of Hyo Jin Nim's voice and of his guitar performance from those concerts, ones that had no other sound mixed in.
#3, I needed to know if this idea would even be accepted by the band members. If they didn’t approve or didn’t want to do it, that would have been the end of my idea.
#4, I needed to know if Hyo Jin Nim’s children would agree to sing the songs with their father’s voice suddenly coming in along with them..
As to #1 above: Finding video tapes was almost impossible. Hyo Jin Nim’s concerts took place in Japan 12 to 11 years ago, and Manhattan Center Japan used to have the video tapes. But all the tapes were later sent to Korea. So I had to ask people in Korea. Then I heard that there were 600 boxes in storage in Korea, all unlabeled. I thought I would have to go all the way to Korea and open all these boxes myself. But there was a person there who loved Hyo JIn Nim so much that he went through all these boxes for me. But then he couldn’t find any tape of the concerts. I was recommended that I check Kogensya, the Japanese Unification Church book company, to see if they had anything. They didn’t have exactly what we needed but they had enough that I could use.
As to #2 above: Finding audio tracks was also not easy. I asked the former band leader in Japan but he couldn’t find anything. It seemed as if I’d hit a dead end. But when I contacted Masahiko Harigae, the Keyboard Player and arranger for the Hyo Jin Moon Band, I found out that he had exactly what we needed. He was planning to have a similar event in Korea so he prepared the audio track of Hyo Jin Nim’s voice and guitar for the band performance. Not just that, he had some video of Hyo Jin Nim on stage that was in sync with the audio track. With Masahiko’s help, I solved problems #1 ~#3: I got 1; video of Hyo Jin Nim; 2, voice and guitar tracks; and 3, confirmation that the band could perform with Hyo Jin Nim in video.
A Note: You may wonder what happened to the concert that had been scheduled in Korea. On the morning of March 11th, 2011 when the band was preparing to leave Japan for Korea with the prepared audio and video of Hyo Jin Nim’s past performances, a massive earthquake hit Japan. All airplanes were grounded. They couldn’t even go to the airport. Therefore that concert was canceled.
As to #4 above: Hyo Jin Nim’s children. I wasn’t sure if they would be able to attend and perform. We sent the demo audio and video to them and hoped they could do it. This concert was held on the Memorial Day weekend here in the USA. But in Korea it was school examination season. As they had to be in school, Hyo Jin Nim’s family only arrived on the night before the concert. So we didn’t know what would happen until the morning of the concert. On the concert morning, they came to the stage and had only a very short rehearsal time. It was so short and minimum that they couldn’t go over every song. But at that rehearsal, just a few hours before the show, I finally knew that we could do it!. You can imagine their situation. They had just arrived night before, with jet lag, and they had to perform for the very first time with their father in front of a large audience.
I don’t have space to write this time, but we had a lot of technical difficulties up until the last moment of the show. Members of my production team worked so hard with me, many sleepless nights to prepare Hyo Jin Nim’s music and lyrics with graphics on screen. Building and testing playback system, etc.
To be able to show the lyrics on the main screen on stage was a critical part of this concert. Fortunately, Matt Ishizuka kept translations of every song Hyo Jin Nim performed in his concerts. Matt gave me everything he had but some parts of the translation were very rough. I was able to work with someone who really loves Hyo Jin Nim and his songs, and who can speak Korean fluently, Tossa Cromwell. Tossa helped me to perfect the translation. He volunteered and invested so much heart into his work, carefully finding the proper words that best express Hyo Jin Nim’s heart and feeling. After further discussion with him I was able to update some of the Japanese translation as well. So, you may now see slightly different translations in English and in Japanese compared to past translations. But that was a result of our effort to convey Hyo Jin Nim’s message in the best possible way. As we only had a short time to do so, we may yet revise the translation some more. But we did our best in the time we had.
Making Hyo Jin Moon’s new introductory video
I was working with Hyo Jin Nim in the 1990s at Manhattan Center. But back then I was young and I didn’t understand him enough. To create this video I had to discuss with and interview many people who worked with him in the good times and who supported him in the difficult phases of his life. I learned so much about Hyo Jin Nim through that process. I can’t write the long story here but it was a journey of healing.
Going through the intense fire of the preparation time and post-production time - just a few months - I realized the situation in which Hyo Jin Nim often found himself. Because the concept of this concert originated in a dream I had, I was the only one who fully knew what had to be done to actualize the plan. So no matter how difficult or tired I was, I couldn’t give up and stop. If I stopped, everything would stop. Though I had a great team, I had to initiate and be involved with every aspect of the preparation. I came to realize how often Hyo Jin Nim had been in the same situation but on the bigger level. Only he knew the big picture of his Media Providence. Because we didn’t really understand his heart and plan completely, he had to push on by himself and he couldn’t stop working.
I think Hyo Jin Nim wanted us to have this concert to start something new. I think he wants to work with us in this physical world. I hope that through this concert you may feel something about his heart that inspires you to move forward to make his dream, his parents’ dream and God’s dream to become a reality.
As you watch this video, please meditate about the meaning of Hyo Jin Nim’s tears as he sang those songs, some he wrote back in late 1980’s (along with some newer songs). Please share your inspiration with us.