| all-ages folk and children's music from east asia |
About Rabbit Days & Dumplings
Rabbit Days and Dumplings is an album featuring reimagined folk and children's songs from East Asia, including Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan and Tibet.
I began playing music with Dan Zanes and Friends over seven years ago. In that time, I learned just how much family music & folk music can inspire people of all ages. I believe that music, like food, has a unique ability to reach across borders, cultures, languages, ages, and backgrounds in a profound way.
As I traveled with the band across America, I met many Asian and Asian-American families in our audiences, and I quickly realized that there was little representation of music from East Asia in the family music world here in the US. So with Dan’s strong encouragement and support, I created this album.
As a Korean-American born and raised in East Tennessee, I at times felt removed from the Korean side of my identity. In taking on this project, I knew that I could become closer to my East Asian roots, simply by exploring these songs. At the same time, I would be able to draw on all of my musical influences, particularly my experience as a musician in New York City. This journey has proven to be invaluable. Some of my favorite moments in making this CD have been chatting with many friends about the traditions and meanings behind the music, usually over a delicious plate of food. These discussions have made the album what it is.
So what is this album? It’s a mixture: Of songs, styles, traditions, languages, instrumentation, stories, and feelings. It’s a reflection of conversations with friends, learning about the songs they listened to growing up and the songs that linger in their memories. It’s an attempt to reinterpret folk and children's songs from East Asia, taking them out of their original contexts and having them reflect the world I see around me. It’s a chance to play fun music with friends. And, it’s an expression of my deep respect for parents and families who have made tough journeys of any kind - across borders or cultures or hardships - in search of opportunity and happiness.
The tunes range from ubiquitous children’s songs (such as the Korean “San Toki"), to traditional folk songs specific to a region (such as “Soran Bushi,” a popular sea shanty from Northern Japan), to a bizarre story of the rainy season and an eel (the Taiwanese song “Ti Oh Oh”). Each song is arranged in a different style, mixing native languages with English and traditional instrumentation with western folk and rock instruments.
The album features over thirty-five musicians of various ages and backgrounds, to whom I’m incredibly grateful. I'm humbled by their participation and support.
A portion of proceeds from this album will go towards supporting teachers & classrooms through DonorsChoose.
Some kind words about Rabbit Days and Dumplings:
Hands down, it is the best all-ages album I've ever come across. - New York Family Magazine
Elena Moon Park has found a way to incorporate Asian elements with American elements in a grandly metaphoric sort of way that says something powerful and positive about the potential of cross-cultural exchange, and on that note, about the immigrant experience. But also? It's just fun to listen to, and that's enough in and of itself. – About.com
Rabbit Days and Dumplings is a timeless classic and one that fully supports Park's strong belief that music has the ability to transcend borders, ages, languages, and backgrounds. – Kids Can Groove
Rabbit Days and Dumplings is not only a great introduction to the music of East Asia, it is great music, period. Interesting instrumentation, unusual but compelling rhythms and playful lyrics make this album shine, from start to finish. – Apartment Therapy
Elena Moon Park has put together a joyful and eclectic collection of traditional folk and children's songs, reinterpreted and reinvented in a way that preserves their beauty, but also makes them incredibly appealing to a wide family audience… this CD proves that great music touches us all, no matter what our background or mother tongue. – Cool Mom Picks
Wow! Elena Moon Park embraces both her family tree and musical roots in her latest CD 'Rabbit Days And Dumplings'. Well done! - Robert Drake, Producer Kids Corner, WXPN-FM, Philadelphia