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Dire Straits Fans, You’ve Never Heard ‘Sultans Of Swing’ Like This

Luna Lee presents the rock classic on, wait for it, a 6th century Korean zither.

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We’re indebted to the Open Culture website for bringing to our attention the work of the Korean musician Luna Lee. She performs Western music on the gayageum, a traditional 12-stringed instrument from Korea that’s something like a zither. Dating from the 6th century, it’s from the same family as the guzheng from China and the koto from Japan. One of her remakes will be particularly fascinating to Dire Straits fans.

Luna’s clip of her performance of the band’s early, classic Mark Knopfler composition ‘Sultans Of Swing,’ nimbly performed on the aforementioned gayageum, already has some two million views. It may be hard to imagine a Korean-Greek-sounding instrumental version of this enduring tune, but here it is:

Lee often posts her interpretations of well-known rock standards, and has previously turned her hand to various Pink Floyd tracks including ‘Comfortably Numb’ and ‘Another Brick In The Wall.’ She’s also reworked David Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Sold The World,’ Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Chile’ and blues staples by B.B. King, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.

“The gayageum has a beautiful sound and amazing potential,” says Luna on her fundraising page, “so I wanted to share my music with many people. I’ve been on YouTube creating music videos for the internet since 2009. I have covered various genres of music.

“My ancestors played the gayageum in a small room, so the sound did not need to be loud. But my music is performed with modern instruments such as the drums, bass and the guitar. So  I had to redevelop my gayageum  so that the sound would match that of the modern instrument. I had to increase the volume and pressure, develop tone and increase the sustain sound.

“And hoping to express the sound of gayageum more diversely like that of the guitar, I had to study guitar effectors and amplifiers and test them to see if they would fit to the sound of the gayageum.” Lee plays at the 2018 Asian Hall of Fame show at Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel on 5 May.

Explore our Dire Straits Artist Page.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Randy

    April 25, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Dire Straits should take notice and have her perform along side of them, or include her on one of their new albums. Brilliant musician Luna Lee.

    • Jacquie

      April 26, 2018 at 10:00 pm

      Absolutely. Was thinking same thing while listening.

    • Simon Downing

      May 4, 2018 at 8:52 am

      Are- Dire Straits are no. Unfortunately.

    • Mikko

      July 31, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      They have on their Facebook page

  2. Thomas Matheou

    April 25, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    That’s such a change from your standard rock guitar. It was awesome. Also a great musician. Looking forward to hearing more like this. More power to you.

  3. George Zaidan

    April 25, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    Beautiful

  4. Rod Lambert

    April 25, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Bravo. Just bravo!!!

  5. Brad haintz

    April 26, 2018 at 5:08 am

    Great olove listening and watck you play beautiful cheers

  6. Tracy

    April 26, 2018 at 5:15 am

    Loved it

  7. John sullivan

    April 26, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Do you think we’re stupid. I heard this version months ago. Type in sultans of swing “accoustic” for more great versions

    • JOHN IS STUPID

      April 30, 2018 at 11:07 am

      GOOD FOR YOU JOHN!!!!

      HOW CLEVER YOU ARE. I WISH I COULD BE AS “ON IT” AS YOU!

      ALAS THERE ARE ANOTHER 7.9 BILLION OF US WHO DIDN’T SEE THIS ON THE DAY IT WAS POSTED TO YOUTUBE, SO EXCUSE US WHILST WE ADMIRE THIS GORGEOUS VERSION.

      IF THAT’S OK WITH YOU?

  8. dani

    April 26, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    cool

  9. Rita Gentey

    April 26, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    Absolutely Awesome, u go girl!

  10. kev banks

    April 27, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    I think a duet with the master (Mark Knopler) is called for … I think they would both totally enhance each other.. would be nice to see it happen…

  11. Huy Le

    April 28, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Oh yeah. Bravo!

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