humans of mac+mae: Levi Patel

This is the sun rising over Seoul, South Korea. I took this picture while crossing the Han River after my last night in Korea.

I received an unexpected job offer from a Korean company right before my summer break from university in 2012. One month later I was there, where I lived and worked for three months.

I travelled with a field-recording device wherever I went and collected environmental recordings, which I have since used in some of my music. Living in Korea also led to ongoing collaborations with filmmakers. I recently finished work on ‘This Island is Ours’, a feature-length documentary about the Dokdo/Takeshima island ownership dispute with Japan, and I’m currently working with the same director on a short documentary.

This period of time was important to my music career but it was also special due to the way that it changed my view of the world. That was my first experience living somewhere with a culture so different from New Zealand’s. Learning the language and being immersed in such a different world gave me a new perspective coming home and a new appreciation for the diversity of lives that people lead.

The picture was taken while travelling home after my last night out with my Korean friends, the ones I shared the experience with. It was the moment I felt that my time in Korea had come to an end, and a beautiful ending it was.

Auckland-based composer Levi Patel draws inspiration from a variety of sources; his style encompasses minimal piano, vast melodic ambient soundscapes, cinematic soundtrack, and evocative ambient post-rock.  Check out Levi’s latest EP, 5/8, a collaboration with Auckland artist Suren Unka.

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –