English 1105: Portfolio by D.Jason Nam


Front Cover
Back Cover
CD Design

1. Go!
The former title was “And Here We Go”, but I realized that it sounded too childish and moreover it would remind some hardcore Dark Knight fans of the Joker’s same exact quote. This track is about my beginning. Get pumped! Carpe Diem! Go, go, go!
2. Prague is Beautiful
This is a laid-back song that heavily relies on the guitar and cello. It describes the everyday life of living in Prague: taking the tram on a sunny day, passing by the historic Prague Castle, crossing over the romantic Charles Bridge, walking around downtown with párek v rohlíku and singing, “Prague really is beautiful”.

3. Untitled 1
Untitled 1 is a song about the period of my life where I continually had to switch environments to the point that it almost remains as a blur in my memory. Nothing seemed to have a meaning, everything was just a bunch of untitled events. Like the title, the song will have unexpected chord changes and lyrics so that the listener can almost experience the feeling of confusion.

4. The Great Leap Forward/Cultural Revolution
2005 was the year I moved to China. I was previously attending a high school in Saginaw, Michigan for two years where I had major identity issues that led me to take a year off from high school, and study in China. It was a big decision and risk I had decided to take; a great leap forward in my life. It was also my personal cultural revolution since it was my first time going back to Asia since I left Korea when I was four. This track is a pop/rock-remix of a Chinese folk song, “Tian Mi Mi”.

5. Lost Sheep
This song particularly focuses on my spiritual identity. After coming back to the Unites States after spending a year in China, I was ready to move forward but quickly found out that something was missing. I did not know where my life is leading to and I why I was such a mess. Although I was raised under a Christian environment, I did not know who God was and who I was in His eyes. Like the parable of the Lost Sheep in the Bible, I was lost but later found.

6. Invent Your Future
My favorite quote is Alan Kay’s “The best way to predict the future is to invent it”. Virginia Tech’s tagline is “Invent the Future”. Is this just coincidence? This is my current stage – the part where I am finding my identity and inventing my future.

7. Calm Before the Storm
There are always storms in life. Some expected, but mostly unexpected. In any case, we should always be prepared to face a storm. I know mine will come as I prepare myself for the competitive School of Architecture. Being the last track of the album, this track will be an instrumental piece with a calm beginning gradually building up with a loud finale at the end.

Multicultural or Multidisastral?            
“Who am I?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions in life. There are those who instantly answer with ease, and there are those who spend all their lives searching for the answer. Either way, I think it is a good question to ask because it challenges us to reflect on our past and see who we have become. Our second project “Culture, Society, and Me” has challenged me to look at back at my own journey in life and see how my past “random” experiences have shaped me.

So who am I? My answer always changed as I moved around the globe. In Prague, I said that I am a Korean who studies in America. When I was in China, I told my friends that I was from “Pu-ra-ha” but I lived in Michigan. Now at Virginia Tech, I tell people that I went to high school in Boston, but my home-home is Czech Republic. It gets a bit tricky and I will admit – it has been hard. Especially because as soon as I began to consider one place my home I had to relocate to another place. I thought coming to Virginia Tech would finally bring somewhat of an enlightenment to my identity search. I thought this would be the moment when I would find out my future... but I am still the same person, still unsure of who I am or who I want to be. I still seem to be searching my purpose of moving around every two years. However, I had the opportunity organize the scattered pieces of puzzles together through this project.

Front Cover:
I chose to have self-titled album because having a specific title would immediately give certain expectations on the viewer. This album is about my entire life and limiting myself to a word or a phrase to describe my twenty-year journey would not do the justice. Focusing on the “missing identity” theme, I decided to cut out my eyes from the album art. Why my eyes? In case you have not seen Steven Spielberg’s super-awesome film Minority Report, the entire society is monitored through the scanning of the eyes. Tom Cruise (SPOILER ALERT!) even gouges his eyes out later in the movie in order to change is identity.

On the background is my name Donghyun Jason Nam in black with the ‘D’, ‘J’, and ‘Nam’ colored in dodger blue along with the ‘EE’ and ‘AY’ behind the black letters; spelling my nickname ‘DEEJAYNAM’ (I hope that was not too confusing to understand). In terms of the font and color, I chose to work with a modern font Aharoni Bold and the colors dodger blue and black to give young, simple, and vivacious feeling to the crowd.

Back Cover:
I took the advice from my English professor and decided to make a collage of (all) à most of the societies I have lived in. Starting from the top is Seoul, South Korea; Prague, Czech Republic; Beijing, China; Boston, Massachusetts; and Virginia Tech. I cheated on the part for China because I actually lived in Tianjin, not Beijing; but I could not find any good pictures to visually represent Tianjin. I intentionally made the collages in strips going down vertically to show that the different strips of cultures and societies could fit in the missing strip piece on my eyes from the front cover. Continuing with the theme from the front cover, I used the same font and color schemes for the back. Just to make the back more legitimate, I added the barcode, a record company’s logo, and also the little copyright blurb. Here is what it actually says:

© 2009 DEEJAYNAM Inc. This label copy information ain’t really the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved…sorta. The copyright in this recording is owned by DEEJAYNAM Inc. Printed in Korea. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of rudeness.

The CD design also includes some copyright nonsense:

6176973776 © 2009 DEEJAYNAM Inc. All rights reserved. Made in the Czech Republic.