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39 | A Chat With Min Kym

39 | A Chat With Min Kym

Listen to Episode 39: A Chat With Min Kym

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Episode Summary

I'm so delighted to share today's Tea and Tattle episode, where I'm in conversation with the violinist and writer, Min Kym, about her heart-wrenching memoir, Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung.

I was sent a pre-release copy of Gone earlier in the year by Penguin, and I was intrigued by its beautiful cover and interesting premise. In Gone, Min describes the agonising loss of her Stradivarius violin, which was stolen from her at a cafe in Euston Train Station in London, and how she found her way back to music and rediscovered her sense of self after it was taken.

Once I'd started the first page, I was instantly caught up in Min's extraordinary story and read for hours and hours one night so I could finish the book. Min's raw, incredibly honest prose sends you hurtling through the pages, eager and yet anxious (for you know there is no fairytale happy ending) to know what comes next. 

Ultimately, Min describes her book as being about love: for a person, for an instrument, for music, for oneself. Despite the deep loss that lies at the heart of the book, Gone is nevertheless a story full of inspiration and joy. As Min says at the end of our conversation, 'I feel very hopeful,' and so does the reader on reaching the end of her memoir. Min shows that even in the darkest hour, she found herself - and her voice - altered, perhaps, but far from diminished by her experiences.

Min Kym. Image by Orli Rose

Min Kym. Image by Orli Rose

I was so caught up in my conversation with Min that the time simply flew by, and we both said afterwards that we could have chatted all morning. This episode, then, is longer than usual, but I think when you listen, you'll understand why.  

Listen to hear Min Kym's fascinating story about her life growing up as a child musical prodigy and the incredible relationship between a violinist and their instrument

Episode Breakdown

  • 00:25 - Miranda introduces Min Kym.
  • 02:21 - How Min first came to play the violin and realised that her talent was extraordinary. 
  • 06:16 - Min shares how she felt on first being labelled a child prodigy. 
  • 08:42 - The sense of isolation that came from being 'different' as a very young woman.
  • 12:24 - Getting into a focused frame of mind for performance. 
  • 14:03 - The extreme dedication that a career in the Arts requires. 
  • 15:51-  Min explains the unique relationship between a violinist and their instrument.
  • 20:20 - Min reads a passage from her book about when she first saw her Stradivarius.
  • 23:50 - How the violin came to be stolen.
  • 31:41 - Min's reaction to the theft and how initially she thought about giving up her career as a violinist completely.
  • 35:05 - Min reads another passage from her book, about how she first started playing again.
  • 38:26 - Why Min decided to write her book.
  • 42:00 - How Min's new violin, as well as her experiences, have changed her playing style.
  • 44:43 - How the idea for a music album accompanying Gone originated.
  • 47:34 - What's next for Min.

Episode Links

Tweet Me!

click on the Twitter icon to share my favourite quote from this episode

Tweet: ‘My book’s about different kinds of love…the love you have for art, for people, for an instrument.’ Listen on: http://bit.ly/2uQRsC5

‘My book’s about different kinds of love…the love you have for art, for people, for an instrument.’

 - Min Kym

Your Thoughts

Thank you so much for listening and being a part of Tea & Tattle podcast. As always, I love to hear your thoughts, so please let me know:

What did you enjoy most about this episode? Have you read Gone or are you eager to do so now?

Next Time...

I'm chatting with the food historian, Annie Gray, about her hugely entertaining book The Greedy Queen, which looks at Queen Victoria's life through she food she ate. Be sure to tune in again next Tuesday!

Happy Listening!  

40 | Eating With Queen Victoria

40 | Eating With Queen Victoria

38 | Lauren Elkin and the Flâneuse

38 | Lauren Elkin and the Flâneuse