Anyone taking on a classic like Black Sabbath's 1970 song "Paranoid" better be prepared to fill some mighty big shoes, and musician Luna Lee did just that with her flawless cover of the track played on the traditional Korean string instrument gayageum.
A two-angle setup, one from above and one facing Lee head-on, shows the intricate fingerwork needed to aptly perform the heavy riffs of the original on the delicate instrument. Not only is this impressive in itself, but the gayageum had to be modified to accommodate her contemporary covers. "I had to redevelop my gayageum so that the sound would match that of the modern instrument," she explains on Patreon. "I had to increase the volume and pressure, develop tone and increase the sustain sound."
In addition to fine-tuning her instrument, she also experimented with effects pedals and amplifiers made for guitars to reach optimal metal-worthy tonality. "Playing modern music on a traditional instrument was not an easy process," she admits, "I have come a long way from the beginning but still have a long way to go!"
Lee has been creating for several years now and racked up more than 190,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel with her recreations of classics like Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child," Guns N' Roses' "November Rain" and AC/DC's "Back in Black," in addition to other less rock and metal-focused tracks from artists like Radiohead and even a medley including "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" performed at Dodger Stadium. Follow along here to see what she'll dream up next.