Archive for the 'Music' Category

September 25, 2006

どうしてこんなになるんだろう。

はじめのFを聴いただけで、からだじゅうが震える。腕を、肩を、心臓を、さざ波が伝っていく。細胞がぎゅっとなって、動悸が激しくなる。

D#からはじまるメロディは、心にすとんと落ちてくる。どんどん柔らかいほうへ、 切ないほうへと落ちていく。くりかえしくりかえし、泣きそうになる。

秋だからかな。
音楽にこんなに溺れるのはひさしぶり。

海で聴きたい。

週末は、また鎌倉の海へ。

坂本龍一「戦場のメリークリスマス」

大事な大事なCDを貸してくれたやまちゃんに多謝。

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The Process of Grieving

July 28, 2006

Without music, I would have no doubt disintegrated into a puddle of blood and tears by now. Music kept me sane. There was a procedure in which music helped me (or, is helping me) heal.

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First, there was Satie. Only “Gymnopedies” resisted the silence as my former fiance and I ate supper in resignation. Later there was “Sarabande” when we talked to each other about our own destruction.

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Then there was Teion Kankyo — literally “low(bass) sound environment” — when I was really in the low. This unit consists of Daisuke Fuwa, conductor extraordinaire of Shibusa Shirazu, and his fellow tuba-toting bandmate, Daisuke Takaoka. It’s solid good music, and of course it’s good listening even if you’re grieving about nothing in particular.

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Then, once I’ve cried so much I felt dessicated and frigid, I succumbed to a long, lusty sleep until my cells started answering to other desires. It happened to be very early in the morning when I did finally get up. I had to listen to Ivy’s In The Clear. Especially the very first tune, “Nothing But The Sky.” I keep hearing its echoes at random lonely moments of the day.

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Once Cannonball’s Bossa Nova started ringing in my ears, I knew I was headed towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

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But of course we all have our ups and downs, and I teeter off the pinnacle of my alcoholic euphoria — and then Bill Evans comes into the limelight. Alone is classicly tragic. It’s the perfect music to feel sorry for oneself.

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Same Bill Evans, but I knew I’ve come a long way when I wanted to listen to the Symphony Orchestra piece. There’s still much melancholiness, but a new dimension emerges out of this music — a majestic calm. A beautiful, majestic calm. Like an elephant’s stride or a lily’s gait. It made my problems appear so petty.

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It’s like flying (I imagine so — I’ve never flown.) When you sense a slight tremor in the wind telling you of an updraft, you ride it. You have to catch the wind when you can, and not worry about the inevitable fall that comes afterwards. Sometimes this means drinking yourself silly. Sometimes it means spending oodles of money on whimsical purchases such as a pair of suade leather stack-heeled high heels the color of midnight, or an airplane ticket across the Pacific. Sometimes music can do this for you. And Satoru Shionoya’s “Hands of Guido” will do this for you. Not only does it take you up in a whirlwind in energetic numbers like “According to La Meteo” and “Skinnydipper,” it later cushions your fall in a series of delicate numbers like “Azami,” “En Harmonie,” and “4-0-10-5” (click here for a video clip about the last title.)

And then, finally there’s…

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Aretha!

When I came this far, I knew life was eventually going to be okay again. I still have the occasional crying bouts and severe nights of insomnia, but I thank all my amazing friends for their time, understanding, and willingness to hear me swear and bitch. Family is a little too close and a little too much to handle during times of crises. Parents all too often look to the past, and try their damnedest to restore what’s been broken. Friends, on the other hand, are keys to future doors. They tell me to keep looking ahead. They make me laugh. I am truly blessed with good people all around me — surely they have their own personal crises too, but they choose not to dwell on it for the sake of making me feel human again. And that makes me want to look ahead in life, so that I may someday return their favors.

音楽の恵み

June 29, 2006

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こんなラッキーなことがあっていいんでしょうか。
ヤマハのクラビノーバをタダで貰っちゃいました。

CVP-69のダークローズウッド調。
ハッキリいって、かなり物凄くカッコいいんですってば。もうホレボレです。
ということで写真もUPしてみたんですけど、どうです、なかなかでしょ?

キータッチもかなり本格派。ピアノのトーンだけで8種類もある。
もちろん88鍵あるので、ハノンだってざっと6オクターブ弾けちゃう!(弾かないけど)
あこがれのドビュッシーだって自由自在!(弾けないけど)
ピアノ禁止のアパート暮らしでも、電子ピアノだったらノープロブレム!
ヘッドホンを着用しながら練習すれば、どんなに下手でもまわりにバレない!!

ちょうど職場の後輩がお引越しということで、さりげない会話のなりゆきから「じゃあ、どうぞ」っていうことになって、本当に無料で貰ってしまったのです。なんていい人なんでしょう。世の中捨てたもんじゃないな、とこういう心の広い人にしみじみ教えられます。ほんとにホントに、感謝です。

ボストンで愛用していたRoland FP-3をバンド仲間に譲って以来、まともにピアノと接していなかったんだけど、最近ヤマハの雑誌に寄稿する機会が多かったなかでピアノの魅力を再発見。そんな矢先のクラビノーバは、なにかのご縁で結ばれているような気がします。

生活に新たな潤いをいただきました。多謝!

~追伸~

待ちに待ったNTTの「ひかり電話」が導入されたので、電話FAX買いました♪
その名も FAPPY (シャープ謹製)。
…びみょーなネーミング………FAX+HAPPYということなのか?

Words

March 16, 2006

I am thinking about the word “words,” and a beautiful song comes immediately to mind: The Real Group‘s song titled, of course, “Words,” which merits a hearing by everyone who works with, struggles with, obsesses about, and are afraid of words. Every time I listen to that song, I regain confidence to confront the unknown darkness of words. To my mind, that song is draped entirely in black — velvety, luscious, pitch-black. The lyrics (words about words) shine through that velvety blackness, and remind me of the sanctity of words. It’s the stuff human history’s made of, and I personally believe that writing them down with ink on paper, or else singing them out loud are two of the most powerful ways to express that sacredness. Thanks to The Real Group, I have gotten through some pretty desperate writer’s blocks.

* * *

Words (my words) constantly underestimate, misunderstand, miss each other, lose each other; words too often work against me. But it’s the only tool I have to try to document and eternalize the fleeting moments of my life. Unless I write, I forget about an exhilirating walk under ginkgo-lined avenues in autumn. It’s vexing not to be able to pinpoint precise words to describe an inner necessity. It feels futile to interview someone only to realize upon transcribing the tape that the answers don’t match up with the questions. Or the answers don’t make sense. Or, worse yet, the questions (my questions) don’t make sense. Misunderstandings make me feel stupid and inadequate. False words cut into the flesh, sever the tender tissues of the brain, and leave neurons floating in ambiguous space. This is the risk of writing and expressing one’s inner necessities out loud.

* * *

Of course people react to words in different ways. When Deepak Chopra’s prose was read out loud during yoga class the other day, I failed to find him enlightening, for instance. I find scholars like Robert E. Svoboda much more amusing and inspiring. And sometimes spoken words deliver more power than written ones. An instructor at my yoga studio spoke moving words the other day — about how our hip joints, unconsciously, from daily use, tilt to one side or the other. By restoring our hip bones to equilibrium, we learn how to truly balance our bodies. Not only my hip bones, but I seriously think my brain is out of sorts. I read in the newspaper a few days ago that being close to nature inspires words in us. Another writer observed that fear inspires words. Can my fear of not attaining a balanced mind and body inspire great words and help me out of this rut? Can being close to nature find a fresh spring of words?

 

* * *

 

We constantly create words in our separate lives, and either let go of them, or else write them down or hear them out to grateful (or not so) ears around them. But if we all do that, doesn’t the world get too crowded with words? Don’t trite words go to waste, die useless deaths? Then a thought struck me while I was walking the dogs the other day. I was walking under vast cherry trees, and I noticed all these leaves crunching under my ruthless feet. Then I thought: all these leaves — trodden, decomposing, abundant — serves as a vital link within the life cycle of trees and insects and just about everything included in this uncommon yet omnipresent niche. Old leaves turn into the earth, and provide a rich fertile ground for more trees and taller trunks. Leaves create a culture of words. Maybe it’s not so coincidental that the Japanese word for “word” literally means “saying leaves.”

* * *

 

So I feel a bit better about words. I still have fear, but I need to keep writing anyway, and that’s exactly what my mentor had told me — keep writing, don’t stop. And keep reading, too. The next step for is figuring out what my message is and to whom I want to transmit that message to.

失意のライブ体験

February 10, 2006

ひさしぶりに後悔するライブを観てしまった。
その反面いろんなことを学べたから、まぁ良しとしますが。
さしずめ受講料四千円也。

何様?って感じですが、すいません。
私、カンチガイ人間なんです。
でも、敢えて書かせていただきます。

今日聴いたライブは、とっても不愉快なジャズだった!

ジャズはそもそもアメリカで発祥した音楽である。歌詞は、当然英語である。中でも愛されて止まないスタンダード曲の歌詞は、メロディーと同じぐらいに珍重してしかるべきである。

そういう名曲を好んで歌っているにも関わらず、 英語の発音にキレがなく、だらしなく、意味が伝わってこない――。そういうだらしのないジャズは、はっきりいって気持ち悪い。

英語ペラペラじゃないとジャズを歌う資格はない、ということではない。ただミュージシャンとして責任を持って、歌のテクニックの一環として英語の歌詞を正しく発音しようよ、ということ。一般人より耳が利くのがミュージシャンのはずでしょ?例えば”library”という言葉を音として聴いて、どういう風に口を動かしたらそういう音が出るのか考えてみればいいことだと思う。

さらに。
衣装、メーク、ジェスチャリング、揺れる腰つきや熱唱する「萌え顔」、すべて計算ずくめなのはイタイほどわかるのだけど、存在全体が薄っぺらい。なぜなら、すべては『ジャズシンガー』という概念に対する憧れからくるマネごとだから。

エラおばさんがカッコいい。
ブロッサムの素っ気ないセクシーさがたまらない。
そんな憧れの要素を集めてきては自分なりに調合して、オリジナリティだと自負するのは非常に薄っぺらい。

そういう歌は感動を呼ばない。少なくとも、私には。
ただ人より歌が上手いというだけでは、音楽に深さや意味を見出せない。
これではカラオケだ。自己満足だ。

Mogwai

January 27, 2006

今日は代官山UNITにてMogwaiの日。二日目。最終日。

行きたいのはやまやまだったが、行きたい理由の80%が『殿』に由来する感傷的なものゆえ、一緒に行けないのなら意味がないので諦めた。

CDでは聴きなれた心地よいサウンドスケープ。ライブでどうやって音が作られるのか体感したいのもあったけど、わざとチャンスをやり過ごした。

さすが大都会TOKYOでは、行ったり見たり聞いたりすれば必ず精神のコヤシになる良質な音楽やイベントがそこらじゅうでいつでも開催されていて、それら一切に頓着せずまっすぐ自宅へ帰るのは非常に損した気分になる。

でもあんまり欲張れないしね。逃すチャンスとモノにするチャンスがお互い絡み合って生み出す偶然の重なりから、未来が漠然とたち現れてくる。だから逃すチャンスにも意義がある。

けれど最近ケチになりすぎていて、モノにすべきチャンスさえみすみす逃しているのではないか、ちと不安。やっぱり今夜は代官山に行くべきだったかな?