Skip to main content.


This is the archive for July 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I appreciate very much the voice of Kawada Mami. She's one of the "I've" girls, together with my favorite Shimamiya Eiko and with the amazing Kotoko. She's extremely skilled especially in what is technically called "voice control"; the precision of her intonation and the constance of her pitches are amazing, literally ranging the abilities of electronic synthesizers.

However, she had been mainly a singer, rarely composing lyrics and often singing things produced for her by the other I've members. I noticed that this was a pity, as her skill was rarely exploited.

But recently, she has released the first album for which she has also written the lyrics. Her past works were satisfactory, but not outstanding. Her lyrics were interesting and above the mean, but they weren't at the level of the other writers in the "I've".

This song is definitely a quantum leap forward. Not only she had been able to match the thematics of the other composers, but she've been able to add a personal touch. She's using a very high register, both in the form of the grammar, which uses chained verbs in suspensive forms (in sequences of three and four), and a coherent and rich set of inversions, but also in the substance; especially the first sentences are very "souseki-like". She also uses interesting rhetorical forms, as the balancing of "toki" (time/when) at the beginning and at the end of a sentence with the two possible meanings, the usage of the ideogram "生" chained in its two verbal readings (ikiru - to live - and umareru - to be born). In general a very elaborate usage of the Japanese language.

Also, while the music of this song is composed by Tomoyuki Nakazawa, it's evident that Mami had been able to slip in a personal touch, or that Tomoyuki wrote this song taking into consideration Mami's skills.

I cannot help but be happy of the fact that the "I've" group gains another active and excellent composer.
Kotoko uses to write cryptic and complex lyrics in her songs. This song of her is one of my favorite because the images it recalls and uses are extremely evocative. Each single word is beautifully chiseled in the song, and Kotoko sings it with emotion and giving a tense feeling of bewilderment and enlightenment, of claustrophobia and agoraphobia, of hope and despair exactly at the right spots.

Probably, this song of her is underestimated, and this is exactly because of its complexity and duality. To me, is a small cameo of perfection, and one more proof of her genius, if there was need for more of it.

Katsuya Takase's music sustain perfectly the lyrics, or possibly interacts with them, with regions of pitch dark and sprouts of blind hopes. The overall feeling is that of a metropolitan, dark sound which doesn't completely gives in to gloom.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I've been willing to try to translate in Italian this marvellous story written by Natsume Souseki in the early '900s for a long time now. I was largely dissatisfied by the available translations, and since the copyrights on this story are already expired, I decided to try to translate it by myself.

More on my blog in italian