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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Looking back a bit in my blog, I found out that it's been a while since I translated some Japanese song. This week, I bought the last album of Shikata Akiko, "Harmonia" and it's definitely fascinating. On the CD leaflet, she writes "There's a rhythm floating in the soul of this planet shining of its life", and that's the introduction of one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by a musician. I have not the talent to say if she succeed or not, but for sure, listening all the songs from the first to the last, you can tell a story of nature, mankind, hope, despair, darkness and light.

The last song of the album, "Harmonia", is the synthesis and conclusion of the work. That song is "all". I couldn't fit it in a frame, because its everything the music has produced up to date. It's lyric, and epic, yet simple and warm. It has some Arabian music remembrance, but it sticks with European traditions, it's Celtic and Gypsy, it's classical and modern, it remembers centro-american popular songs, and has something vaguely African. You could add a Dijeridoo in the frame, and it would be just perfect. And of course, it's so Japanese...

The lyrics are possibly not outstanding poetry, yet they fit the frame so perfectly; they are just telling you what the music is already telling, in another language. This song is not just words-over-music, or music-over-words as sometimes happens. It's words-and-music.

Harmonia ~見果てぬ地へ~
Harmonia ~Mihatenu chi e~ (*)
Harmony ~Towards an unlimited land~
Armonia ~Verso una terra smarginata~

Composed & Arranged by Akiko Shikata
Lyrics by Akiko Shikata & Tomoko Shinoda

夜空を超え 地平の果てに
yosora wo koe chihei no hate ni
Crossing the night sky, at the borders of the horizon
Attraversando il cielo notturno, ai bordi dell'orizzonte

朝焼け滲む 私を照らして
asayake nijimu watashi wo terashite
I am bathed in the raising sun burning light
mi bagno dell'aurora infuocata che mi fa risplendere


生まれ落ちた 荒野へ立ち
umare ochita arano e tachi
Came to life and standing on wastelands
Venuta al mondo, in piedi fra questa desolazione

てを広げ 耳済ませ
te wo hiroge mimi sumase
widening my hands, sharpening my ears
aprendo le mani, tendendo l'orecchio

私は今 始まりの歌 覚える
watashi wa ima hajimari no uta oboeru
I am now able to remember the Song of the Beginning
sono ora capace di ricordare la Canzone dell'Inizio


胸を叩く 鼓動にあわせ
mune wo tataku kodou ni awase
Copying with the rythm that is pulsing in my chest
Accordandomi al ritmo che pulsa nel petto

願い 紡ぎ 謳おう
negai tsumugi utaou
I will now sing it while spinning my wishes.
intessendovi le mie passioni, ve la canterò.

細く光る 祈りの欠片
hosokunaru hikaru inori no kakera
If we can join the fragment of prayers
Unendo i frammenti di luce sottile di ogni preghiera

重ねゆけば 世界は目覚めゆく
kasaneyukeba sekai wa mezameyuku
shining with dimming light, the world will be awoken
si può risvegliare il mondo.


風は遠く 空を翔けて
kaze wa tooku sora wo kakete
The wind runs through far skies
Il vento corre fra celi lontani

harukanaru tabi wo yuku
in travel going far away.
in un viaggio che lo porta distante.


生まれ消えて 巡り巡る
umare kiete megurimeguru
Flame that makes Life bright
Tu che nasci svanendo, ancora e ancora,

生命を照らす 炎よ
seimei wo terasu honou yo
which is born and fades, all over again
oh Fiamma che illumini la Vita

清く 流れ落ちて
kiyoku nagare ochite
receive the blissful rain
ricevi la pioggia gaudente

恵み降る 雨受けて
megumi furu ame ukete
flowing and falling pure
che scorre e cade pura

tsuchi wo michite
fulfilling the land
che sazierà la terra

輝く花を 咲かせる
kagayaku hana wo sakaseru
and let the glimmering flowers to bloom.
e farà sbocciare i fiori splendenti.


今 謳え 生まれゆく ハルモニア
ima utae umareyuku HARUMONIA
And now sing! Everborning Harmony
E ora canta! Oh, nascente Armonia

明日の空へ 見果てぬ地へ
asu no sora e mihatenu chi e
Towards the sky of tomorrow, towards an unlimited land
verso i cieli del domani, verso una terra smarginata

響き流れ 何処までも
hibikinagare doko made mo
flow, resounding everywhere!
fluisci, risuonando ovunque!


(*) "Mihatenu" means "so wide that you can't see it all".


Great translation :)
"There's a rhythm floating in the soul of this planet shining of its life" I barely noticed that. She have a great thought.
By only hearing it, can take me to fantasy world, which full of harmony~
However, I wonder, do you know which element this song is?

Posted by yuri at Sunday, August 16, 2009 18:23:53

Yes; this song summarizes all the 4 elements in the final "harmonia". The album is divided into 4 sections: Wind, Fire, Water and Earth, each composed of 3 songs and each introduced by a different tune with two (different) verses from the second last song "Chouwa". So, we may consider the last section, the earth section, actually formed of two songs, with the last one, "Chouwa - Harmonia", which merges the elements from the other sections in the earth element, mixing them out from chaos and slowly arranging them into the final "Harmonia - Mihatenu Chi e".

In fact, the two songs are not just joint in their title, but also in the album, where Chouwa slowly brings in its finale the introductory harmonic structure of Harmonia".

Posted by Giancarlo at Monday, August 17, 2009 11:24:11

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