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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

This is what the sublime talent of Shimamiya Eiko has produced.

This song, named "O", from the French "Eau" (water), has a very intense and complex lyrics. It's a story that resounds of ancient myths, and that talks of the endless life cycle of the water. As the water in the song is compared to a woman (the singer), or better, as the singing voice is shaped in the form of water, it is impossible not to think to the endless cycle of life and reincarnation that is theorized by Buddhism and Zen. But both the sound and the cut of this song, talking of Gaia and Malaika (respectively the Mother Earth goddesses in the ancient Greek mythology and in Swahili) leads us to think more about a new pan-world spiritualism. More than Zen, this song is quite leaning on the new-age slope.

In fact, this song is a bit complex even when you think it's Japanese poetry. I may not have a perfect grip on poetic English, but I have quite a grip on poetic Italian, which can be quite synthetic if correctly employed. By the raw length comparison between the Japanese text and the Italian translation, you can have a precise idea of how much this song is synthetic. Also, translating it in a western language deprives it of some of the various meanings that some sentence have. The original is "more" fluid than it can be rendered with our languages.

On the musical side, the song is a masterpiece; the melodic line is giving the impression of being easy to sing along, but actually it's quite difficult. The melodic structure is sophisticated and elegant, always changing yet staying the same, very ... liquid. Also the rhythmic structure is quite complex; it sounds solemn, but it's eager to be tapped along.

On the downside, the arrangement of Kazuya Takase seems a bit too synthetic, at times. At spots, the wonderful harmonic structure invented by Eiko (invented, as I never heard such a progression before) is almost overwhelmed by excessive glamor of synth strings; other times, it is a bit blurred by excessive insistence on the same bass loop, while it could have been underlined by some subtle changes in one note of the bass riff per chord. I hope to hear another "version" of this song in the future, because if this one has kept me stuck for 2 days on my headphones with repeat on, who knows what a better arrangement may do...

Hey, I may even try one ;-)

O [オー]

Words and music by Eiko Shimamiya
Arranged by Kazuya Takase


今まさに飲み込まれてく  千年の瞬きは
ima masa ni nomikomareteku sennen no matataki wa
Sommerso ora con vigore, il bagliore di mille anni
Now finally submerged, the blaze of a thousand years

止まない雨の暗幕に閉ざされ  やがて消えようとしてる
yamanai ame no anmaku ni tozasare yagate kieyou to shiteru
sigillato nella cortina oscura della pioggia incessante, presto deciderà di svanire
is sealed under the black curtain of the endless rain, and soon it will chose to disappear.

生きてきた証が欲しい   愛したあなたの
ikite kita akashi ga hoshii aishita anata no
Ciò che voglio è la prova della mia esistenza. Ciò che voglio è che
My desire is to have the proof of my existence. My desire is that

目の裏側に私の残像が  永久に残って欲しい
me no uragawa ni watashi no zanzou ga eikyuu ni nokotte hoshii
nella parte posteriore degli occhi di te, mia amata, rimanga eternamente impressa l'immagine di me
on the back side of the eyes of yours, that I love, my shape may be shed forever

やがて水が引いて  あなたはまた呼吸をする
yagate mizu ga hiite anata wa mata kokyuu wo suru
Presto, l'acqua si ritirerà, e tu respirerai di nuovo
Soon the water will clear, and you will breath again

赤茶けた大地に立つ  マライカよ地に増えよ
akachaketa daichi ni tatsu MARAIKA yo chi ni fue yo
Tu che ti ergi sulla Terra scolorita, O Malaika, prospera sul suolo!
You that stand on the colorless Earth, Malaika, grow on the ground!

ーーーー

何度となく洗い流されて  ふたたび背負う終わらないStory
nandoto naku arainagasarete futatabi seou owaranai Story
Chissà quante volte è già stata spazzata via la Storia infinita di cui mi faccio nuovamente carico
I will take care again of this Story, that no one knows how many times had already been washed away

はるかな次の千年の  朝が明けてゆく
harukana tsugi no sennen no asa ga aketeyuku
Dei prossimi lontani mille anni, l'alba risplende
The dawn of the next far one thousand years is shining

何度となく手放してきた  悲しみの果て静かなる大地には
nandoto naku tebanashite kita kanashimi no hate shizuka naru daichi ni wa
Non so quante volte abbandonata al limite della tristezza, sulla Terra che diviene silente
Abandoned no one knows how many times on the verge of sadness, on the growing silent Earth

今度こそ夢が咲くように  そして消えぬように
kondo koso yume ga saku you ni soshite kienu you ni
Che almeno stavolta sbocci il sogno, e quindi, che possa non svanire.
May the dream to bloom this time, and may it never fade.

ーーーー

私は知っていたかのように  千年の臨終を
watashi wa shitteita ka no you ni sennen no rinjuu wo
Come per accertarmi della mia consapevolezza, il letto di morte di questi mille anni
As if I wanted to test my knowledge I watched with my eyes

この目で最後まで見届けるから  瞬きひとつせずに
kono me de saigo made mitodokeru kara mabataki hitotsu sezu ni
con questi occhi, fino alla fine ho osservato senza mai sbattere le palpebre
the deathbed of the past one thousand years up to the end without blinking not even for once

すべては陽炎のように  愛したあなたも
subete wa kagerou no you ni ai shita anata mo
È tutto come un miraggio tremolante e persino tu, mia amata,
Everything is like a trembling mirage even you, that I love,

抱きしめられたその感触さえも  ここにはとどまれない
dakishimerareta sono kanshoku sae mo koko ni wa todomarenai
persino quella sensazione fisica di quando mi abbracciavi qui non può rimanere.
and even that touch feeling I felt when you held with me can't stay here.

木々のざわめきや  鳥の声も今は何も
kigi no zawameki ya tori no koe mo ima wa nani mo
Né lo stormire delle fronde, né la voce degli uccelli, ora nulla
Not the rustle of the trees, nor the voice of the birds, now nothing

聞こえない  大地の歌  マライカよ震わせて
kikoenai daichi no uta MARAIKA yo furuwasete
può essere udito. La canzone della Terra, O Malaika, falla vibrare!
can be heard. The song of Earth, Malaika, make it to vibe!

ーーーー

ガイアの涙に溺れてた  罪深き者  おごれる情熱の
GAIA no namida ni oboreteta tsumibukaki mono ogoreru jounetsu no
Perduta fra le lacrime di Gaia, profondamente peccaminosa.(*) Di una passione inebriante
Drowned in the tears of Gaia, (I am so) profoundly sinful.(*) The last flame of an

最後の炎が立ち上がり  やがて消えてゆく
saigo no honoo ga tachiagari yagate kieteyuku
l'ultima fiamma si solleverà, per svanire subito.
exalting passion will raise, just to disappear soon.

何度となく洗い流されて ふたたび背負う終わらないStory
nandoto naku arainagasarete futatabi seou owarani story
Chissà quante volte è già stata spazzata via la Storia infinita di cui mi faccio nuovamente carico
I will take care again of this Story, that no one knows how many times had already been washed away

はるかな次の千年の 朝が明けて行く
harukana tsugi no sennen no asa ga aketeyuku
Dei prossimi lontani mille anni l'alba risplende.
The dawn of the next far one thousand years is shining.

ーーーーー

Repeat



(*) Actually, the "sinful" part binds also with the "rising flame", but it's nearly impossible to render it in occidental language without changing completely the order in which images are presented to the listener.


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