「Forever Nakaton」 （フォーエバー ナカトン）
「Two Months and a Warm Blanket」 （２ヶ月と暖かい毛布）
This song, performed in the open tuning of E major, was a playful attempt to use this often used blues tuning for a song with a bit of an R&B vibe. As such, the lyrics are more conversational than what I usually write, with both a male and female lines included on the idea that the song could be done as a duet with harmonic voicing. Unfortunately, I never did get a chance to experiment with that before moving to Japan. Nevertheless, it’s a fun song to sing and play solo, and I was excited at the opportunity to finally record it and enrich it a little more with bass and drums.
The lyrics tell a simple story about someone with a broken heart finding the courage to care about someone once again, even though the time they have to spend together is short. On a subtler, deeper level the song supports the idea that when confronted with an opportunity to share your heart with another person whose path in life does not follow your own for very long, choosing to do so can result in spiritual and emotional rewards that continue to enrich one’s life long after the relationship has ended. As Tennyson so well put it, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
「Yuki Usagi」 (雪ウサギ）
This instrumental is played in the very unusual tuning of C#GBbFBbD, something that I stumbled onto completely by accident whilst re-tuning my guitar after traveling somewhere by plane.
Whenever I travel, I always take a guitar with me. However, when checking a guitar as luggage, it is important to always detune the instrument as the cold in the luggage area can cause the strings and the wood to become so tense that a slight bump or added pressure on the case can cause the headstock to snap. Anxious to play after I landed, I immediately began tuning the guitar from the 1st string, and then slowly adjusting the others. By complete chance, I happened to pass through the above tuning and was immediately inspired to start composing with it.
At present, I have a number of songs written in this tuning, of which this album contains three. Yuki Usagi is one of them. For Japanese people, the term Yuki Usagi perhaps conjures up images of a rabbit hopping along through forests or fields covered in snow. However, the English translation, Snow Bunny, has the unique nuance of referring to a beautiful woman playing in the snow. Thus this composition is more than just an expression about nature, but also about love, and one very happy day in my life.
This song, in standard tuning, is a simple circular chord pattern, upon which I used to layer various guitar and vocal voicings. The melancholy, repetitive nature of the song was intended as a means of expressing the endless cycle of thoughts and emotions I was and continue to experience regarding the sudden loss of a very dear friend.
Carousel, or merry-go-round as it is often called, is a thing that calls to mind the joys and the innocence of youth. And so it is the mixture of happy memories and the pain of loss that contrast and mix together to form this song.
Written nearly ten years ago, when my methods of musical expression where yet in their infancy, it has nevertheless been a song I have always wished to record, and was happy to finally be able to give it a home on this album. I hope you enjoy it.
「Roller Coaster Reincarnation」
On the heels of one emotional cycle comes another. Yet, in a departure from the childlike remembrances of Carousel, this song explores the more violent and adult reality of the aftermath of a broken relationship.
Using the same tuning as Yuki Usagi, this song is separated into two halves, the beginning reveals a character in the midst of a very painful and angry emotional suicide, moving from partner to partner with the twisted belief that eventually the love that they had lost will reappear. But, in the second half, this anger gives way to grief, recognition and perhaps even acceptance of the loss. And we are given hope that the protagonist will move beyond the anger and find healing.
It should be noted that this song is not based upon actual events in my life. Rather it is a hypothetical emotional exploration in which music, not the mind, is the medium.