Sign for what?

I was about to go to bed yesterday when I heard the ominous spattering sound in my room. Spring shifted to summer all of a sudden and I had turned on the air conditioner. The noise was a water leak from it. Beneath the air conditioner sits my PC with which I work for my music. I usually put plastic bags on the PC as a covering after each use and the water was dropping right down to it. It was a dreadful sight. I completely panicked and couldn’t figure out what to do first. Then I tried to turn off the air conditioner with a stereo remote. And I tried to grab a floor cloth to wipe up the water but couldn’t find my slippers. The PC holds our new song that had been finally completed yesterday after seven years. I thought the water was draining away the song and my seven years. Thankfully, the computer didn’t get wet while the monitor got a few droplets from the edge of the plastic cover. What are the odds that a water leak aiming at a PC happens on the same day when a song gets finished on the very PC? Is this some sort of a sign? Sign for what? Not to tweak the song any further? Or, to wipe the slate clean and start all over again? I couldn’t sleep well from thinking about it and from the heat without air conditioning…

 

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

long way to go

I finished the mix down of our new song today. That means the song at long last got completed. I had worked on this song for seven years. I put into this song everything I have, everything I want to say to this world, and everything I’ve felt in my life. So, I’m virtually done. I celebrated with a bottle of sparkling wine instead of champagne that is too expensive for me. When opening the bottle, the plastic cork rocketed to the ceiling and made a mark. Still, the project is far from being over. I need to burn it on CDs, save it in several different kinds of format, and archive the data. I can see a long way to go before I get a sense of achievement…

 

Episode From Surviving in Japan / Hidemi Woods

They felt a sense of comedy

Our new song ‘Sunrise’ has been completed and sent out to a distributor. It’s finally released and available worldwide, that I’d been hoping for a long time. The distributor put up the song on online stores. I had looked forward to seeing ‘Sunrise’ displayed there. When I was looking around them, something caught my eye. They categorize songs according to genres. ‘Sunrise’ is categorized in six genres, like pop/general etc. One of them is miscellaneous/comedy. They felt a sense of comedy in ‘Sunrise’ when they categorized it. It’s interesting because I wrote this song being dead serious with a deep theme…

became her new superstition

New Year is the biggest holiday in Japan. There is a traditional meal for it, which is called ‘osechi’. It’s assorted foods of beans, boiled vegetables, boiled fish, and steamed fish paste, boxed in layered containers. The kinds of an assortment are slightly different at each family according to the family tradition. My family’s traditional ‘osechi’ was absolutely terrible. The assortment consisted of only three kinds of food. Boiled carrots, boiled burdocks and black soybeans. That’s it. We even didn’t have to buy them except for black soybeans because they were grown in our family’s field. It was accompanied by miso soup that had sticky rice cake and big taro in it. Big taro was grown in our front yard and my family held a superstition that you would become a head of something by eating it in the New Year. Unfortunately, it’s huge and painfully tasteless. As a child, I always wondered how they could call them a New Year’s special feast since our daily meals were better. To conclude the ‘feast’, we drank special tea. A cup of Japanese tea with a pickled plum sunk in the bottom. As another superstition, my family believed that it would bring happiness, but it tasted horrible and made me unhappy right away. And then, what I thought couldn’t be any worse hit the new bottom. On one New Year’s Day, there was a new addition to our traditional meal. It was called ‘kuwai’ and looked like a chestnut with a sprout. My mother heard that eating it in New Year made you ‘sprout’ to the world. It became her new superstition and my father began to grow it in the front yard. It tasted utterly awful. If primitive people found it in the woods and tried it, they would certainly dismiss it as inedible. Although I had endured the terrible feast until I left home, I’m not a head of anything, nor don’t sprout to the world…

I was completely awed and fearful.

I saw God for the first time in my dream the other day. I was preparing for work in my room. I looked out the window and noticed three small dots in the cloudy sky. While I was figuring out whether they were aircraft or UFOs, the three black dots were getting bigger and bigger as they were coming closer. They were flying with tremendous speed toward my window and I recognized each dot was in the shape of a human. The two of them were leading the way for the third one that was flying a little behind them. I was extremely frightened and covered my eyes. Even so, I felt an urge to see them and opened my eyes. They were hovering right in front of the window. As soon as I saw them, I clearly understood, or was told somehow, that the two human-shaped things at the front were angels and the also human-shaped one in the middle behind was God. In this dream, God was Jesus at the same time. Their looks were so different from my imagination. None of them had wings nor was wearing white. All of them were quite young with black hair, wearing black hooded coats. They were flying just by themselves, with their arms lightly forward and their knees slightly bent. I was completely awed and fearful. God/Jesus was looking straight into my eyes with a serious gaze while hovering. Then, He turned and flew away with His angels high up in the sky. When they disappeared, my mother came into my room. I told her what had just happened but she showed no interest. Instead, she asked me to let her hear our new song. The moment I pushed a play button, I woke up. Later on the same day, totally unexpectedly, our new song had been finished at long last.

It was so funny, ironic, stupid and joyful…

When I decided to go back to the mix down from the mastering of our new song in order to boost its overall volume, I prepared to take a few more months to complete it. Once I accepted the delay and released myself from constraint called time, things presented a new twist. I had compared the volume of our song to other CDs with the stereo components. Our song came from the computer through the line-in of the stereo, which meant I compared the line-in sound to CDs. Before going back to the mix down, I burned the song to a CD as a small-volume version because except for the volume, the mastering went perfectly. It happened when I checked the sound of the CD. The volume was as large as other CDs! It had been indeed boosted already during the mastering. I just compared it in a wrong way through the line-in. I had been struggling with the volume for a couple of months based on my false judgement. When I heard our song at the right volume, I found out how silly I was and laughed out loud. At the same time, I burst into tears for indescribable joy. The only remaining problem to complete this song was the volume. Now that the volume was boosted, the song’s completion was within my grasp. Looking up at the ceiling of my room, I was loudly laughing, crying, then laughing, and again crying, with tears falling down. It was so funny, ironic, stupid and joyful…