Patreon and other things

Generally speaking, I hold a stance that the music I make is something to be shared as much as possible, and lately, I’ve been thinking about it and realizing that I’m a lot more closed up about my work than I would like to be.

That said, there are things that I ultimately end up fussing over. For one, I’m insistent that my work should be left more up to interpretation by the listener, and so I’m always worried that revealing too much would force one specific reading. On top of that, there’s a difficult balance between sharing your behind-the-scenes creative work and completely laying yourself bare; although there are times in the past I’ve openly shared completely unfinished things or rather personal data (such as fully tuned VSQx files for Vocaloid work, etc.), most of the time I’m not entirely comfortable putting out such things out for anyone and everyone to take…

But on the other hand, being too closed and shutting myself out entirely is not something I want to do, either. I want to open up anything that might be interesting or helpful to those who are looking for it, and as someone who was also helped by and inspired many people along the way, I feel like it’d be unfair to completely shut that out to others as well.

So in the interest of that, I started a Patreon. I don’t think it’s a perfect solution, but it seems like it at least satisfies some of my concerns, so if you’re interested, please do take a look.

I think the majority of the content distributed there will be things I normally wouldn’t have been comfortable with putting out otherwise, such as fully tuned VSQx files or such. I have no intention of locking what I do behind a paywall, so everything I was giving out earlier (vocal guides and instrumentals, etc.) will be open to everyone as usual.

In the interest of that, I think I would like talk more freely about my work in general, especially on this blog. It’s a bit difficult because every time I post something here I have to write it in three languages, but I’ll do my best ^^;; Thank you for your support in the future.

Love Butterfly

I wrote lyrics for two of the tracks on maya‘s new album Love Butterfly!

1. Pride Deadlock
7. wisteria

The album will be sold at Comiket 94 (Day 1/August 10, 2018) at Tokyo Big Sight, circle “asanagi” at table 西と03b. It was an honor to work on it, so please check it out if you’re interested! You can also preorder it on Toranoana or Melonbooks (Animate will be added later).

In addition, although it’s not a new album, copies of COSMOCRYSTAL II side blue will be sold on the same day at the ARM (A Reyvateil’s Melody) booth, table 西ぬ16b.

As for personal work, I’ve been working on a new Vocaloid song since last month…I decided to experiment a bit with a departure from my usual style, so it’s quite challenging and taking quite a bit longer than usual ( ´ ▽ ` ) That said, I’m now completely in the middle of moving, and so it’s forced me to put all musical activities on hold…in addition, ARM is currently planning on making a release for this year’s Winter Comiket, so I’m going to have to subsequently shift my efforts there for a while.

But I definitely want to finish a solo Vocaloid song soon, since I ended up not being able to make one for several months due to my health, so I’d like to aim for getting the new one up sometime in September if possible. As I’ve largely recovered I’ve started to solidify plans for some projects later this and next year, so please look forward to that!

Adult life is hard, but every day I would like to strive to deliver the best music I can (*^▽^*)

Pride Deadlock

(Nico Nico Douga)

I wrote the lyrics for maya‘s song “Pride Deadlock”! The illustration is by しーな (Shiina) ☆

I’ve written lyrics in quite a few different languages up to this point, but English is the language I was born and raised with and have the most intimate relationship with and so in the end that really is the one I’m most comfortable with…and thus I’m always really honored to be able to write English lyrics for others.

So upon first hearing the song, I thought “okay, I have to make lyrics to fit this really cool song,” and then “if it’s gonna be cool, then what kind of subject should it be about?”, and then eventually it became a story about “a struggle between two people”. So as for what kind of relationship that entails, that’s probably best for everyone to come up with their own interpretations about (but then, I say that a lot, don’t I?)…

I also have been a fan of the works of the two other people involved for a really long time, so it’s really been an honor ><

And by the by, it’s Gumi’s ninth anniversary! Seriously! You know, when I first got into Vocaloid in the summer of 2009, she was the most recent Vocaloid released at the time…and now she’s 9…seriously…

Incidentally, while this doesn’t have any pertinence to the main topic, in case anyone’s wondering “wait, what about your own original stuff?”…the truth is I had a really, really nasty cold throughout the entirety of May and spent the whole month lying in bed and unable to do anything (orz) When you’ve been spending the whole month in bed doing nothing but watch tokusatsu, it ends up getting really hard to get back into the rhythm of things after that. I’m really sorry…

That said, being a composer is my own kind of pride of sorts, and of course I’m not going to be abandoning my ARM work, so I’m slowly, slowly getting myself back on track! Lately my working hours have gone up and there’s a possibility I might move residence, so I’m a lot busier than I was last year, but I really want to have a full album out by next year, so I’m gonna do my best.

Welcome to the Tricolor World

This is the song I made for Decagon, which we released in commemoration of UTAU’s 10th anniversary at Minna no UTAU 2018. (You can still get a digital copy if you like!)

I had a lot of thoughts behind this song in particular…because this was a song made in respect to UTAU’s anniversary, I thought I’d make a song in respect to the feelings and impressions I had when I first encountered UTAU in 2009. The “tricolor” in the title refers to the Defoko, Teto, and Momo’s three colors of purple, red, and pink (related to some of the early planning ideas we had for Decagon‘s overall theme), but in essence it’s about the title as a whole, which is the feeling of the new and mysterious “world” that UTAU seemed like for a newcomer like me at the time.

Since I’ve written songs in conlang before, I suppose it might seem like this might be another one, but in actuality the words are intentionally made to be meaningless nonsense (kind of like scat) 。(*^▽^*)ゞ Overall I wanted to focus more on “sounds” and “feelings” rather than words, so I put my efforts into making effects with vocals and playful sounds to make it more like a song that felt like it was “alive”. Beyond that, I think the issue of “regardless of language”, while something I wasn’t consciously thinking of at the time of songwriting, ended up kind of oddly fitting…it’s easy to forget this in the modern era where multilanguage UTAU are everywhere, but back then it really was hard to do much as an English speaker! But in spite of that everyone was always working hard and doing their best and I think that’s what made everything so wonderful.

Incidentally, the last time I participated in Minna no UTAU was in 2013, where I also made another fairly experimental song, so I hope there’s some audible improvement ( ´ ▽ ` ) The Myriad circle was actually formed right out of the United Together Around UTAU project to begin with, so we’re very grateful for the opportunity to have participated again.

The mastering was by GHPZ, and the art by 遠影 (Tohkage). Thank you very much for all your help!

Decagon release info

As announced earlier, I’ll be participating as a member of the Myriad circle in an UTAU 10th anniversary commemoration album, Decagon! I made the fifth track, “Welcome to the Tricolor World”.

The album will debut at the Minna no UTAU event on April 8, 2018, and will be sold at booth D17 (ふしぎって何色なの?). In addition, we’ll be selling the album digitally and accepting preorders for a limited print run on our Bandcamp.

Please check out the album if you’re interested! I hope UTAU will continue to have many prosperous years ahead of it ( ´ ▽ ` )

VY1 and VY2

For a chance of pace I’ve decided to use the blog more often for things not strictly related to new releases, so in the interest of this month’s VY Day I decided to talk about VY1 and 2 for a bit.

To be honest, as far as Vocaloid is concerned, under most circumstances I’m hesitant to talk too deeply about “my version of ________”…although I do have my own personal mental images, I don’t take those images into account when making music and I’m afraid of getting it conflated with it. In general, I’d prefer it if people interpreted my music the way they wanted to without taking my personal preferences into account. However, in regards to the VYs, since they don’t have any official characters to begin with, I figured it’d probably be better to conversely describe the way I portray them in a little more detail.

Of course, if you don’t want to see it that way, I’m perfectly fine with that as well ( ´ ▽ ` ) I just thought it would be fun. For this purpose, I decided to redraw some concept sheets I drew around this time last year. (Please mind the dust as I still have a long way to go in terms of artistic skill…)

I based my designs for VY1 and 2 off the concept of spirits (or tsukumogami, if you will) whose “real form” are the objects depicted on the boxart — as a result, I wanted to make the character designs look like the objects themselves taking human shape.

A concept for VY1V4. It might be a little difficult to tell with my drawing style, but she’s intended to have the appearance of an adult in her 20s.

Actually, if you look closely, I think this kind of hairstyle would be quite impractical in real life, haha…The impression I had of V4’s boxart was that it was a fusion of traditional and modern elements, so I wanted to give off that image as well. Since it seemed impractical to reflect the kanzashi in exactly the same way it appears on the boxart, the one she’s wearing is a fairly simple one, but as you can see there’s a bit of an aura coming from it.

The glasses are merely my own preference — I initially drew her without them, but once I put them on her I couldn’t take them off…( ´ ▽ ` ) Incidentally, I don’t think tsukumogami would need glasses in the first place, so they’re probably fake…

VY2V3’s design is comparatively simpler than VY1V4’s, but as much as I considered modifying it multiple times I never found myself to be satisfied with anything more complex. Now, if VY2V4 were to be a thi

The overall concept is not too different from VY1’s, athough I’m not very good at drawing men _(:3」∠)_

This is just a fun little thing to think about, but when I put these two next to each other I can’t help but imagine a sort of loose cannon and straight-man pair…VY1 has a very strong and bright voice that sometimes has a bit of a petulant quality to it (especially in V4), while VY2 sounds a lot more grounded…but that’s just in my head, of course. ( ´ ▽ ` )


It’s a somewhat tangentially related topic, but there’s something I wanted to address sooner or later…

VY1 and 2 were my first Vocaloids, and because of that they hold a very special place in my heart, but lately I haven’t been able to use them as much as I want to…in 2014 or so I became too uncomfortable with writing lyrics in Japanese due to my lack of skill with the language, meaning that I could only use them for songs written in conlang. Lately I’ve been trying to improve at it, so I started experimenting with writing again, using MEIKO and KAITO in case I ended up unsatisfied and needing to switch back to English. If I can get more comfortable with it, then…

In any case, from now on I really would like to use them more often, so as the time and opportunity allows I’m going to do my best.

Decagon

Along with the rest of the Myriad circle, I’ll be participating in an UTAU 10th anniversary album, Decagon! It’s scheduled to be distributed at the 2018 Minna no UTAU doujinshi event.

Further details will be posted as we get closer to the event. Please look forward to it! ☆

Muse Fragment

Happy twelfth birthday to KAITO! This song was made for the third and final ABCD Project, which I had the honor of participating in from the beginning to the end.

I wanted to try doing something different each year, so it kind of ended up as something like a wistful song followed by a cute song followed by a melancholic song, V3 Japanese followed by V3 English followed by V1, and…conlang lyrics followed by English followed by Japanese. Other than the obvious difficulties of writing in a language that’s not my native, it’s always quite a challenge writing in Japanese because I’m not as good as writing things at the same level as what I could do in English, so I hope the lyrics for this haven’t come off as too blunt…( ´ ▽ ` ) But I hope the ideas and feelings I put in this got across, anyway.

Either way, I’d always wanted to make a song like this at some point, so I’m very happy I was able to.

The art was provided by セン (Sen), whom I was extremely honored to work with as I had been admiring their art for a really, really long time m(_ _)m In addition, much thanks to riodemu for looking over the lyrics (especially on such short notice!).

Incidentally, the title of the song refers to both the concept of the divine “Muse” that poets would invoke in order to request inspiration for their work, and the literary definition of a person or concept that a creator uses, regardless of whether it actually exists or not (such as Dante’s Beatrice or Plutarch’s Laura).

In any case, once again, I’m really happy to have been able to participate in KAITO’s birthday and ABCD Project this year…personally, for me, KAITO is a really important partner for my music making, and I always love seeing the effort and love that people put into his character and making things for him.

2017 year wrap-up

Happy end of 2017! A lot of things happened this year, so it’s fun to look back on what’s been going on. Initially I intended to only really use this site for updates related to my creative works, but lately I’ve gotten the feeling that I’ve been being a little too stiff in regards to things like this, so I thought maybe I should start talking about things in a little more of a relaxed fashion ( ´ ▽ ` )…

This year I wrote more detailed comments on each song I posted, so I don’t think I need to talk about the details again, but in short, I put out six Vocaloid songs (five self-made, one collab), and we finally released COSMOCRYSTAL II side blue! Overall, it was a very productive year and I’m satisfied with the work I’ve done for it.

I don’t know if it was because of Miku’s tenth birthday or what, but I ended up taking a lot of time to think about things…as of spring next year, it will have been six years since I started making music.

This year in particular, I got to meet a lot of new people, I had a lot of unforgettable experiences, and I’m truly thankful to the people who have supported my work and me, as a composer and Vocaloid producer.

As for next year…although it did end up in a good proliferation of work, I admit there were times I overworked myself a bit this year, so I’d like to take it a little easier. Moreover, I’d also like to put out a full album, so I think the number of uploads next year may be somewhat lower, but I’ll be continuing Vocaloid work with the same enthusiasm as before. Among those should be next year’s ABCD Project, naturally.

Other than that, I’ll also be continuing work on COSMOCRYSTAL II side red, along with some other potential projects unrelated to either Vocaloid or ARM, so please look forward to those!

In general, I would like to try different things on top of what I usually do and experiment…for the record, I recently upgraded my setup with a lot of new software for creative works (especially VSTs), but that’s not going to amount to anything if I don’t make proper use of it, right…? ( ´ ▽ ` )

Well, as always, there’s a lot of things I want to do, and never enough time to do it, especially with other real life obligations going on. But as always, I’m going to put all my effort into doing what I can, so cheers to the new year!