This is something I’ve been planning for a very long time now, but: I will be participating, in person, in the Vocaloid Paradise Extra Edition (VOCALOID PARADISE 番外編) event at the Nagoya Congress Center on May 19, 2019.
Yes, it’s an event in Japan. Yes, I’m an American. I did say I’ve been planning this for a long time, right?…
Well, the truth of the matter is, tabling has been something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time, but as it is now, such a thing is not exactly very easy when you’re in my position. Tabling with music is already somewhat of an impossibility in the West, where events like Comiket and M3 don’t exist, and anime convention Artist Alleys only have a market for a very limited type of product. Combine that with the fact my specialty is “folk music primarily with Vocaloids MEIKO and KAITO,” and you get something that has effectively no market at any sort of event here. It’s not that I’m adverse to tabling here in principle, but reserving a table for something where I’d be lucky to even sell a single copy would be a rather horrible embarrassment.
Vocaloid Paradise Extra Edition is home to KAITO Paradise and MEIKO Paradise and, this year, has started KaiMei Paradise for those with products featuring both. As such, it’s the one place where a product like the ones I make actually stands a chance of getting any reception. Moreover, it’s a precious chance to meet other creators and fans in one place. And although I haven’t been able to directly table at an event before, I’ve already participated in multiple works that were made for events, so it’s not like I’m a complete stranger to the concept. All I needed was to be bold enough to make the trip to Japan for it. Unfortunately, I tend to have a rather reckless personality, and so one thing led to another…
(That said, it’s not like I’m the best at Japanese, and my ability to speak is even worse, so I pray that I won’t become a burden on everyone…)
In preparation for this, I’ve been hard at work preparing what I hope to release as my first solo album, which I plan to release at the event. I’ll also be bringing extra remainder copies of the MEIKO compilation album Dark Chocolate and Maraschino Cherry for those who missed out on the Kickstarter (although there won’t be any bonus merch attached to it). In addition, accompanying me will be hyoujisama, who will be bringing a horde of KAITO-centric art products, so please look forward to those too (*^▽^*)
This brings us to our second order of business, which is that I have joined the Atelier doujinshi circle Faraway Asterism. The Atelier series is one that’s been particularly important to me for quite a long time now, especially in terms of its music — I first played Atelier Ayesha at the end of 2015, and became so enamored with it that the song I released shortly after, “anoi isál yu mlál“, drew heavy influences from its music. From there I started playing the other games in the series and completely fell in love with the music and atmosphere and characters. However, as a musician who was never much good at visual art, I never felt that there were many opportunities for me to provide something in terms of creative tribute, and I’m very happy that I’ll be able to start doing so with the cooperation of the circle.
Faraway Asterism’s first project is a fan book bringing together compiled creative work from overseas Atelier fans and giving them an outlet to express their love for the series, so I will be participating in it (although the details of how will be kept a secret for now!). The circle leaders, Fiora and Miri, will be bringing the book to this year’s Atelier Fes (アトリエフェス) doujinshi event on May 26, 2019. And by complete miracle happenstance, this year’s VoPara-Ex and Atelier Fes are within the same week, so while I will leave the primary handling of the table to Fiora and Miri, it would be silly of me to not drop by…and for the sake of the occasion, you might see something else from me besides just the book. (But details about that will have to remain a secret for now.)
I hope those of you who are able to attend either of the events can look forward to these, and if not, these things will be released for overseas purchase after the event, so please support us even then! In the end, because I am an American young adult, making trips to Japan is not something I can easily do at leisure, and I would not be surprised if I’m never able to attend another Japanese event in my life. But as someone who takes quite a bit of pride in being a Western creator, I am very much at peace with this, and once all this has passed I would like to focus my efforts more domestically in advocating for music-selling culture in the West, while also of course continuing to send my work abroad when the opportunities come. Music and art are things I firmly believe should cross all kinds of international boundaries.
Well, there’s a lot of work ahead of me, so wish me luck…!