Fragrance

This song is a little different from my usual. I started this about a year and a half ago, but repeatedly got furstrated because I felt like my abilities at the time were insufficient for what I wanted to make…ah, well, I hope I was able to do it in the end. Don’t worry, this isn’t meant to be a permanent shift in style or anything, I just wanted to experiment once in a while ^^;;

As you can probably see, this is my first song using V5. It’s taken a while to get used to, but ultimately the difference between English transitions between V4 and V5 is pretty incredible…Since I expect the majority of my songs from here on out to be in English, this is a huge help for me.

The art is by Krystal, who put a lot of care into the difficult request I gave her — thank you very much!

The VPR and .wav file are out on Patreon as well, so please take a look!

I don’t think I will be able to upload another song this year despite my best efforts, but CC2 side red is still on schedule to be released during Winter Comiket, so please look forward to that! Otherwise, let’s meet again on KAITO’s birthday next year!

Dark Chocolate and Maraschino Cherry

In honor of MEIKO’s birthday, Oxy and I would like to announce a project we have been keeping under wraps for a while: a compilation album staffed primarily by overseas creators, Dark Chocolate and Maraschino Cherry! In addition, we’ve started a Kickstarter to fund a CD print of it, so if you have interest, please take a look!

This has been something that has been in the works for over a year now, and is one of those things that started from “something we should do sometime” and somehow became a full project. It’s admittedly somewhat ambitious — trying to fund a physical print of an overseas Vocaloid album is a difficult task. But I have a personal attachment to CDs, and it just wouldn’t sit well with me if we went through all this only to settle for a digital-only release.

Technically speaking I’m a “manager” for the project, but I feel like most of what I was doing was just sending emails! In the end, what’s making all of this possible are the dedicated efforts of all the participants who put their utmost into it and really love MEIKO. I think this is why I have such an addiction to compilation albums — they represent the variety of talents and efforts put in by all sorts of different people.

We will do our best, so please support the Kickstarter if you can. Thank you (*^▽^*)

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! ☆