Translation

exist†trace – SORA

Happy August Igu Day!

Finally, we come to the last song on VIRGIN, “SORA.”

Sound-wise, this song is very fitting to close out an album; it sounds like an ending theme. That, along with the soaring melody, remind me of “Calling” by Kyosuke Himuro, which was used as the ending theme to the original Advent Children. The lyrics to both are bittersweet.

But apparently, if I knew more theory with which to verbalize what guitars are doing beyond sounding cool, I would’ve instead thought of “Pride” by U2, or perhaps “Le ciel” by Malice Mizer (whose title, fittingly, also means “sky,” and come to think of it…thematically has a lot in common with this song. Huh). More on that in the footnotes to miko’s blog post about “SORA,” which I’ve translated in full below the lyric romanization and translation. I didn’t understand how the lines about the white pages and monochrome dreams fit into this song until I read her explanation; that greatly influenced my word choice there.

Lyrics in Japanese can be found here on J-Lyric.

SORA

sora ni kakinagutta yume no kakera wa itsuka
ame to kaze ni nagasare nijimu kioku no suisai

enogu wa nijiiro tegami ni himeta awairo1
doushite omoidasenai kimi to kakushita ano basho

todokanai mama de kimi wa asu tabidatsun da
wakare no kotoba wo

sayonara itsuka megurikuru toki no naka
mata deaeta nara te wo tsunagou
sayonara mune ni okizari no suketchi wo
mata egaketa nara te wo tsunageru hazu

kizukeba shiroi peeji to narabu kigou ni owarete
yume mo monokuroomu ni okuyuki no nai yosouzu

shikakui mado kara oozora ni utsushitemita
tsugihagi no firumu

sayonara itsuka megurikuru toki no naka
mata deaeta nara te wo tsunagou
sayonara ima mo mayottara tazuneteru
futari de nazotta himitsu no seiza ni

sayonara itsuka megurikuru toki no naka
mata deaeta nara te wo tsunagou
sayonara mune ni okizari no suketchi wo
mata egaketa nara me wo tojite

sayonara itsuka megurikuru toki no naka
mata deaeta nara te wo tsunagou
oyasumi yume de ano koro ni modoretara
kakushita tegami wo kimi to akeyou

hikari wo koete kumo wo nuke
mou ichido egakou kono sora wo

bai bai

SKY

At some point, the fragments of dream scribbled in the sky
Got washed away by rain and wind,
blurring the watercolor painting that is my memory

I hid the faint hues of the rainbow-colored paints in a letter
Why can’t I remember the place where we used to hide?2

You’ll set out on your journey tomorrow
Never having received my parting words

Goodbye
If we could ever meet again in the cycles of time, we would hold hands3
Goodbye
If I could ever redraw the sketch I left behind in my heart
I bet we would be holding hands

Before I know it, I’m hounded by white pages arrayed with symbols
Even my dreams have become a shallow, monochrome concept rendering

From my square window,
I tried projecting the patched film onto the sky

Goodbye
If we could ever meet again in the cycles of time, we would hold hands
Goodbye
If I get lost even now, I’ll ask the secret constellation we traced out together

Goodbye
If we could ever meet again in the cycles of time, we would hold hands
Goodbye
If I could redraw the sketch I left behind in my heart, I’ll close my eyes and…

Goodbye
If we could ever meet again in the cycles of time, we would hold hands
Good night
If I could go back to that time in a dream,
we would open the letter I’d hidden, together

Go beyond the light, past the clouds
Let’s draw this sky one more time

Bye bye

miko Blog, May 21, 2012

Finally, finally, the last day is here…

Today marks the thirteenth day of making-of and explanation posts for our new album VIRGIN, which releases tomorrow, May 23rd.4

As it’s the last day, I think it’s fitting to talk about the song that graces the final spot on our album!

We split up the eight new songs written for VIRGIN, recording four in the first half and four in the second half. But this song was in the first half; we started recording in November of last year.5

Ring a bell? I’m sure some people remember this, but “SORA” was the last song we played at our one-man live show at Daikan’yama UNIT last November.

 

Do you remember the dreams you laid out for yourself when you were little?

Do you remember the first time you had feelings for someone?

What does the “sky” you imagine look like?

This song is saying “goodbye” to all the things that put us in a box.

Tied up in our hectic daily schedules, staring at nothing but our immediate next steps, we of course forget even our purest feelings. That’s true for me too.

But if, when I wrote this song, I was able to remember how I was in those light, open to the core, pure days, and put that into words, then I felt as if this song would gently light the path I walked, as well as my past and my future.

Of my songs, “SORA” is probably the one that is most like a watercolor painting.6

The guitar arpeggios that ring out all through this song have a 3/16th delay on them.7 I played as if this sound were a veil enveloping the song. It’s a sound drawn on the clear canvas that is “song” as if painting with a brush, moving the colors around. I want people to close their eyes and listen to it carefully.

 

And then, if you’re in repeat playback mode, after the lightness of “SORA” you do a 180 as its total opposite, “WONDERLAND,” starts playing again. (LOL)

Just as you crave something spicy after eating something sweet, after this uncharacteristically light song, you can go back to the safety of our harder sound. I think all of you will surely become captives to VIRGIN thanks to this contrast.

I bet some people were actually able to get it before the official release date, right?

If you’re at work, you only have to be patient for a little longer!

If you’re waiting for your copy to arrive in the mail, or can’t listen until tomorrow for whatever reason, just be patient a little longer!

But it’s okay, because VIRGIN won’t run away. After all, we made it while aiming for a sound that can shine bright through the ages.

 

Having shared my love for these songs for 13 days straight, the thought that this is the last day makes me get a bit teary-eyed.

It is really, truly, a good album. It’s an album we made with great, great care.

I want as many people as possible to listen to it. I won’t ask that people like it 100%, or understand it 100%, or anything else unreasonable like that. If people have their own interpretations, or only listen to the songs they like, that’s fine.

VIRGIN, our maiden work.

Please listen to it.


1. Jyou sings the compound 淡色 using each kanji’s kun-yomi to get “awairo,” but its official reading is “tanshoku.”

2. Technically this line says “Why can’t I remember that place where I hid with you,” meaning the habitual action implied by “used to” isn’t explicitly in this line. I suppose it’s possible that maybe this was a one-time thing.

3. It can be tempting to hear the なら and 繋ごう and assume that this line says “If we can meet again in the cycles of time, let’s hold hands.” However, note that 出会えた is in past tense, not nonpast. The construction we see in this line, [condition with a verb in past tense]なら、[nonpast result] implies that the condition is unlikely or even impossible. So by saying 出会えなら instead of 出会えなら, miko is implying this reunion is unlikely to happen, hence why I went with “If we could ~, we would ~,” which has a lower degree of certainty than saying “When we ~, let’s ~” or even “If we could~, let’s~” (which honestly just sounds a bit off to me). For a more in-depth look at this grammar point, here is a scholarly journal article (from 1983!) which I saw cited on Tofugu’s article about なら. Searching for either たなら or 反実仮想 within the text of the PDF of the former will get you to the part where the grammar is discussed.

4. I don’t know why the dates are off. I actually noticed this discrepancy in a previous blog post too. Maybe miko miscounted the days when she started posting? Or maybe Ameba (the platform hosting miko’s blog) is showing me the date & time she posted as it would have been locally from my current accessing location in the US, explaining the extra day?

5. I’m actually not sure what miko is referring to when she says “first and second half.” When I first read this post, I assumed she was saying they placed four new songs each in the first and second half of the album. If you look at how the tracks are arranged, that is indeed the case. (“TRUE” and “KISS IN THE DARK” had both been previously released on the EP TRUE, and “Daybreak,” “Little Mary~,” and “I feel you” had been on the EP THE LAST DAYBREAK.) But the next thing miko says makes it sound like she’s actually talking about the band’s recording sessions.

6. I don’t know if miko is just metaphorically likening her songs to different kinds of paintings, or if “representative of the watercolor painting division” is some idiom that’s flying over my head and isn’t in my Japanese idioms dictionary.

7. A “delay” is a repetition of the same sound, or an “echo” if you will. If I understood this guitarist’s video correctly, 付点八分 (futen hachi bun) translates to 3/16ths, or an eighth note with a rhythm dot next to it. From what I gather, delay times in English are usually given in milliseconds. I learned from this same video that U2 guitarist The Edge is particularly known for using delays in this guitar work. You can read more about how he creates his signature sound at this page (for example), which seems fascinating but is entirely over my head. Fender’s page on the general subject of delays is a bit more beginner friendly.

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