exist†trace – selection

Happy November Igu Day! Well, I missed it by an hour in my time zone, but close enough.

I have only one note for this song, the fourth track from The Only Garden, and as I don’t feel like writing footnotes, I’ll say it here.

In the lyrics we find the English phrase “Nobody can’t stop.” I’m willing to bet what miko wanted to say was 誰も止められない (daremo tomerarenai) in Japanese and she (or someone else) mistranslated that to “Nobody can’t stop” because “daremo” is translated as either “everybody,” “anybody,” or “nobody” depending on whether the subsequent verb is affirmative or negative. In this case, since “tomerarenai” means “can’t stop,” it seems logical to translate this phrase as “nobody can’t stop.” The problem with that translation is that the meaning then becomes “there is not a person who cannot stop” or in other words, “everyone is capable of stopping.” From context, that doesn’t make sense, especially given the last line of the song. So, I think it’s safe to assume that this was a mistake that came about from a lack of familiarity with double negatives in English.

Below the lyric translation, I’ve included a translation of the part of miko’s blog post that’s explicitly about this song. I’ve skipped over the first part of the post, where she was talking about how pre-orders of The Only Garden were going, and where she gave her usual warning about not reading the post if you want to hear the song first.


kirameku hana ga futatsu ni fuete
toritachi ga ai saezuru koro
kyou mo bokura wa daichi wo kurau
karera wa utau no ni

arubeki sugata nasubeki koto wo suteta
bokura wa koko ni ikiru

te ni shita kimi to no asu ni
nani mo egakarenakute mo
sore demo

This is selection
This is selection
This is selection
Nobody can’t stop

touta sareru to shitte wa ite mo
hito wa kenmei mogaku mono rashii
fukanzen demo itoshii mono yo
ubugoe wo yamenaide

owari wo tsugeru kane wa
hajimari no shigunaru da to shinjite

kanashimi no uta mo kono mune ni daite

unmei ga kimi wo hitei suru nara
nando mo tachikesu sore ga bokura da

kikoeru ka kikoeru ka
mune wo sasu raimei no moto
ikiru kara tomerarenai uta


Now there are two more sparkling flowers
It’s that time when birds chirp of love
Today, as before, we ravage the earth
Even though they’re singing

We live here,
Having discarded how we should be and what we should do

Even if there’s nothing written
For the future I’ve gained with you
Even so

This is selection
This is selection
This is selection
Nobody can stop it

Even though humans basically know they’ve been selected
It seems they’re creatures who struggle on anyway
O, my beloved, even if it’s incomplete
Don’t stop crying out with life

Believe that the bell announcing the end
Is the signal of a new beginning

I hold the song of sadness also in my heart

If destiny denies you
I’ll obliterate it over and over—that’s who we are

Can you hear it? Can you hear it?
Beneath the peal of thunder that pierces the heart
It’s the song that can’t be stopped, because we’re alive

miko Blog, July 26, 2020

The five of us actually just recorded this song together in the studio today.

Even among the songs we recorded this time around, this one is particularly long-lived. Since its birth at one of our monthly one-man shows in 2017, we’ve raised this song through subsequent shows with lots of tender, loving care. At some shows, Jyou would do her a cappela “Can you hear it?” at the beginning of the song, and at others she’d use the battle cry at the end to segue into the next song. So it’s a song that can be presented in many different ways.

Since I didn’t pass this song on to the other members until it was pretty much completely done, other than very fine points of the arrangement, it’s pretty much as it was at the demo stage. Hardly anything was changed for the recording. Of the songs we recorded, I think this is the one that’s closest to its live version.

That said, what I was most particular about was the tone of Omi-sama’s guitar in the intro. I wanted to make the guitar and synthesizer sound like one sound, so I made them do it over many, many times, practically driving them insane. But thanks to that, we were able to create a sound that more than matched my vision.

Omi-sama and Narita-san (our record producer), thank you so much.

Another thing that influenced that part of the song was that, in 2017, right before we played this song publicly for the first time, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park passed away. I’ve kept this to myself all this time, but this guitar phrase and the idea for its tone is in memory of him.

As for me, for recording I used my main guitar Snapper-kun and my favorite amp, the Marshall JVM, with basically the same settings as I use live.

Naoto was very particular about the handling of the deep sounds in the phrases that used the 5-string bass. She spent more time on the sound engineering than on recording, working at it with great care. When you can record simple root playing with good sound, you get goosebumps the whole time.

Though I said that hardly anything was changed for the recording of this song, I did keep on adding to the lyrics until the very last minute, taking one more step into the main theme that “selection” = natural selection. My pet theories on humans form the basis of this song, but I won’t get into those here as this would get really long if I did. Next time! (LOL)

The more I live, the more things change, including my way of thinking, but ultimately, even if I make mistakes or have regrets, I know that music has to be our way of life. We got ourselves together and said, “We’re gonna make this without being afraid,” and made The Only Garden. I hope that it somehow reaches firmly into everyone.

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