Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Serenade (English translation of the Post on 29 Sep)

This last 2,3 days, this one particular song has stuck to my mind, so I have chosen this song as today's topic - "Serenade" by Fujifabric.

The song begins with the sound of crickets in the bush and a babbling of brook.
It reminded me the beginning part of the song "Hataraku Otoko" (A Working Man) by Unicorn as the start of these two song slightly resemble.
But the real content of the song is no comparison.
"Serenade" offers us fujifabric's unique outlook of the world in lyrics.
As usual, the lyrics of this song was written by Mr. Shimura and the music was also composed by him,
it can be said that it is based on Mr. Shimura's outlook of the world.

The sound of drums reminding us a drum and fife band and the sound of crickets and insects being played behind the melody are intertwined beautifully with the lyrics in harmony - makes us feel like wandering around in an amusement park in Europe, such as Tivoli Park in Denmark.

How great Fujifabric is to put this great song coupling with the masterpiece, "Wakamono No Subete" (All About Youth) in a single CD!
A normal band group will sell this song as a single again...

The a serenade is, in its most general sense, a musical composition, and/or performance, in someone's honor. Serenades are typically calm, light music. In fact, the word Serenade is derived from the word sereno, which means calm.
The classic serenade usage would be from a lover to his lady love through a window.
Music performed followed no one particular form, except that it was typically sung by one person accompanying himself on a portable instrument, most likely a guitar, lute or other plucked instrument.

Tom in "Tom and Jerry" plays a violin and sings a serenade for his girlfriend, and in a restaurant in Europe, a group holding musical instruments in hand come in and sing a serenade for your girlfriend instead of you.

Japanese have an impression that a serenade is still a music genre being dominant in the Western world.

Even though the style of a serenade is not so familiar with Japanese, we can vaguely guess as the song leads us to clearly picture the scene of standing outdoor at night.
A direct message to a lady cannot be found in the lyrics, but the song tells us something important in calm tones.

Because of the sound of crickets, we, Japanese people already assume the song is about "a long night in autumn". In this sense, the sound of crickets is the most effective to convey the atmosphere of a serenade at night time.

Therefore, the sound of leaves in "the wind swaying leaves on a tree" in lyrics is naturally assumed the sound of dry leaves just before falling in autumn, not the sound of fresh green leaves.

In the middle of the song, the phrase of  "the land of sleep" (literally in Japanese, it is "the forest of sleep" ) makes us feel that it is getting late at night.

The first song, "Wakamono No Subete" (All About Youth) makes us feel the end of summer, and being followed by "Serenade" in the beginning of autumn.

Let me think the reason why the third song in this single CD is "Planet of Bears"...

Towards the end of the song, the phrase of "soon   I've got to go   a serenade of farewell   when being vanished   come back as it was before" is so moving.
This phrase reminds a lot of Fujifabric fans in Japan Mr. Shimura, himself, and many comments have been written in websites.

I personally feel that Mr. Shimura means something in a broader sense like a life cycle in nature rather than pointing out himself. (but surely he himself is included in the life cycle anyway.)

Humans, dogs, plants and flowers, trees - all the living in nature.
When a life comes to the end, the next day the sun rises again as usual.
At the end, all go back to nature.
Japanese feel empathy and sensitivity of ephemera in the life cycle.

Many of Japanese fans see a projection of a bittersweet sadness of ephemera and transience of things, which is the core of Fujifabric lyrical world, in Mr. Shimura's premature death.

All the living creatures cannot avoid death, but life does not vanish become zero after death.
It just transforms into something else and continues living in another form eternally.

Death is not the end, it is just a transition stage that all the living creatures go through to reborn as something else, we believe.

"Serenade" by Fujifabric reminds us the life cycle of nature, which has been in Japanese people heart over centuries.
Enjoy discovering the world of Fujifabric!

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