"The Collection of All The Poems by Masahiko Shimura" has gone on sale in Japan yesterday. "Shimura Masahiko Zen Shishu"
I personally have a mixed feelings about this book, but let's focus on the fact that the lyrics in Fujifabric's songs are evaluated as a poet, a proper literary work.
The lyrics are written assuming to go along with music in a song, so it is something appealing to our auditory sense first. When it is once published as a poem which comes through visual sense fully, would it be as attractive as the ones along with the music... don't we wonder?
If the lyrics relying on the "sounds" of the words too much without noticeable meanings, or if the words in the lyrics are too simple and realistic, they cannot be a captivating poem. Having considered all these facts, it can be said that the lyrics in Fujifabric's songs have been evaluated as a poem.
The first four songs released as single CDs (Sakura No Kisetsu, Kagerou, Akakiiro No Kinmokusei, Ginga) tell us the beauty of distinctive Japanese four seasons giving a vivid description with lively words - not only natural scenery, but unbridled emotion in each season.
On the other hand, some songs such as "Kuchibiru No Sore" and "Surfer King", which tend to enjoy word play rather than serious messages, are full of charm.
This is the moment that we realise Shimura kun is a genius.
" Tokyo, Ongaku, Rock'n Roll" ( Tokyo, Ongaku, Rock'n Roll), a collection of his diary that he wrote over 6 years including the one on the 10th December 2009, two weeks before his death, is such an interesting book.
He had a literary talent as well as music talent.
Japanese old proverb says, "God does not give two gifts.", but how come Shimura kun had received so many gifts? One hand is not enough to count his talents!
Let's move on to "Chronicle", the 4th album released on 20th May 2009.
This album is a chronicle of Fujifabric's music and also a chronicle of Shimura kun's 28 years of life.
The music in this album is not something that he made just before leaving to Sweden and quickly recorded there, but it is full of Shimura kun's life experiences including encounter and farewell.
As a front man of Fujifabric, Shimura kun insisted to place an axis in the album by writing all the lyrics, music, and even arrangement of the music on his own. To show his strong will of adamant, he made a perfect sound source for demonstration that he recorded in the studio at home. Shimura was so talented that he could play many instruments - a guitar, a piano, a synthesizer, drums, a bass guitar, a flute, etc, and when he made this kind of sound source to let the other members listen to the new songs, he played all the instruments by himself.
From the musical point of view, Fujifabric has proved an amazing growth in this album.
"Let's try all the new words, sounds and forms of music which Fujifabric has never used before!", Shimura kun suggested, and all sorts of "new things" were attempted - disco-tech sound in "Sugar!!", a twanging sound of guitar along straight 8 beats in "Merry-Go Round", genuine rock sound in "All Right", the soft sound of piano and vocal in "Time Machine", packing cold winter atmosphere of Stockholm in "Stockholm".
It was a big challenge for Shimura kun to make many new attempts.
At the end, it worked out so well!
Between the end of August and the beginning of September 2008, Shimura kun had an operation removing a polyp from the throat. Details are written in the book, Tokyo, Ongaku, Rock'n Roll.
There is always a risk in any type of operation, and Shimura kun was warned by a doctor that "in the worst case, you will lose your voice.".
Before he went to stay in hospital, he wrote many pieces of music.
The result turned out to be perfect, but he prepared for the worst case, and made a sound source at home and handed to the other members.
In January 2009, Fujifabric left Japan heading to Sweden with many instruments.
Will be continued to the next post, "recording in Sweden".
Today's song is "Chronicle" from "Chronicle".
The famous interviewer of a magazine, "Ongaku To Hito" (Music and People) described this song as "seeming a bit positive and looking at the future.".