I had been away from music production for more than ten years, for various reasons, but I felt that I had no desire to create.
Then, by chance, I was blessed with an opportunity to have more time for myself.
By confronting myself, the “desire” that had been hibernating for a long time, and that I thought had disappeared, began to reappear.
I wanted to make music and express myself again.
I think it was around May of 2020 that I started to feel that way.
I had been learning to compose music since I was in high school.
I have more than 200 compositions, although many of them are poorly written and cannot be published.
I may eventually publish some of the better ones in some form or another.
I was a freshman in high school in 1995, when Windows 95 arrived in my house.
I can only thank my late father for giving me an application that allowed me to compose music in those early days of the Internet.
Anyway, I was hooked.
I never dreamed that making music would be so much fun.
As a hobby, I composed music, wrote lyrics, sometimes asked friends and acquaintances to write lyrics for me, recorded songs in my room at my parents’ house (now that I think about it, it’s a big nuisance to the neighbors, but those were the days of generosity), and burned them onto CD-Rs.
I used to print my own label designs on CD label stickers and stick them on.
For lyric cards, I used a home printer, a disc cutter, and a stapler.
I remember going to an office supply store with my father to buy a stapler for saddle-stitching booklets.
I would make 10 or 20 copies and hand them out to our friends, and I was satisfied with that.
Now that I am working, I don’t have the time to devote to such a hobby.
I continued to compose music while working, but I began to feel the limits.
I couldn’t find the time.
In the little time I was lucky enough to have, the ideas that came out of my tired body were not good enough.
Spontaneously, I stopped making music.
And now, here I am.
My creative urge, which had been in hibernation, came out like a bamboo shoot after the rain and drove me to create.
I decided not to use the studies I had been saving.
I had a feeling that I would get some good ideas, and more importantly, I was curious to see what would come out of me now.
For this album, I decided to write the lyrics first.
I used to write the songs first, but I decided to change my style.
I was excited to see how it would turn out, and more than anything, I wanted to try something new.
10 years have changed the shape of “what I want to express in words” in my mind in no small way.
I’ll leave the details to another section.
Technology has advanced over the past 10 years, and the environment for music production has completely changed.
I got rid of my old computer, sound sources and applications, and I’ve decided to make all of that new.
I set up a soundproof recording booth.
Realistic AI-based sound sources for guitar and bass were being released one after another.
In the past, sound sources were external.
In mixing and mastering, plug-ins have made remarkable progress.
The microphone was a condenser microphone, connected to an audio interface, and I worked in a reasonable environment.
Of course, it was frustrating not to be able to keep up with the schedule while earning money for food, clothing, and shelter, but in general, it was a time filled with the joy of creating something from scratch.
When I found a word I liked, I wrote it down.
When a good riff comes to mind, record it.
I saved up the materials and started to build.
I had to think about the structure of the songs.
It shouldn’t be boring, it shouldn’t be distracting.
My goal was to create a piece of music that had a clear line of reasoning in its complexity.
There are ten songs in the album.
I had decided on this from the beginning just because I thought it would be a good way to end the album, and I wanted to make sure that when the ten songs were lined up, there would be some kind of core that would run through the whole album.
The songs were ready.
Then came the hard part of mixing.
With the help of plug-ins, I was able to get closer to my ideal sound.
While repeating, “If I put up one side, I can’t put down the other,” I searched for a place to land.
It’s painful but fun work.
I added the same beat to the intro, middle, and outro of the album to create a circular structure.
I wanted the album to be enjoyed as a whole, rather than as individual songs.
The finished product was pressed at a pressing company.
I ordered the jacket, back inlay, and cap to a printing company.
I assembled the album by myself, inserting the bonus stickers and the liner in English translation.
As you can imagine, this is a self-produced project, and there is no limit to what I can do.
Finally, I outsourced the caramel wrapping, and the album was successfully completed.
When I listened to the finished album again, I found many mistakes.
There are some noises and some parts are not well balanced, but this is what I was able to create now.
This is like my incarnation, mistakes and all.
I pressed 100 copies, but like books, they don’t go bad, and I hope that over time as many people as possible will receive them.
Last but not least, I would like to thank Cotone Amano, a lacquer artist, for providing the photographs for the artwork.
I even asked her to art-direct the jacket.
I’m sorry she is so busy.
It’s called “Rag”, and it looks like an abstract painting with many colors of lacquer randomly attached to it, which I feel has something to do with this album.
YOSHIFUMI joined us in the chorus.
I heard that he is going to resume his DJ unit “Midnight Club Heaven”, which has been inactive for a while, so thank you for coming to record the chorus when he was so busy.
And all he had to do was shout “Oi!”.
Art is not something that is unnecessary.
It has the power to change people’s minds.
I believe in the power of creativity, so I’ll put down my pen here.
Have a good day everyone.
February 17,2022 Freakz