Maaya recently did a playlist for Musicshelf
(instead of Playlist Magazine for which she usually makes playlists).
They asked her what songs she'd like to have children listen to. It's a really nice playlist/interview, and it gives some good insight into Maaya's musical influences. She also gives comments on 'Triangler' and 'Kotomichi'. I translated the whole interview, since it was really interesting.
[quote="Sakamoto Maaya"]10 Songs I Would Like Children Listen to
In my circle there are woman who work very hard at their careers, and compared to other girls of my age who have children already, I cannot speak very much about children, but ever since my niece was born, I've started to think, 'Oh, children are cute.'
I started working when I was eight years old, and compared to my friends it was sort of different -- like, I would ride the train by myself to go to work -- but I went to the children's theatre group with the perception of going there to learn like every other child learns. When I was child they were already saying 'Games are bad for children', and I would say 'Huh? No way!' and play games anyway, I'm of that generation (laugh). But I think my values then might be different than the values of children in the current day and age, in which they interact so easily with cellphones and the Internet. I can't say definitely whether this is a good or bad thing, but we're inundated with information, everything progress so fast; how much should we let our children interact with these things? Sometimes I consider this seriously. Especially since my niece was born.
In my house we didn't watch much TV, so I don't have any memories of anime songs. But my mother would listen to everything from classical music to oldies, Michael Jackson, Southern All Stars, from Nakashima Miyuki to the Blue Hearts; she would listen to various genres of music, and I think I was influenced by that illogical (laugh) way of listening. I think it was her influence also that caused me to like the movie and musical songs I've selected for this playlist.
1. 'It's a Small World', Disney
Yesterday I went on the 'It's A Small World' attraction for the first time in about ten years. Although I've always known this song, I listened to it recently for the first time in a while, and I thought, 'This is a simple song, it's so good!' and I was very moved. Back then children rode together in a vehicle and hear this song, but ten years from now, twenty years from now, I want children to listen to the song the same way I did back then when hummed along with it and think, 'This is a good song!' (laugh). This was the first song that popped into my head when making this playlist. I want that attraction to remain the way it is forever for children.
2. 'Tomorrow', from the musical 'Annie'
I first heard this song in the movie, and I found out about the Japanese version afterwards. Ever since I was a kid I would sing this song and it also brings to mind painful memories (laugh). It has the simple theme that 'Tomorrow will definitely be a good day,' if you wait, the morning will come. When I would hum this song it would cheer me up a lot. Whenever I sing this song I start to sob (laugh). It's a good song that kids can remember easily.
3. 'All You Need Is Love', The Beatles
I thought I would probably pick one Beatles song for this list (laugh). The kind of songs I want children to listen to are optimistic songs. I write lyrics myself, and I think it's the same for other people expressing themselves, the theme of this song, love: it's like, 'Ultimately, this is the the thing, isn't it?'.
4. 'Sing', The Carpenters
The Carpenters were often played at my house. This song being included on my list is also due in large part to my mother's influence. I also remember singing this song in a music lesson during my middle school days. It's in English, but it's simple, and I want my kids to love singing too. This song is filled with that feeling. When I become a mother I wonder if I will also sing this song in the house (laugh).
5. 'Uchuuhikoushi no Uta', Sakamoto Maaya
This song was used for NHK's 'Minna no Uta', and I'd definitely like everyone to listen to it. The lyrics were written by Ichikura Hiroshi-san, a copywriter, but I love his writing and lyrics. Children can remember this song easily, but if an adult listens to it, there's sort of a deep philosophical part to the song as well. I think I'd like children and their mothers to listen to the song together. When she was just two years old, my niece did an imitation of me and sang this song (laugh). I was very moved. I also have the memory.
6. 'Shippo no Uta', Sakamoto Maaya
The lyrics to this song were also written by Ichikura Hiroshi-san. The song has a lot of wordplay and it's fun to listen to, but the more you listen to it you also find that there's an aspect to it that hits upon the truth. Reading over my songs, there are a lot of them I would like children to listen to. I think that with 'Uchuuhikoushi no Uta' and 'Shippo no Uta', if you heard the song as a child your impression of it would change when you heard it when an adult, and it would give you a deeper understanding, maybe. So that's why I chose them.
7. 'Subete no Yama ni Nobore' ('Climb Every Mountain'), from the musical film 'The Sound of Music'
I watched this movie over and over when I was child, but looking over the lyrics again, I thought, 'Oh, this song is so good! (laugh). It's a song that tells you to look at various things with your own eyes, to touch various things, to live experiencing many things. Like, See how wonderful the world is. I felt like it was saying that to me. When I become a parent, I want to say it to my children as well.
8. 'Otanjoubi Ja Nai Hi no Uta' ('The Unbirthday Song'), from the Disney film 'Fushigi no Kuni no Arisu' ('Alice in Wonderland')
I was a big fan of the original novel, and when I was a kid I wrote an essay on it for a literature contest and won a prize (laugh). Rereading the lyrics now as an adult, there are many parts that are touching. The lyrics are about 'celebrating a day that's nothing special'. Your birthday comes but once a year, but congratulations for those other 364 days too. I think, 'Oh, it's so wonderful!' (laugh). This is a day that's nothing special, let's make a toast ... No matter how many times I listen to it, it gets me every time.
9. 'Aruku Hana', The Blue Hearts
I've been a big fan of The Blue Hearts ever since I was an elementary student. At that time I heard in class that Koumoto Hiroto-san lived near where I did, so I went out with some friends to get his autograph. He wasn't there anymore, but someone who appeared to be their manager said they would 'send it later.' A few days after that autographs from all the band members arrived. It said 'to Maaya-chan', and had 'sexy' written on the side for some reason (laugh). I love Koumoto-san's poetry. Koumoto-san's 'Nichiyoubi yori no Shisha no Shi' is the best! I love all of The Blue Hearts songs, but because this list was about songs for children I picked this. The song isn't saying it's better to be pushy, but it does talk about walking on the earth with your own feet, it has that strength. I want children to also live in the way this song describes.
10. 'Machi', The Blue Hearts
The words shine in this song. I think Koumoto-san treasures his words. I presumptuously think I treasure my words in the same way. His Japanese is written very wonderfully. When I write lyrics, as a Japanese I want to treasure the Japanese language, and I want children to be like that as well.[/quote]
[quote="Sakamoto Maaya"]'Triangler' and 'Kotomichi' Comments
This song, 'Triangler' was born from a chemical reaction of the three elements of 'Macross F', Kanno Youko, and I, Sakamoto Maaya. Although I've worked with Kanno-san on many songs previously, this song does not resemble any of them. I think that's where 'Macross F' came in, and I feel that if you removed any one of these elements this song would not have come to be, so maybe you'll consider this song the epitome of a collaboration. I become a version of myself different from usual, and it was a big for me to challenge 'acting' this time. Usually, I look for ways to link the story and my message in my lyrics, but this time I did not write lyrics, and I was able to have the perspective of a spectator. These words and this expression would not have come from me, and I enjoyed the song very much for that. On the other hand, regardless that this is a love song, the protagonist is very human. She does not run from the problems surrounding her but faces them and accepts them and is able to say, This is how I feel. I even feel envious of that, if only I could be like that.
In comparison to 'Triangler' in which we put everything we could, we wanted to make the coupling track with the least possible amount of sounds. This is the second time I've sung to one of Takada Michiko-san's songs, and it was pretty much like I heard the melody and wrote the lyrics immediately (laugh). The core of the song is strong, but the song is gentle, soft. The song is painful, but it's not consumed with sadness. There's a positive part to it. It's a song about a sad parting, but there's a warmth to it. It's not a parting of violently conflicting emotions, we just can't walk together anymore. I wanted to write about such a quiet parting. Both songs are completely differing types, but I think both are like me. There's this me, but there's also this me: I think that aspect came out very well even though it's just two songs.[/quote]
I posted this at JPM too, but not everybody hangs out there so I thought I'd post it here as well.
I'm working on other Maaya translations (the FC letters, for one thing) but those will take a while, since I'm working on some Utada interview translations as well. Just wanted to give a heads-up regarding those.