Or is it the other way around? You’ve said that Yamaha’s violins are pretty much the only violins in their line-up. Why is the Yamaha company so committed to using violins rather than acoustic guitars?
Yamaha is a music producer and has a unique relationship with the music industry. It’s a very small company and the music industry is very popular in Japan. So there is this connection and we must make a product that people are looking for. But violins can become an instrument when the people are not satisfied. The Yamaha Violin line uses violins made in China or Italy (which is cheaper and is generally a cheaper option). It’s a great way for us to get into another country and take advantage of the market and what they do there and that kind of thing. There are other companies out there doing this but Yamaha has been more open about sharing information with the American and European players about the quality of our violins.
I like the idea of working in a non-traditional environment with a different culture. I’m from America so I love traveling. I get a lot of inspiration through music and I’m always looking for more ways to go there to live and explore. I have my first job as an employee right now with a company that creates entertainment around the world. A lot of times it’s an interesting mix of a lot of people from different cultures living together but they’re all passionate to share ideas and make something that’s relevant to them.
You wrote the lyrics and recorded vocals in English. How were the lyrical ideas different for a Japanese audience and for an American audience?
When choosing new words, it’s really hard to find ones that work well. So I try to get something that doesn’t already sound like the word. And that I feel is good for the song. We decided to write lyrics in English because that’s what a lot of the words in the song came from. But I wanted to be very conscious about the lyrics so I didn’t write too much English.
There is a famous Japanese word for the Japanese language. We got it called yarashi (Japanese word for “to become something”) meaning transformation. People who want to become something often become transformed themselves and when they become something new they make it their own. But yarashi is literally “to become something new” so we used those terms in the lyrics for an authentic Japanese feeling. In the past we were always very careful about using words that could make people uncomfortable
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