Five years ago, I visited Japan for the first time. Eager to absorb the culture, I wanted to visit as many festivals as possible – except there was only one during my month-long visit. Crap.
That soured me at the time, but it ended up being a huge blessing because that’s where I met Felicity Tillack from Where Next Japan. In the past few months, Felicity and I reconnected and have been working together on a theme song for her debut film, “Impossible to Imagine” – a film that explores issues around identity, and how Japan is struggling to adapt and become more inclusive in the modern era.
In line with the film’s plot, we wanted to marry Eastern (Sachie Sunaga) and Western (my Canadian self) sounds together for something new. I borrowed the Japanese scales and some of the typical instruments (kotos and shakuhachi), but also sounds from the environment like wooden blocks and Shinto bells. All of that sits on my usual aesthetic.
A whole lot of talented people lent their skills to make this song happen. Big ups to Jacob James Henry from Akamatsu Creative for recording and producing the vocals in Japan, William Yagi Lewis for the cover photograph, Yukiko Ito for lending her likeness, and of course, Sachie Sunaga for lyrics and vocals. Everyone was rounded up by Felicity. What mad hustle.
We’re all excited it’s out and we hope you like it! As always, thanks so much as always for listening, everyone! Yuika is available everywhere at this link. It’s my first Japanese-language song, so I’d love to hear what you think!
My heart is swinging and wavering
Running on the surface of the river
Spring, summer, autumn, winter
A twisting spiral of colours
My of love for you
Woven over long distances
The discovery of a sparkling feeling
flutters back and forth.
The world has started breathing
A picture of us warm together fills my heart