The Music of Hayakawa Yoshio 5: “Music”

MUSICWith the song “Music” (Ongaku), Hayakawa returns to a theme he’s explored in a number of compositions: the basic purpose of music. Suspicious of attempts to analyze his art rationally, Hayakawa seeks the meaning of music at a more basic, erotic level of emotion and physical existence. Musically, the song enacts its lyrical sentiment, stripping the arrangement down to the very basics:  pulsating piano chords that underscore Hayakawa’s passionate vocals.

The song first appeared on his 2000 solo album, Hear songs from where there is no song (Uta wa uta no nai tokoro kara kikoete kuru). Hayakawa also included a concert performance of the song on his 2002 live album, Those who speak don’t understand, those who understand don’t speak (Iu mono wa shirazu, shiru mono wa iwazu).

The original 2000 recording

“Music”
(Words and music by Hayakawa Yoshio)
English translation by Michael Bourdaghs

You can sing without your voice Koe o dasanakutomo uta wa utaeru
Sounds come where there is no sound: Oto no nai tokoro ni oto wa orite kuru
In the big round moon, in your smiling face Pokkari ukanda marui tsuki, anata no egao
Life itself plays music Sonzai sono mono ga ongaku o kanaderu
It’s not only songs that sing Uta o utau no ga uta da to wa kagiranai
A heart that feels is music Kandō suru kokoro ga ongaku nan da
A word that gives courage, a teardrop that clarifies Yūki o morau hitokoto, yogore o otosu namida
To sing with every moment: that’s the ultimate Nichijō de utau koto ga nani yori mo suteki
Words only reflect the heart Kotoba wa jibun no kokoro o utsushidasu mono
Speak or scream them, a mirror only reflects Nani o katatte mo sakende mo kagami ni utsuru dake
But the truly wondrous defies interpretation Hontō ni suburashii mono wa kaisetsu o kyozetsu suru
Music aims at something beyond music Ongaku ga mezashite iru no wa ongaku de wa nai
What was I born to do? Boku wa nani o suru tame ni umarete kita no darō
It’s not always easy, this becoming myself Nando mo ochikominagaramo boku wa boku ni natte yuku
The brilliant sparks across the sky, music reverberates through flesh Yozora ni hanatsu ōkina hana, karada ni hibiku ongaku
With no particular goal, I walk on toward the end Nan no yashin mo naku owari ni mukatte aruku