Sunday, May 18, 2014

Day 1 Album Recording in Tokyo! ~ FANTASY!


原来梦想成真不用华丽的排场,不用轰轰烈烈的降临。
它可以是一朵含苞待放的花,在你不经意的时候,绽放了。
 是什么时候的事,也说不上来。
都忘了种子当初往哪撒了。

只庆幸自己没有放弃过,日积月累的灌溉,
慢慢的等,或许会有开花结果的一天。

到日本录专辑,是我的梦想。
左盼右盼,在最没有想到的时候,
正在筹备中文创作专辑的时候,突然接到消息,
就来到这里,和这里的音乐人合作。
好奇妙!

 Google translated my Chinese text in the most garbled Japanesey way ever that I had to share it -
just for that authentic Japanese feel!

The original ornate dream come true without pomp, without vigorous come. 
It can be a budding flower, you inadvertently when blooming. 
What time is it, do not know. 
Seeds had forgotten where to Caesar. 

Just glad he never gave up, but also accumulated irrigation, 
slowly, etc., there may be one day bear fruit. 

Japan recorded the album, is my dream. 
Left and right hope hope, when most did not expect, 
when the Chinese are preparing creative album, suddenly received a message on here,
 and the music people here together. 
FANTASY!
 
 

The trip started with an traditional sushi bar lunch 
near the S2S Japan office, near 代々木上原Yoyogi-Uehara station.




Omakase style, that was simple yet fulfilling.
This small and humble restaurant is  初音鮨 (hatsune-zushi)
is recommended by my boss!



I am obsessed with the type fonts on the road...
words like とまれ (stop) and 徐行 (slow)


Checked out the music selection at Tsutaya 
to have a feel of what kind of music was popular in Japan.

Interestingly, lifestyle music is big here -
compilations of easy-listening genres, ambient music are widely listened to.
Compilations like Bossa Nova for Yoga, Electro-Swing, etc etc etc

It's something that S2S has always specialised in -
and no secret why my past 2 albums have been mainly easy listening covers.


My welcome dinner was a grand affair 
that involved the company and my production team,
that lasted a whopping 4 hours!

Larger than life edamame 枝豆!

Roasted and grilled pork slices mmmm :)

New fan of ochazuke!
I seldom eat this in Singapore and the few times I've tried it didn't seem any good.
If you know any places in Singapore that serve good ochazuke, please let me know!


I had the luxury of having a few free days in between recordings to explore :)


Obsessed with the manhole covers


We headed to Daikanyama T-site 
which housed a lovely book+music store Tsutaya (again!)

And I found my album in the online catalogue (just for kicks) :p



Roasted creme brulee with kocha,
next to the music store on the second level,
at the Anjin Library and Lounge

They provided vintage magazines dating back to 1960s for browsing pleasure,
which was a lovely concept :)


Next stop,  Shibuya Hikarie!
Cute x Creativity = WIN
Hello Kitty's 40th anniversary made sure she was everywhere.



In Japan, don't ask why.
#whyisdomokunnowastrawberry



Everyone has to take a shot while crossing the Shibuya crossing.
Half of the people crossing there are probably just trying to take pictures. 



My manager Dean who has accompanied through all thick and thin!


 

Tower Records Shibuya!
So I was curious what kind of Chinese Pop the Japanese listened to.
It was a teeny-weeny section that included mainly
F4 (and all members of F4's solo albums),
Rainie Yang and Show Luo.

And I found my friend Jonathan Wong's album! 
NICE.
#CPOPREPRESENT



My very own placeholder under the VOCALS category! 
#achievementunlocked


Before heading to bed, I armed myself with lozenges
to ail an impending sore throat due to the dry weather!

And the next day drowned myself in Pocari Sweat 
and 1000grams of Vitamin C defense!


With the pianist Mika-san and my producer Sotani-san!


We were recording a Piano Jazz album,
the concept was for a high definition audiophile album,
where we recorded a one-take recording,
with voice and piano at the same time.

Check out the army of microphones used for the piano!



It was a breeze working with Mika-san,
it took hardly any rehearsing for us to gel together.

We ran through each song's sequence a couple of times,
otherwise everything else was by feel, 
and in spontaneity.



My AKG C24 vintage microphone that costs about SGD$15000

It didn't need much tweaking at all, 
and I loved that it captured every single breath and saliva noise that it possibly could. 




I was in a separate vocal booth from Mika-san, 
the studio was huge!


I don't eat chocolate or candy,
just water will do :)


The whole S2S team accompanied me throughout the full day of recording!
From 10am-7pm!!!


Interestingly the producer wanted me to sing as lightly and cleanly as possible,
so even as I tried to inject some sort of emotion or flair, 
he always preferred I keep it simple. 

So even though I recorded 5 songs all in a day, 
It was not too strenuous to keep up. 

I was also pretty much in my element in such a setting,
and had free rein to interpret the song however I wanted :)


Communication was at times limited, as we had basic knowledge of Japanese and English.  
I could converse in Japanese, but more technical clarification of the song was sometimes unclear. 
I kinda loved that.
It made us return to basics, and made me more sensitive to their non-verbal expressions.
Almost like playing charades sometimes! 


Day 1 of recording done!!! 

Will blog more about Day 2 of Recording in a bit!


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