Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Crystallize - First Glimpse II

9. Nogare...>1st listen: constant key changes result in a very alternative sound, very experimental according to GC's standards, nice arrangement and piano playing
Now: No matter how much I try, I just can't seem to like this song! This rarely happens. However, I'm glad GC has the guts to try new things every once in a while. The lyrics are also very unusual.

10. Only Stay> 1st listen: reminded me of "Please Forgive Me", dramatic and a bit sad, again more rock like Endless Desire, bright middle section that evokes the memory of "Natsu no Maboroshi", flowing bridge section, like the arrangemt
Now: Everything above, my favorite song to date, feels like a complete capsule of a song, like the numerous kanji lyrics, like "dairokkan", like the jarring guitar note and the Pessoa-like piano playing

11. Koisuru...>1st listen: upbeat, feels like the outdoors w/ sun shining (just like Natsu no Maboroshi), very Garnet refrain that ends in a dark note, jumps to higher key at refrain (a current trend); is it live?
Now: Nice rhythm. It's interesting that GC chose to end the album on a bright note rather than the usual contemplative one. At first I thought whether it'd be better if this song and the first were switched. However, things wouldn't flow if that were the case.

12. Yume Mita...remix>1st listen: Good remix of Yume, vast space, melody seems to be at normal pace, no crazy annoying synthing, new "lu"s
Now: Prelude reminds me of Final Fantasy again, well-balanced combination of the lyrical and the trance aspects. Good job, Daisuke Ikeda san on the FF-ambience, and kudos to lightin' grooves as well!

Website: Garnet Sea
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Crystallize - First Glimpse I

Thoughts on GC's non-single songs/cuts from their 3rd album:

1. Kyou no...>1st listen: reminded me of Kimi to iu Hikari, especially the tempo and arrangement. There is a high point that resembles the one in Holy Ground. At the time I was first listening to this song, I wrote, "As always, simple melody line is transformed by Yuri's voice."
Now: I've no idea why I wrote that! Because the melody line is anything but easy to grasp the first time around, as people from YesAsia (or was it Shinkong Being?) were saying. Has a definite "winter feel". Nicely paves the way for "Kimi to iu Hikari". Feels very open and expansive. I really like the new bridge near the end.

6. Marionette Fantasia>1st listen: 3/4 time resembles "Pray". Dreamy arrangement that evokes childhood and retains innocence. Just the type of song Azuki Nana san might enjoy writing to.
Now: I guess it's inspired by The Nutcracker. Lyrics now up!

7. Towa wo...>1st listen: reminded me of tropical islands and relaxation and vacations. Refrain reminded me of Field of View's "Kimi gai dakara"
Now: just the place for Miguel Sa Pessoa to show his improv skills w/ the piano! Very smooth all throughout the song.

8. Endless Desire>1st listen: my favorite song out of the whole album. Arrangement has more percussion than usual. Holds together as a song and sounds like a theme song.
Now: I really like the sound of Hitoshi's electric guitar in this song. It's no longer my fave, but its arrangement is still my fave. This song is proof that GC is capable of sounds that are more rock than pop.

Website: Garnet Sea
E-mail to Athena

Monday, January 05, 2004

making of Holy Ground

I actually completed this song before "To South", but I was so displeased w/ it at first that it has only lately resurfaced. I figured since there're enough of the other songs, this one can make a humble appearance! The order of the songs are now officially scrambled! Oh well. This song was the hardest to make to date, though this gloomy song was made when I was in a quite happy mood. Do you think that had anything to do with the difficulty?

In addition to the challenge of putting in lyrics (I've no idea how I came up w/ "Oblivion's Well of time"--so fancy!), this song was also one of the hardest to sing to. It starts off very low, but the refrain has a really high note. Obstacle after obstacle. I'm not sure why I chose to work on this song!

Some points to consider: the "sea" motif appears in this song. I came across Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" one day, and its passages on the sea really struck a familiar chord w/ the end part of this song. It felt really strange. I wonder if women in the early period, before feminism came into being, had a common fixation on the sea and its great capacity to do various things? It is a chilling thought. Anyway, hope this mosaic of a piece sounds tolerably coherent to you. And I'm not planning on inserting those weird singing symbols anymore from here onward. Not unless I need them myself. I guess it'll be better for everyone involved!

Website: Garnet Sea
E-mail to Athena

Sunday, January 04, 2004

making of To South!

GC's "For South" is the b-side to "Nakenai Yoru mo". The arrangement is almost cartoonishly fun. I really liked the fact that this song focuses on the internal conflicts of the singer--what really matters to him/her, regardless of the priorities of other people. At least that was how I saw it. In terms of Azuki Nana's "death scene", I sometimes think that "south" really means "hell". In other words, the speaker is in a mode of "to be or not to be", to put it poetically. :) Of course, I may be wrong. Allusions to Hitchcock's "Vertigo" and low-tech DOS-style computer adventure games inevitably came to my mind. Mom liked this one, probably because there's more rhyming than usual? Nevertheless, I really liked the pentatonicism of this song.

Website: Garnet Sea
E-mail to Athena

Saturday, January 03, 2004

making of Sky Blue

After wish*, I began to redirect my interest towards the lesser known songs of GC. Sky Blue must be one of them, since it only appears on the album. However, it's part of the title of the 2nd album! So in a way, there must be some significance there. By this time, which is September of '03, I was getting pretty used to doing the lyrics, so this song was made without much incident.

What I liked was the rhyming I did in the refrain and the weird fact that I always sang "Sunday" when I wanted to sing "Monday". Sometimes, your self just doesn't do what you want it to do! So I put in "Sunday" in the end. This song also reminded me of a poem I wrote when I was in 6th grade. The whole class went on a boat trip to sample the water, and then we camped outdoors and looked at different plants. Each of us had to come up with image words to share w/ the class, then write our own poems based on the shared list of words. I remember one line in my poem: "Boat people sway". That swaying motion from Sky Blue's refrain just brought that up!

Website: Garnet Sea
E-mail to Athena

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Happy New Year!

Website: Garnet Sea
E-mail to Athena