Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Happy Birthday 42th Yoshio Akeboshi, Story of Folktronic Japan Musician

I don’t know where it is started, but I just believe: the love will bear the more love too.

This country just lives when dusk is coming, maybe in 5 until 6 pm in a real world. Except that time, the atmosphere will be dark and there is nothing else. Sometime, rain of flowers hinge in the air, flash, thunder, and drizzle waive prodigiously. When it comes, Akeboshi will go off from his cliff in the sky. We will meet under the tree so-called 15th tree, beside the river. I’ll tell my sorrow, lament, tough, and wings of that to unleash all.

He-he, the opening story is one of many scenes, built in my mind and then had lost deliberately. I write this writing to celebrate 42th Akeboshi’s birthday in this day, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. I will tell you about his profile. You know, looking for his profile is so difficult for me. His personal life never exposes and underrate information about him makes this work digging dense efforts. He saves his private life so pretty. In English or Japanese was same, even less in Indonesia. So I will tell him just from my personal perspective (doubt is my own).

Akeboshi-san (Source Image: Nautiljon)

I recognized Yoshio Akeboshi (明星嘉男) from someone in 2014 (if I don’t forget). But Akeboshi had been first popular in Indonesia when I still in Senior High School from famous anime, Naruto. Almost every day my young-brother watched Naruto and I would hear the soundtrack Wind. Let’s we sing the reff: “Don’t try to look so wise. Don’t cry cause you’re so right. Don’t dry with fakes or fears, cause you will hate yourself in the end.” It’s philosophical lyric when you hear from start to end.

Not Wind which made me introducing him closely, but his song Night and Day. A sad song about a musician who come in the grave, yes, funeral person he loves. He come with airplane and carried many stories in the grave. With natural metaphor a couple of rabbits come out, couple rabbits were wriggling together and they were feeling, reeling, dealing, revealing. He avoids the time with sing in night and in day. Other songs that too familiar in my ears are Peruna, Hanabi, Yellow Moon, Quiet Garden, Tiny Rainbow, and more (most of his album all I have recognized nicely and intimately like I introduced myself).

Commonly, Akeboshi is a Japanese folk singer and well-known in the underground Japanese music scene. In Japanese, the meaning of his name is bright star. His songs compelled a deep folk soul, with electronica (folktronica), club jazz, not normal pop, subpop, with different technical melody and some with polyrhythmic structure. Someone wrote, "in his music he uses 5/4 rather than 4/4, the basic time measure". He produced lyric in Japanese, English, and both. Few of his themes about loss, death, hope, touching me emotionally. He became professional musician when he started his debut in first album, Stoned Town. It was released at August 8, 2002—in a other web source said that Akeboshi was active in 1999 or early 2000.

Akeboshi in 2003. (Source Image: Arcvive)

Akeboshi born in the great city Yokohama. A prominent port in Japan country and the second largest city of Japan population. Yokohama means horizontal beach, was the original of fishing village. This prefecture has long history from Meiji and Taisho Period until World War series.

From 3 years old, Akeboshi played piano and then played guitar. In 8 to 9 years old he lived in New Zealand. The early band activities started when 13 years old on Oldies band. Making concert in Yokohama station and participated in dramatic performances. He entered university of music in Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), United Kingdom, after graduated from high school. In Livervool he has a friend like brotherhood named Steven Pilgrim who musician too. He was inspired by Paul Weller, also Bon Iver, FKJ, Tom Misch, Chiemi Manabe, and else.

Akeboshi in 2004 (Source Image: PIA)

I read that Akeboshi's thesis on his graduation university quested about Matthew Herbert a British electronic musician. Herbert has known as Radio Boy, Doctor Rockit, Wishmoutain, microhouse and techno musician who understand the politic of listening. His manifesto of mistakes, involve: No drum machines. No synthesizers. No presets. And, anjay! Herbert and his clan ever played Akeboshi's song The Audience on their concert. Ha-ha, until I don’t realize that it is Akeboshi song, badass Herbert.

Furthermore, Akeboshi totally worked in music with write poetic (indeed philosophical) lyric, constantly recording, performing live from cafe to cafe and event to event, making soundtrack of films and ads, mastering and composing song, etcetera. Or this label singer-song writer didn't really fit well for him, as one of interview he said he only a small fraction of his time. He doesn't fancy being stuck anywhere. He endeavors and has resilient to study with teachers and team.

He also become good father for his sons with quiet life, far from the crowded of popularity, and I never know who his wife? (Still be my great mystery) But I know his children (he has two) from his Instagram @akeboshi_, he took photos of them gradually. And it’s heartbreaking me. I have been happy, laugh, and even crying looked how blessing they are. What a life all of their adventure in ship, beach, forest, home, animal, rain, and so, and so. Every I saw them, the nostalgic memory about my ideal life is coming due to anything can life and valueable.

Akeboshi's circle. (Source Image: social media)

In music, Akeboshi is a experimental musician too who collaborates some instrument tools like cello, flute, fiddle involving electronica sounds from digital beats. He is mixturing several sounds from natural voices and relics like sound of water, sound of wind, sound of daily equipment. His vocal is not just energetic for me, but also mystical, he-he. His music and voice can make me crying without a reason. It’s a deep consciousness.

I have until now made attention about Akeboshi’s fans too in all of his social media. As his genre music, he doesn’t have abundant fanbase, the holy-sweet is he has little fans but militant and loyal in around the world. In Youtube, Instagram, dan Facebook comments, digital citizenry show their comment in many languages. For instance I am from Indonesia, also there were from Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, Spanish, Italy, France, Germany, Canada, and many others. In Indonesian proverb: hanya orang yang mencintai yang tahu apa yang dicintainya (just lover who knows what she/he is loved). Eh, Ake, in 2006 you ever came in Indonesia right? Especially in Bali, I hope you can visit anymore to concert.

Thank you Ake.... (Personal Archive)

Oya, he ever said: “Indeed. I’ve never really done much market research or such, though. But according to some data, surprisingly there are a quite a lot of people in Asia and South America listening to my music, which is useful to know. Because the purpose of me singing in English is to reach out to the people around the world, hopefully.”

The spirit of Akeboshi’s song for me is the journey within self, music with meaning. These are I compile his discography to date. From his mini-album to long-album. That’s great Dear Akeboshi-san. Watching your cover album is mind blowing too:

2019 - A Little Boy

Akeboshi - A Little Boy

  1.     “Buckwheat field”
  2.     “a little boy”
  3.     “Beagle Bon Voyage”
  4.     “VET in the dream box”
  5.     “I used to..”

2015 - 恋人たち (Koibitotachi)

Akeboshi -  恋人たち (Koibitotachi)

  1.     “Usual life (Special Ver)”
  2.     “Chicken”
  3.     “Atsushi on a boat”
  4.     “Preparations for a journey”

2014 - After The Rain Clouds Go

Akeboshi - After Rain Clouds Go

  1.     “Usual Life”
  2.     “Beat The Snow”
  3.     “Tiny Rainbow”
  4.     “Drifting Sounds”
  5.     “Fragments Of Memory”
  6.     “Meltwater”
  7.     “Kumori Yozora (曇り夜空)”
  8.     “Break The Spell”
  9.     “Muchuu De Yume No Naka (夢中で夢の中)”
  10.     “Standing On The Line”
  11.     “Messed Up Mind”

2012 - Start Forming The Words

Akeboshi - Starts Forming The Words

  1.     "Messed up mind"
  2.     "Standing on the line"
  3.     "Kumori yozora" (曇り夜空, Cloudy Night Sky) (Studio Live ver.)
  4.     "Mienai kabe" (見えない壁, Invisible wall) (Studio Live ver.)

2008 - Roundabout

Akeboshi - Roundabout

  1.     "Leaf on Leaf"
  2.     "Sky in the pond"
  3.     "One step behind the door"
  4.     "Along the Line"
  5.     "Peruna"
  6.     "Yellow Moon"
  7.     "Rusty lance"
  8.     "Sounds"
  9.     "Hey There" (Live)
  10.     "Seeds" (Live)
  11.     "Wind" (Live)
  12.     "A Nine Days' Wonder" (Live)

2007 - Meet Along The Way

Akeboshi - Meet Along The Way

  1.     "Sky in the Pond"
  2.     "The Cliff"
  3.     "Yellow Bird"
  4.     "Broken bridge"
  5.     "Seeds"
  6.     "shadow of the wind"
  7.     "Green eyes"
  8.     "Village Stone"
  9.     "Mercury is rising"
  10.     "Diamond Dust"
  11.     "coille gan crann"
  12.     "Close my door"
  13.     "Fukurou" (フクロウ, Owl)

2007 - Colorful Drops

Akesbohi - Colorful Drops

  1.     "Along the Line"
  2.     "leaf on leaf"
  3.     "Fukurou" (フクロウ, Owl)
  4.     "Quiet Garden"

2006 - Yellow Moon

Akeboshi - Yellow Moon

  1.     "Yellow Moon (edit)"
  2.     "Peruna"
  3.     "One step behind the door"
  4.     "Hanabi" (花火, Fireworks)
  5.     "Yellow Moon"
  6.     "Deep end"

2005 - Akeboshi

Akeboshi - Akeboshi

  1.     "Wind"
  2.     "Night and day"
  3.     "Hey there"
  4.     "No wish"
  5.     "Akikaze no uta" (秋風のうた, Song of the Autumn Wind)
  6.     "Haikyo no Sofa" (廃墟のソファ, Sofa in a Ruin)
  7.     "A nine days' wonder"
  8.     "White reply"
  9.     "Faerie punks"
  10.     "Morning high"
  11.     "Tall boy"
  12.     "The audience"
  13.     "Kamisama no shitauchi" (神様の舌打ち, God Clicks His Tongue)
  14.     "Toki no fune" (時の舟, Ship of Time) (Bonus Track)

2005 - Rusty Lance

Akeboshi - Rusty Lance

  1.     "Rusty lance"
  2.     "Sounds"
  3.     "Writing over the sign"

2004 - Faerie Punks

Akeboshi - Faerie Punks

  1.     "Hey there"
  2.     "Night and day"
  3.     "Kamisama no shitauchi" (神様の舌打ち, God Clicks His Tongue)
  4.     "Faerie punks"

2003 - White Reply

Akesboshi - White Reply

  1.     "Tall boy"
  2.     "Morning high"
  3.     "White reply"
  4.     "Money"

2002 - Stoned Town

Akeboshi - Stoned Town

  1.     "Wind"
  2.     "Akikaze no Uta" (Song of the Autumn Wind)
  3.     "No wish"
  4.     "Haikyo no Sofa" (Sofa in a Ruin)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Repost: Truth Coming Put of Her Well

Truth Coming Put of Her Well
(Kebesaran Keluar dari sumur)
Lukisan terkenal Jean-Leon Gerome, 1896

Menurut legenda abad 19,
Kebenaran dan Kebohongan bertemu pada suatu hari.
kebohongan berkata kepada kebenaran: "Hari ini luar biasa indah!"
Kebenaran tertegun sejenak, lalu memandang berkeliling
ke langit dan mendesah, "ya, memang benar indah."

Merekapun menghabiskan waktu bersama, hingga tibalah di samping sebuah sumur.
Kebohongan membujuk kebenaran: "Airnya sangat bagus, ayo kita mandi bersama!"
Kebenaran mencurigai Kebohongan, lalu menguji air itu dan ternyata memang sungguh bagus.

Mereka membuka pakaian dan mulai mandi. Tiba-tiba,
Kebohongan keluar dari air, merebut dan mengenakan
pakaian Kebenaran lalu melarikan diri.
Kebenaran terkejut dan marah, ia segera keluar dari sumur dan
lari mengejar Kebohongan kemana-mana
untuk mendapatkan kembali pakaiannya.

Ketika melihat Kebenaran telanjang, Dunia spontan
mengalihakan pandangannya dengan penuh rasa jijik dan
Kebenaran yang malang akhirnya kembali ke sumur dan
lenyap, bersembunyi memendam rasa malunya.

Sejak saat itu....
Kebohongan berkeliling dunia dengan mengenakan
pakaian Kebenaran
guna memuaskan kebutuhan manusia.
Dunia tidak memiliki keinginan untuk berhadapan dengan
Kebenaran yang telanjang



Ps: Thanks to Alfa with his WA status, I repost this to document and education.

Ini Nasi Yang Kusuap Karya Masuri S. N.

Ini nasi yang kusuap
pernah sekali menjadi padi harap
melentok dipuput angin pokoknya kerap
tenang berisi tunduk menatap

Ini butir nasi yang kukunyah
sedang kutelan melalui tekak basah
jadi dari darah mengalir
dalam badan gerak berakhir

Angin kencang mentari khatulistiwa
membakar raga petani di sawah
panas hujan dan tenaga masuk kira
dan nasi yang kusuap campuran dari manusia

Ini budi yang kusambut
pemberian lumrah beranting dan bertaut
ini nasi hasil dari — kerja
kembali pada siapa yang patut menerima

Jadi yang kumakan bukan berasal dari nasi
tapi peluh, darah, dalam isi mengalir pasti
jadi kutelan bukan berasal dari padi
tapi dari urat dari nadi seluruh pak tani


Ps: Thanks to Azhar Ibrahim Alwee with his writing: "In the Pursuit of Spirituality: Notion of the Pious in Contemporary Singapore Malay Literature" so I meet with this great poem.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

No Wish

At this morning, I hear Akeboshi's song and feel finding myself anymore. I never care about crowded, I just impress by little vibration, instance Akeboshi's world. Life in capitalism and neoliberal circle were hell to me. As hell as business as usual. I never enjoy where in every day you are busy in achievement and competition. I never know my life for, but I know what will I do in life. I never know where my job will, my school will, my future will, but that I think is a what will I work, what will I study, and I know what will I do. This is life like Akeboshi: no wish, no wish, and no wish.
Life 1

Life 2

Life 3

Thanks Ake :)

Sunday, June 21, 2020


Ini untuk kesekian kalinya aku melawatmu dalam imajinasi dan tulisan. Dengan semua sifat ngotot dan keras kepala, aku kembali datang. Dengan hidup yang masih dan mungkin selalu berantakan, tak tenang, dan tujuan lari terjauhku selalu menuju padamu, padamu, dan padamu.

Maaf, maaf, maaf. Tapi aku akan selalu bersih keras untuk terus mencintaimu. Sampai kapan, tak tahu.

Setiap kali penyakit tak bertema, tak bernama, dan tak beralasan itu kambuh tanpa mengenal waktu; aku tahu ini pula mungkin yang tengah kau rasakan. Aku tahu bagaimana rasa sepi, sendiri, soliter, dan muak dengan semua orang itu. Tapi aku mungkin tak pernah tahu bagaimana kesepianmu, kesendirianmu, kesoliteranmu, kemuakanmu dengan hidup, dengan orang-orang, dengan semua manusia ... dan upaya menjadi dirimu yang seperti sekarang. Saat ini aku paham, rasa itu. Aku mencoba menyelami rasa sakit dan muakmu--sampai aku merasa tak ada lagi di dunia ini orang yang bisa kupercaya selain engkau. Yang diam, dalam, tak ada teman selain dirimu sendiri.

Aku juga tak akan memaksamu mengakui diriku yang masih lemah dan payah ini. Yang dengan sembrono bilang ikhlas akan mengorbankan apapun untuk engkau. Jika kau tak butuh aku, oke-oke, aku terima. Lagi-lagi aku tak memaksa. Aku hanya jadi duplikat karaktermu yang gagal, tapi bangga dengan kegagalanku sendiri. Sebab itu yang akan menjadikanku terus bisa mengenali dan mempelajarimu.

Bagiku kau adalah manusia paling purna dari semua manusia yang pernah kukenal. Kaulah definisi hidupku. Terlalu fanatik? Tidak. Aku masih bisa membedakan mana yang fanatik dan yang tidak. Aku juga tak segila itu padamu, aku menghargai semua pilihanmu, aku tahu batas dan prinsipku. Namun ketahuilah, kacamata hidup yang kupakai saat ini adalah kacamata hidupmu yang kau pasang dengan anggunnya ketika kita berinteraksi. Yang begitu cocok kukenakan untuk menghadapi segala yang terjadi di depan mata. Kau mengerti kan, "kaulah hidupku sendiri."

Kataku pula pada diri sendiri: aku akan jadi orang pertama yang akan sedih jika ada sesuatu buruk terjadi padamu. Aku pula orang yang pertama bangga dan bahagia jika melihat kau juga bahagia. Tapi kamu seperti manusia tanpa emosi, tidak sepertiku yang emosional. Atau justru aku salah, kau sendiri yang emosional dan tak pedulian dengan diri sendiri dan orang-orang yang menyayangimu? (Sebagaimana mungkin juga yang aku lakukan)

Sejauh ini, kata-kata untukmulah yang dari hati keluar dari jari-jariku. Kau sumber inspirasi yang selalu haus kugali. Menyambangimu seperti menyambangi diriku sendiri. Aku masih mencintaimu ya, tak apa, sungguh tak apa jika kau tak sejalan dan tak seperasaan. Ha-ha. Aku aneh ya menolak diri sendiri. I love you, more, and more...

Eh, setelah kupikir-pikir, ternyata ada struktur besar yang membentuk aku dan kamu seperti ini. Aku tengah menyusun teori untuk mengartikulasikannya. Nanti kuberi tahu.

Doaku selalu padamu.

Semarang, 21 Juni 2020

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Jika Di Antara Dua Pilihan Susah

"Mungkin kamu perlu coba menyelam kedua-duanya, tapi kali ini dengan peta yang lebih jelas dan kesungguhan ingin menemukan 'rumah'."

Seorang kawan, 16 Juni 2020

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Jangan menggangguku di hari Minggu

Aku ingin memiliki hari yang suci. Hari di mana aku tak ingin diganggu oleh siapapun, pekerjaan apapun, dan agenda apapun. Hari di mana aku akan memanfaatkannya secara sempurna untuk berbicara dengan diri sendiri, menyenangkan diri sendiri, dan berkarya sesuai kehendak hati. Aku memilih hari Minggu. Hari di mana aku dilahirkan, hari di mana revolusi meliburkan diri, hari paling selow di antara deretan hari yang lain. Siapapun yang mengenalku, jangan hubungi aku di hari Minggu. Sebab hari Minggu akan kugunakan untuk menata hidupku selama pekan selanjutnya. Aku ingin mengambil jeda dari berisiknya hari, dari hidup yang berteken materi ke materi, gaji ke gaji, ilusi ke ilusi. Di hari Minggu aku akan menutup total jaringan untuk media sosial; meniadakan pertemuan/rapat; dan segenap keriuhan hidup lain yang tak kumengerti. Tentu fleksibilitas akan ada, tapi inilah komitmen yang ingin kupegang.

Salam Hari Minggu,
Isma Swastiningrum