I guess the day was scorching hot today, well I wouldn’t know cause I’m staying inside the office every single day. But tonight it got a bit windy feeling it as I opened my window next to my desk. A sign that it might rain. Guess another season’s ending. I used to hate the rains. I hate the puddles and while walking, wetting my feet. But now I have learned appreciating every day. To be thankful for everyday is to wake up with a clear mind. There may be problems – in the office (not to mention the rants) but it just spices up the walls. Appreciating what we have is really essential in this life, or else we end unhappy, unsatisfied, and with a weary heart. To give a little walk through, traffic is worsening because of that stupid driver who, again, cut your way or that jeepney picked up a commuter or just stopping in the middle of the road waiting for someone to take the ride, or the road is under repair – again! (what the?), tntc! But to avoid being bothered by these, solution is to just leave the house early and let the traffic flow. Yes perking up is quite hard especially when it’s really early but it’s just a matter of conditioning yourself towards the day. On Saturdays, I still have to wake up as early as 5:30am. And so I get up with my dog alarm (cellphone alarm and Pappy tries sneaking up his nose under the sheets), boil water for my daily dose of hot chocolate and watch the telly while preparing my lunch sandwich. Good thing there’s AVO sessions on DW channel every Saturday. There I caught Snow Patrol, Jazz artists, Flutists, etc. And among those, this became an instant favourite: MARK KNOPFLER. I fell in love with this song and it really made my day.
And this one from Robert Plant and The Band Of Joy too, called “Harm’s Swift Way” (originally by Townes Van Zandt)
AVO sessions really got me out of bed on Saturday mornings… Snow Patrol’s “Shut Your Eyes” made mine open.
So don’t heave another sigh… Rise and shine, and just isolate the good things hidden “on a hot sunny day or a stormy weather too…” 😉
I got fascinated with the Pianica the first time I ever saw one. Monch had it for me as a no-occasion gift, and told me he got it from a Japan surplus shop near his workplace, owned by a doctor/friend. He also said it needed some love for a good cleaning. So, having the heart, he did dust off and wiped the keys, and as for the tube, he soaked it in a Cidex bath to kill all the soot it may contain, rinsed it generously and let hang to dry. Voila! It’s good as new! At home, he excitingly showed it to me, how it works and shared me his ideas on how we can use it melodically. Back then, I used to play (a little of) the keyboard for some of our new wave covers. So I happened to have a bit of ease playing tunes with it.
So to speak, it’s either pianica or melodica. Suzuki calls it melodion and for Yamaha it’s pianica, to various names like melodia, melodihorn, clavietta, et cetera. This musical instrument just gives a darling feeling as you listen to it. It instantly makes me imagine of kids at play, birds chirping in the morning, or even my dog sound asleep ~that kind of feeling. I learned that it’s commonly used by Jazz and Folk musicians in such amazing tunes, and in my favorite era, the New Wave had also used this free-reed instrument. But on top of the genres, having searched for more info about the instrument is a discovery of how it had been widely played, all this time, by Japanese kids be it on music lessons at school, by bands or even the connoisseurs of music.
The pianica’s sound gives off such playful, irresistible tunes like that of an accordion or a flute, and having the melody to equal is just chemistry. On this note, I’d like to share some music videos with pianica as the underscore and some charming art works, illustrations, and sketches I have stumbled over whilst writing this blogpost.
My Favorite “Burning Hearts”
This is My Favorite indeed! I’ve been stuck watching and listening to this song for months now. Song is entitled “Burning Hearts” which speaks of architecture & an experience in Hiroshima with a best friend to which they bid goodbye to.
The Wannadies “You and Me Song”
This song got more popular for being included on a soundtrack of the movie “Romeo & Juliet” (1996) alongside The Cardigan’s “Lovefool”. Another late 90’s favorite, music from the Swedes!
Innovation Invention “The Meloguitar”
This guy is either brilliant, or unemployed. But I am impressed!
Japan is Love
I have always been fascinated with Japan. The country, the people, the culture, the traditions, the discipline, their politeness and man, the many forms of ethics in every aspect, the language, Hello Kitty, and of course their music too! I recall that I often watched this program on NHK (old TV format), like that of American Idol, only on their show they get to feature anyone from young to old, in business suits or on a Lolita inspired getup, singing their chosen piece with a live band to accompany them which made me fond for it.
I was writing this post a few days before the tragic quake & tsunami hit their coast. My heart broke into pieces when I heard about the news and having seen the videos on the telly. High hopes and prayers go to all those had suffered and were affected. On the bright side, after hearing Mr. Naoto Kan’s statement (Japan’s Prime Minister) on fight for survival, to “Stay calm”, it takes a man of courage and a brave heart to face what’s left, to move forward and start again.
Here’s to share some photos I stumbled at an illustration of a boy playing pianica with a strange cat and Japanese characters on paper’s background. Done in Gocco print, an old Japanese way of making beautiful stationeries. Followed by a cute fruit-shaped inspired wind instruments played by young girls in striped socks. Kawaii desu ne!