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!
“Leona and her magic pianica” (in Gocco print) by better than butter / ceej on flickr
“Best Friend Forever” – Thanks a bunch to Eveline Tarunadjaja for her kindness! ♥ Click www.lovexevol.com to see the rest of her art.
girl with red pianica seen on tumblr
To wrap up, listen to Antonette’s recording ♥ (of Lilystars Records) as she was ever so kind to catch this live performance at Café SaGuijo on ThePOPShoppe! event.
I’ll Pocket You A Rainbow (Live) by The Gentle Isolation