[ringo] Dec. 2006 Ringo Group Newsletter   Leave a comment

How are all of you members getting along?
We bring you December 2006’s monthly report, Kougyoku [Jonathan apple].

It’s already December. Something that makes us totally driven by feelings that for some reason or another it’s now or never. As Ringo Shiina fans, even more than the sense of urgency that a year is ending, we’re in a mood of, hurry up and come, New Year. Yes. Because early next year, Ringo Shiina’s raging rush of releases is lying in wait. The single, the album, the premiere of the movie “Sakuran [Derangement].” What was hurriedly added to that is the notification the other day from Kihin Kakumei Sokuhou [Noble Visitor Revolution Newsflash*], that “Dai-ikkai Ringo-han Taikai [Very First Ringo Group Convention] – Adults Only” will get DVD format treatment. Made to focus on such topics in this period of time, we can think of it on the contrary as even unkind, but this brilliance is exceptional.

* The Ringo Group members-only bulletin board –trans.

This monthly report, Kougyoku, will of course introduce you once more to information about the above-mentioned releases. A mini-interview with Ringo Shiina, “Hikensha no Heya [Test Subject’s Room],” will also be a part of that same flow. The contents will be about the release rush and the Ringo Group Convention DVD.
They are all very major subjects. We shall display them grandly.
That said, please enjoy the monthly report, Kougyoku.

[Feature: Ringo Shiina Mini-Interview “Hikensha no Heya”]

We’ve been made to establish two topics especially for this time’s Ringo Shiina Mini-Interview “Hikensha no Heya.” One is about Ms. Ringo’s new developments that have gotten going on the opportunity of the movie “Sakuran,” entitled “Ringo Shiina talks a little about her new developments.” For the other, we got her to talk about the DVD format, finally, of the Very First Ringo Group Convention. It’s entitled “Ringo Shiina talks a little about the DVD ‘Dai-ikkai Ringo-han Taikai no Moyou [The Pattern of the Very First Ringo Group Convention].’” Both subjects will absolutely attract your interest. Let’s take a look at once.

o Ringo Shiina talks a little about her new developments

* About Sakuran

Q. You were made music director for the movie “Sakuran” that will be released in 2007, but when you first got the offer, how did it seem to you?

As I’d thought “Wish this could be turned into live-action” upon getting and receiving the work from Rui-kun at the magazine house by chance, it was an honor.

Q. In a previous monthly report, Kougyoku, interview, you gave an answer stating “as requested by a friend, etc,” but this was director Mika Ninagawa-san indeed, wasn’t it. In what way did Ninagawa-san request this?

Mika-san said that she wanted my voice to be used the whole way through. At the very beginning, I’m certain she said “I really want to ask this of you.”

Q. As friends with Mika Ninagawa-san, what kind of association did you have with each other usually?

We met via introduction by my stylist Daisuke Iga-kun, and ever since it’s been a relationship of association as theater-going buddies. Mainly Takarazuka performances.

Q. For the movie “Sakuran,” with director Ninagawa-san at the head of the list, and Daisuke Iga-san and Yuuko Sugiyama-san in charge of costuming, there were people very close to Ringo-san participating. How was that?

I could predict it. It was like you’d think, but especially Yuuko-rin who presents in such a lovely way these sorts of wild historic things, doesn’t she? Just as you’d expect of her.

Q: It sounds like this is a story of the courtesans of Yoshiwara. It would be much too hasty to ask you here all about your impressions about things related to the story and the movie itself. That being the case, would you tell us only about the atmosphere of the movie that you felt, Ringo-san?

Mika-san, without saying anything, makes each creator swim well. …Having said that, I’m out of highlights. Don’t miss it.

Q: This too was discussed in a previous monthly report, Kougyoku, but by saying, “I’m sticking to my computer nowadays,” surely you were indicating the extreme situation of being in the middle of music production for this “Sakuran”?

In brief, I was even literally “sticking” sounds to image data inside my computer. It wasn’t an extreme situation. It was happy work.

Q: It’s not out yet, but to those who will see the movie in theaters, please say a few words.

Thank you for your continued support. Certainly go and savor in theaters the unprecedented freshness of almost all creators put in charge for the first time.

* About the single/album

Q: Now then, it’s become a single and album release as Ringo Shiina, after some time. The fans especially feel this has a special meaning, but how is it for you yourself?

I’m afraid of this getting long. I wonder if I can talk about it concisely. When I first got the offer for the movie (at least a year and a half ago), I’d thought I wanted to borrow the strength of all my favorite musicians, including Phases One and Two of Jihen. But, on and after the live tour “just can’t help it!” that became a certain big crossroads even for me, we Phase Two Jihen members got to wanting to treat the places where we’d gather as intentionally special. Somehow we got to thinking of those places with caution, excepting what we put out ourselves. In brief, that we want to really, really concentrate on activity that’s funded Phase Two members’ creativity, like recording music that’s come into being through things like one-man live shows, live events that we do only with musicians we feel are amazing, and so on. It’s a very difficult thing to persist in musical pickiness in unfamiliar places like movies and so on, with lots of other people involved. For those of us who still just accepted Phase Two, we need fun and pain to create more and more purely. We’re thinking we want to wait for our wounds to completely heal first. That we want our fans to hear in our performances a state full of energy to live. For those reasons, this time in relation to the movie “Sakuran” I tried to pursue, how far can I make myself do this without rousing Jihen. Nevertheless, in order to be able to make what was wanted, I’m quite endeavoring even as an individual. If it’s all right, try me one time.

Q. The song “Karisome Otome [Temporary Virgin] (Death Jazz Ver.),” currently released only digitally, is really groovy and aggressive together with the backing band Soil & “Pimp” Sessions. How was it conceived to want to make a different version to the original “Karisome Otome”?

We originally hypothesized upwards of two arrangements. Wanting to taste the mood of Narumi Yasuda-san in “Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä [Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind].” With the plan of an image song to the last, that wouldn’t run during a play. By the way, when I was an amateur, I had the experience of getting to cover the aforementioned Narumi Yasuda-san’s song with the current Roletta Secohan drummer and others. A.K.A. [Haruomi] Hosono-san’s masterpiece.

Q: It sounds like the single “Kono Yo no Kagiri [The Limits of This World]” will be the ending theme for the movie “Sakuran.” Upon making the song this time, did you entwine something into it that hints at the worldview of “Sakuran”?

It might not really fit with the worldview, I don’t think. Just this one time, I tried to write songs that wouldn’t cause any problems even if used to get a feel for the movie itself. I don’t know if this could be called a hint, but I took the liberty of being in a state of saying things like, “any deviating from this must be done in a positive way.”

Q: As it stands with the album, not all of the particulars have come out yet. Even so, I hear that it’s a gorgeous finish with a considerable amount of work put in. Won’t you give us a hint this time about the album?

I paid attention in order to create the major premise of the work’s sound: this is 2006, this is Japan, we are ordinary people who certainly breathe amid rumors. It’s my belief that I myself am self-conscious of how this could have a Jihen sound, but I might have been all the more strongly aware of that maybe because the breadth of the years of all the performing musicians boasts of a volume rarely seen.

Q. There are also fans harboring worries about what will happen to Tokyo Jihen with a release under the Ringo Shiina solo name. Please let us hear an answer from Ringo-san about that.

As I planned to give a full answer in relation to this for the first question about the single/album, I’m happy to be able to roughly leave it out. Everyone who follows Jihen, everyone who joined the Group regardless, thank you so very much for reading this even today. Wanting to be honored with your favor for a long time now increased, I beg you earnestly.

o Ringo Shiina talks a little about the DVD “Dai-ikkai Ringo-han Taikai no Moyou”

Q. No way, I’m quite surprised—that the Very First Ringo Group Convention, Adults Only, is getting DVD format. What was your mental state like when you resolved on DVD this time?

I was thinking how I wanted to bring everyone in the Group a new mental state without delay. Through music as much as possible. Since it’s the very first state that should be commemorated, transforming this feeling into an embodiment, I grew to want to devise a way that lots of people, not just everyone in the Group, could see it.

Q: From the start, all the members’ comments wishing for DVD format were quite formidable. Would you say that was also taken into consideration, naturally?

It was the very first, limited in those who could come, as we had various circumstances on our end prohibiting us no matter what. I want to at least offer it to everyone who could not be there, but I couldn’t manage it. I’m sorry. If you would, please be so kind as to buy it.

Q. The songs backed by the Matatabi Orchestra led by Neko Saitou-san, thinking on it now, become something from the new album we’d received in advance, don’t they. How about that?

Oh, I touched on that in the last question. Even as a dream with no confidence in whether it could be realized in terms of how out of control the cost would be, I’d been thinking I wanted to go without concealing it from everyone in the Group. At the kind words of the fans, the budget increases.

Q. In that case, I dare say that to all of the members who must be longing for something, please say the word.

I completely forgot about what kind of condition the performance recorded for DVD was in. As always, since there are limits to the numbers, it was difficult, but I recall that there were very pleasant contents. I’ll be happy if you relish it in one way or another. Please!!

[Interview Postscript]
We really understand that Ms. Ringo, in fact, devoted herself in earnest to the music of the movie “Sakuran.” And we can perceive, too, that she is tackling the single and album directly in front of her. And as for the DVD format of the Ringo Group Convention, it looks like her feeling of wanting to let all of you members see it no matter what has succeeded. In any case, we fans felt that we wanted to seriously appreciate it, out of an obligation to live up to Ms. Ringo’s feelings.

We plan to distribute the next monthly report, Kougyoku, on January 1, 2007.
As I went ahead and wrote that myself, the typed letters of “January 1, 2007” are so stimulating that it almost seems like the distribution day is a complete misprint error. Yes, the next issue is next year’s tale. If that’s so, that means Ms. Ringo’s each and every development will become all the more tangible, doesn’t it. Please welcome a good New Year.

Ringo Group Leader


From original Japanese email sent out to members of the official “Ringo-han” (Ringo Group) fan club.
Translation © Sarah/Frecklegirl 2011-onward


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