Entry #23 – This Week's Releases, and Passing Into the New Year

Hi everyone, it’s Kohaku; I hope you all are safely enjoying the holidays!

Tomorrow, I will have a 2019 best-of compilation for you guys. It was a bit of work to compile, especially because I had challenged myself to post something every day since the summer. There was a lot of writing to sift through! But I guess it was good that I did more poetry than prose this year, since it takes less time to read. I narrowed everything down to about 30 pieces, and then cut it to 10, trying to pick from all the different styles and genres. So I’ll share that with you guys tomorrow, and I also want to hear what you guys liked from my work this year too.

The day after, on the 31st, I’ll have another longer work – a piece that will reflect on the year overall, as well as look forward and carry us into the new year. I guess it’s a compilation in a kind of roundabout way, but it’s easier to read it as just one long message strung together. I’m not really sure how it’s going to turn out in the end, but please do look forward to that too!

Also, I might have another something special on the 1st. I haven’t totally decided yet. I guess we’ll see when we get there.

I really wonder about a lot of things at the end of the year. I’ve been told from various people that it takes a lot of energy to go from one year to the next, and some years are harder than others for certain types of people. Whether that’s factually true or not, I can’t say, but it’s not hard to believe. It’s a bit scary how many bad or threatening events in my personal life have begun to pile up right around this time. So I hope you all are safe, healthy, and conserving your energy to make the years’ crossing. Hopefully, we won’t leave too many loved ones behind.

That’s not to end on a depressing note, of course. Are you all looking after your loved ones? Have you paid attention to them? Have you thanked them lately? It’s a good time now to reflect on your behavior towards the people you care for. That’s what the holidays are really about: people, and love. Right? Hopefully, in this coming year, we can achieve our loving dreams and realize our one global humanity and happiness.

Well, I don’t think I had much more to say. It feels weird that this will be the last journal entry of 2019. Anyway, happy new year, 新年快乐, 良いお年を〜! Fingers crossed, I’ll see you again on the other side.

K.T.

Entry #22 – 「VANGUARD」Reflection, 「Anniversary」Releases Tomorrow, Christmas

Hi everyone! It’s Kohaku. I hope you all had a great week.

The poetry compilation 「VANGUARD: Flagbearer of Nocturnal Skies」released this past Monday. How was it? I’m pretty happy with how it turned out; there’s some really good stuff in there. Here’s a question – what do you think the message of the whole compilation is? In other words, what did you take away after reading it? Overall messages are important, and while I certainly know how I interpreted it, I’d like to know how you guys interpreted it too.

Anyway, as I promised, there’s another poetry compilation coming out tomorrow. It’s called 「Anniversary ~2019~」, and unlike other compilations, it’s composed entirely of already published material, just gathered and put together in a new format. It’ll be longer than usual, too, and it will have a preface, something I haven’t included since 「DOUBLE-SIDED」. It feels like it’s been forever since then… time really does fly. Well, look forward to the compilation coming out tomorrow, and let me know what you think!

Christmas is coming up, for those who celebrate it. I hope you all are able to spend some meaningful time with your families; I’m definitely doing my best with mine. Take care of yourselves, and reserve the strength you need to make it through the holidays and the end of the year. It gets tough around this time, doesn’t it? For some more than others, sure, but passing into the new year can be pretty rough for us all. Just do your best to keep moving forward.

Anyone have any favorite Christmas music? I don’t like the music that gets played a lot where I live, not because the songs are bad necessarily, but because they play the same five or six songs over and over again, every year, everywhere. I just want more variety, that’s all. I don’t really celebrate the holiday though, so it’s not as if it matters terribly to me. Well, for the past few years whenever it gets around this time, I tend to pull up and re-listen to these two tracks: GACKT’s「12月のLove Song」, and Makihara Noriyuki & Hamada Masatoshi’s「Chicken Rice」. They’re my personal Christmas staples.

I think next week I might talk about my recent artist inspirations. I’ve been listening to new music recently – it’s important to always keep learning and exploring new things. That’s what it means to keep moving forward. Well, until then~

Take care,

KT

Entry #21 – 「VANGUARD」Releases Tomorrow

Hey everyone, it’s Kohaku. I hope you all had a fantastic week.

Before we know it, the year will be over. A lot of people are getting holiday breaks or vacations of some kind – but that’s not an excuse to laze around, right? It takes a lot of strength to go into the new year, and lazing around won’t help anything. So if you have the time, definitely rest and recuperate, but make sure you’re doing these and other things in a meaningful way. Cherish your time with your family, if you have one. Spend time doing things you enjoy that will help make you a better person. Don’t waste the time and things and people that you have!

Anyhow, good news – I have a new poetry compilation for you. It’s called 「VANGUARD: Flagbearer of Nocturnal Skies」, and it releases tomorrow! Please do look forward to it, and let me know what you think. I put a lot of heart into this one, and I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out, so I hope that you will be, too.

Two more compilations and at least one other project coming up at the end of the year. Is everyone ready? Thanks for holding out with me this far. I don’t have much more to say right now, but I’ll have a lot more time to write and such in the next few weeks, so expect some new quality stuff. In the meantime, take care of yourselves!

KT

Entry #19 – Thanksgiving, and Acoustic vs. Electronic Music

Hey everyone, it’s Kohaku. Hope you all had a safe and happy week.

Well, American Thanksgiving happened, and Black Friday and all of that. For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, did you have a good, authentic time with your families? Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see some of my family this year, but I enjoyed the time I had with those I could. That’s important, don’t you think?

Well, anyway, what are you all thankful for? What does this holiday mean to you? Holidays are pretty subjective – I said that when discussing Halloween. I guess for some people, Thanksgiving is about food. For some, it’s about the upcoming Black Friday sales. For some, it’s about seeing family and friends. For some, it’s about mourning America’s history of genocide. Thanksgiving is different things for different people – just like Halloween, New Year’s Day, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and so on. Holidays are interesting like that.

Anyhow, beyond Thanksgiving, I thought I’d like to talk about something music-related this week, since I think I mentioned my new guitar last time.

Here’s a question for you all: do you prefer acoustic or electronic music?

An interesting question, I think, especially in this day and age. The use of electronics in music is getting more and more prevalent – and there’s different levels to electronic music, different types and so on. So the question itself can be surprisingly broad.

I’ve been thinking about this recently, and I think that for me personally, I definitely prefer acoustic. But sometimes I’m okay with electronic amplification. Electric guitars, for instance, I generally do like. So for me it’s not about a strict electric versus acoustic “sound.”

In debating this question, the thing that bothers me is how the music is made – how the sound is produced, and who is producing it. I value virtuosic, technically-skilled musicians who have gone through years of practice and training and effort and can produce unique, incredible sounds on their chosen instrument/s. I value hearing the actual instrument – hearing the strum of the guitar, the sliding of the fingers up and down the strings, the vibrations beneath the piano, the tiny characteristics unique to each singer’s raw voice. I value being able to actually watch a musician play their instrument in this way.

In contrast, I don’t like music that is very electronic or synth-heavy, music that is programmed, music that is produced, pre-recorded, and altered digitally and then played by pressing a button. Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with this kind of music, and I’m not saying that it doesn’t take skill and artistic creativity to produce it. Many people do like it, and it’s certainly the right of musicians around the world to be able to utilize the latest technology to pursue the limits of what is auditorily and musically possible. I’ve also nothing against electronic distribution of music, which is definitely better for the environment at any rate. I just personally do not like music that is not really produced on an actual “instrument.” It feels to me almost inauthentic.

Some musicians are able to balance these two types of music very well. And some musicians can produce very good electronic music. It’s really quite up to personal preference, so having stated mine, I’d like to ask: what about you? What does “acoustic versus electronic” mean to you, and which do you prefer? Do you care? Does it matter?

Give your musical preferences some thought this week, won’t you? Music is important. I think a lot of people underestimate how important it can be.

Take care of yourselves.

KT