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Alethea & Athena
Disney Japan 
22nd-Jun-2015 04:38 pm
Last night we got to listen to some pretty cool CDs, and now I want to talk about them! Well, mostly the first one. It's called Wagakki Disney Music Selection, and it's a bunch of Disney songs played on Japanese musical instruments (wagakki). Not that I really know anything about musical stylings, but I suspect that the songs were mostly not arranged into a traditional Japanese style, just played on Japanese instruments. Nevertheless, it sounds really awesome.

We had seen a track list before we ordered it, so we were aware that it had everyone's favorite ballad of self-deception, and for that reason we thought about not buying it, but we listened to a demo track of See the Light, and it was just so pretty that we had to get it anyway. Fortunately, the song we don't like is at the beginning. I will admit, it is a rather pretty piece of music, and it's not nearly as self-deceiving without the lyrics. I think that one was mostly played on a Japanese flute (I think it's best not for me to guess instrument names, because I am clueless), which is a detail I supplied because I was thinking maybe I should try to describe what the music sounds like, since this is a review and all.

But then I remembered that I was kind of distracted by a 3D puzzle while we listened to it, so I don't remember a lot of details. So why didn't we just listen to it without the puzzle? Because we get really antsy if we're just sitting and listening to music. If there are vocals, we'll read the lyrics, but if it's all instrumentals, we need something to do with our hands.

So I'm just going to skip ahead. There was a very haunting version of Chim Chim Cheree, and then the finale. It was really cool, because it started out with the gagaku-type music you always hear in anime and video games where they play that kind of music (we think they have that kind of music in the Kurain Village in the Ace Attorney series, but we're having a really hard time remembering exactly where we've heard it), but anyway it totally evokes images of Heian Japan and then...it becomes It's a Small World! And it's so perfect because the song is about how it's a small world! Oh my goodness, I love it so much.

Then the puzzle turned out to be really hard, so we had time to listen to another new CD: the Tokyo DisneySea Music Album. We decided it was high time we get a recording of the ride version of Compass of Your Heart (as opposed to the Koe no Ouji-sama version), which we've wanted ever since we went to DisneySea in May of 2008. As soon as we got home, we searched for some non-YouTube way to get a recording of the song, and we couldn't find anything! Now that we finally have a CD with the song, we checked the release date, and it turns out if we had gone in July of that year, we might have been able to buy it at the park. Ah well. We have it now anyway.

Of course, it has more than just Compass of Your Heart; it has theme songs from all the seas of DisneySea! It even has the soundtrack to their version of the Indiana Jones ride, which isn't really all that different from our version. And a lot of the songs reminded us of the "Lords of the Sea" song from Galavant, and now we have to wonder if they were any inspiration. But the point is, the whole CD was loaded with nostalgia and happy memories, and now we want to go back again (even more than usual). Maybe someday soon...ish...

Today I'm thankful for cool wagakki versions of Disney songs, having a recording of our favorite Disney song of all time (it has all the dialogue, too! and Chandu!), finishing our first draft of My Monster Secret, having a booklet with pictures of the DisneySea attractions, and actually having an electric fan this summer.
22nd-Jun-2015 10:17 pm (UTC)
Haunting version of Chim Chim Cheree caught my interest right away!! Did you find this on CDJapan? (I tried looking there but had no luck... maybe they romanized the title differently or something, as they occasionally do/did??) (or ohhh, is there some thing where they can't export Japanese Disney merch? Seems like you wrote about that before.) Hmmm~

Amazon JP has samples you can listen to!! (sharing for the sake of anyone else who's curious.) Based on the samples I think some of the songs made the transition better than others (to my taste, I mean. like some sound natural with the J-instruments, while some are like... the original song is just wearing a cheesy mask. Like Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, the notes move so fast and I feel like the instruments they're played on aren't normally played that way, or with those kinds of notes, so it's unnatural? Not like I'm an expert here.) But you're totally right about Chim Chim Cheree!! Ahh, I love it! Suupaakarifurajirisutikkuekusupiaridooshasu (hahahahaha sheesh) is fun too :D

Ohhhh, Japan nostalgia... I've been thinking of it again lately too, and the lady we stayed with there commented yesterday on FB that she misses me! Awww, I wanna go back!!

Edited at 2015-06-23 01:19 am (UTC)
23rd-Jun-2015 02:58 am (UTC)
I think we found it from one of those "you bought this, so we bet you'll also like THIS!" things from Amazon. Either that, or we were at Japan's Disney music site for information on, like, the Koe no Ouji-sama All Stars CD or something. But you're right, for some reason, Disney won't let anyone but Amazon export the CDs. We went a little crazy a couple weeks ago and made an order because CD Japan was only offering one of the Saiyuki musicals we wanted.

Yeah, I think for some of them it's like how not all Disney songs are written as piano solos, but I still play them on the piano. Only instead of a piano, it's Japanese instruments. I think the Mickey Mouse Club March and the one from Pirates of the Caribbean were like that, too. (Speaking of the one from Pirates, we must say, the song selection on this album is kind of really miihaa. Did I ever explain that word on LJ?)

We had a Japanese history professor in college who's real field was "ethnomusicology", I imagine with an emphasis on Japanese music. He would bring real kotos to class and stuff. But the point is, I wonder what he would have to say about this CD...
23rd-Jun-2015 02:59 am (UTC)
Speaking of songs, and I'm not quite sure that this is the disliked song you were speaking of (although I suspect it is), I thought of you when I read this. ;)

Ellen Degeneres was doing a skit on her show wherein she had been elected president. She was signing bills into law, and she ended with:

And finally, it is now against the law to sing "Let It Go" in public. If a person is caught doing so, their bank accounts will be frozen! Ha,ha,ha,ha, ha!"

You can see a still version of it here: https://instagram.com/p/0C_oHUs0eV/


That CD sounds awesome!

Edited at 2015-06-23 06:00 am (UTC)
23rd-Jun-2015 09:54 pm (UTC)
Ha ha! That's great! You are quite right about the song to which I was referring.

It's a great CD! It would be pretty awesome if it made it to the States. That one's even less niche than the Koe no Ouji-sama ones, because it doesn't have any lyrics, so no one has to worry about the language.
24th-Jun-2015 02:24 am (UTC)
I don't really mind the song, but it does get old very quickly when everywhere you go, kids are singing it loudly. And I like kids, so it's not that. And usually you can tell that the parents are ready to bang their heads against the wall (the parents' heads, not the kids', although ...) if the kids don't shut up, but they're really not doing anything wrong, so if you're lucky, the parents' politely tell the kids it's the last time (which of course, they ignore), and if you're not lucky, you have to listen to the parents screaming at the kids over the sound of "Let It Go" being song loudly and off-tune.

Maybe I exaggerate a bit? ;) Hee hee!
24th-Jun-2015 03:06 am (UTC)
I think of all the Frozen songs, it was the one we liked the best, but we liked it as a villain song, which it turned out not to be. But anyway, I think the parents should use their kids' constant singing of the song to their advantage, because one of the lines is, "You'll never see me cry." They should hold their kids up to that. ...On the other hand, there are other lyrics like "the perfect girl is gone" and "no right, no wrong, no rules for me," so maybe it wouldn't be such a good idea after all.

(We've come across kids singing it a few times at Disneyland and at church, but usually they're in their own little world so everybody pretty much ignores it.)
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