音の帯〜Phonon Belt

Hirasawa Susumu (Unofficial) Lyrics & Other Sundry Translations

Welcome!
This journal is dedicated to Japanese musician Hirasawa Susumu (平沢進) and his various music projects, including P-Model. As there are not that many English translations of Mr. Hirasawa's fascinating lyrics, I am posting my own attempts at translating them here. You will also find some summaries/translations of other Hirasawa-related materials.

Please read the FAQ if you have any questions. Use the TAGS to find song lyrics and other translations more easily.

ご注意:こちらは一人の外国人ファンが平沢進の歌詞を日本語が読めないファンのために英訳するブログです。公式なものではありません。師匠の素晴らしさをもっと世界に伝えればという思いでやっております。どうかよろしくお願いします。


This entry was originally posted at http://phonon-belt.dreamwidth.org/938.html.

平沢進 -「電光浴- 1」「電光浴- 2」/ Hirasawa Susumu - "Electric Light Bathing" Lyrics
Hirasawa - Red
phonon_belt
Hello, how is everyone? :)

I have in my hands my first Hirasawa boxed set--HALDYN DOME. It really is a thing of beauty. And I am very excited to have all the song lyrics in one convenient PDF file!

It was also Mr. Hirasawa's birthday a few days ago, on April 2. Happy belated birthday! I wish him good health and good luck, and look forward to a new album from him soon!

Now...on to some music! It's time to look at some more tracks from the 1996 album, Siren. And why not start with the "電光浴" series? There are (as far as I can tell) three versions of "電光浴"--version 1, 2, and the "default" version from the single. 電光浴- 1 is simply the first half of the "default" version, and 電光浴- 2 is the second half.

The title of these tracks is (if you want to be overly literal) "Electric Light Bath," a reference to phototherapy and the idea of using UV or infrared light or simulated sunlight to treat a number of physical and mental ailments. [Edit: Just noticed that the English title on Mr. Hirasawa's website is "ELECTRIC LIGHT BATHING", so we'll go with that now. :) ]

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平沢進 -「電光浴- 1」
Japanese lyricsCollapse )

Romaji lyricsCollapse )

Hirasawa Susumu - "Electric Light Bathing-1"
Rough English translation.Collapse )

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The siren that started playing in the background then smoothly transitions us into the second track of the album, the famous "SAIREN*Siren*" (not to be confused with "Siren*SEIREEN*" haha).

The second part of "Light Bath" doesn't play until almost the end of the album, right after the heart-wrenching "Siam Lights."

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平沢進 -「電光浴- 2」
Japanese lyricsCollapse )

Romaji lyricsCollapse )

Hirasawa Susumu - "Electric Light Bathing-2"
Rough English translation.Collapse )

---

I use "titanic" here in the sense of "made of titanium" but the idea of the Titans or the famous ship that crashed into an iceberg is out there, too. Not sure if that's intentional.

"Light Bath-2" then transitions into the unforgettable "Mermaid Song." Wow, what an intense album.

---

Finally, for the sake of completeness, if you combine "Light Bath-1" and "2", you get the "Default Version." It lacks the siren sounds from "Light Bath-1" and is possibly a bit more therapeutic-sounding.

平沢進 -「電光浴 (default version)」
Japanese lyricsCollapse )

Romaji lyricsCollapse )

Hirasawa Susumu - "Electric Light Bathing (Default Version)"
Rough English translation.Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://phonon-belt.dreamwidth.org/19558.html.

平沢進 -「作業(愚者の薔薇園)」/ Hirasawa Susumu - "Opus (The Fool's Rose Garden)" Lyrics
Hirasawa - Red
phonon_belt
Hello! It's been a while. My new job doesn't leave much time for translating, but I am still listening to Mr. Hirasawa, so all is well.

A while back someone asked about the song "Opus" and I finally got around to taking a stab at it.

As I discussed here, the theme for the Philosopher's Propeller album is alchemy and the process known as the magnum opus or the "great work." The song is titled "Opus" in English, but the Japanese word in the title can also simply be translated as "work," so it all fits together.

While much of the rest of the album fits with alchemy, this song to me seems more imbued with the atmosphere of things from the Hermetic tradition and the ideas of Aleister Crowley. (Just skim the descriptions of the magnum opus here and see if you agree.) The use of the word "The Fool" (the first card in a tarot deck) in the song title also hints towards this occult/spiritual meaning rather than the purely alchemical idea. Crowley was influential in modern tarot deck creation and study, in particular through the Thoth Tarot painted by Lady Frieda Harris. If you take a look at "The Fool" card in a Thoth deck and then consider the crazy imagery of this song, you might start seeing connections...are those feathers? And a lion? What?

At any rate, this is a mellow yet intriguingly beautiful song--a song of innocence and curiosity and perfect power, maybe. What do you think?

平沢進 -「作業(愚者の薔薇園)」
Japanese lyricsCollapse )
Romaji lyricsCollapse )


Hirasawa Susumu - "Opus (The Fool's Rose Garden)"
My attempted English translationCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://phonon-belt.dreamwidth.org/19391.html.

P-Model - "Big Foot" Lyrics
Hirasawa - Red
phonon_belt
Despite the title, this song is NOT about the legendary Bigfoot. (Though Mr. Hirasawa said in the Music Industrial Wastes: P-Model Side book that he doesn't mind at all if you think the album is about a Yeti.)

It's hard to say what this song is actually about, though. (I think I'll eventually translate a description of the album Big Body that I found helpful.) The overall concept seems to be about the interconnectedness of humans and technology, so in that context, a lot of the words in this song (like "stack") relate to computer programming.

My personal image of the song is actually that a computer component or program is singing to the computer user. The computer or program is shuffling data around as fast as possible, adding things to the stack (which is like a stock of data) and making things happen without actually engaging in any physical movement. It rests when there's no operation to carry out. And it can hear the user's commands, though maybe the user is a mythical being, something people think exists and no one can prove--kinda like Bigfoot. ;)


P-Model - "Big Foot"
Japanese lyricsCollapse )
Romaji lyricsCollapse )

P-Model - "Big Foot"
My rough translationCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://phonon-belt.dreamwidth.org/19013.html.

P-Model - "Waste Cabaret" Lyrics
Hirasawa - Red
phonon_belt
"Waste Cabaret" is a song from 1999 (I think), but it feels incredibly relevant to the current state of the world: political movements, harsh military action, terrorism, unemployment, wasted lives, and terrible entertainment. Or at least that's what I think of with this song. XD

I sort of feel like this song would not have been out of place on the later Kaku_P Vistoron album.

This song is hard to translate because a lot of lines feel incomplete (verbs are missing entirely, etc.). To make the sentences work, though, I sometimes had to put in verb that isn't in the original. Also, the "ha!" that the singer interjects in every verse breaks up the lines in a weird way and almost seems to be a form of censorship or at least a sign that whatever's happening is unspeakable. I did my best to incorporate the feeling, but suggestions are always welcome, of course.

P-Model - "Waste Cabaret"
Japanese lyricsCollapse )
Romaji lyricsCollapse )

P-Model - "Waste Cabaret"
My attempted English translationCollapse )

Translation notes: Read more...Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://phonon-belt.dreamwidth.org/18918.html.

平沢進 -「力の唄」/ Hirasawa Susumu - "Song of the Force" Lyrics
Hirasawa - Red
phonon_belt
"Song of the Force" (or "Song of Power," perhaps) is another one of my favorites. It seems to be a song about folksongs, and the rhythm and sound effects are fantastic at evoking that magical, spiritual feeling of a night out in the open, when you hear animals and feel how insignificant you are.

Which brings me to a big translation problem. Usually I translation Hirasawa's lyrics from the first-person "I" point of view, even though most of the time he never uses a pronoun other than kimi/ "you." Not stating the subject of a verb works fine in Japanese, but not in English. Among other things, this song mentions acting as a flock (or herd, or group), which sounds awkward if it's from a single person's point of view. So this time (after much debate) I went with "we" throughout the entire song. I think this works with the idea of how communal folksongs typically are.

As always, I leave it to your interpretation.

平沢進 -「力の唄」
Japanese lyricsCollapse )
Romaji lyricsCollapse )


Hirasawa Susumu - "Song of the Force"
My very awkward English translationCollapse )

Translation Notes:Read more...Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://phonon-belt.dreamwidth.org/18623.html.

平沢進 -「石の庭」/ Hirasawa Susumu - "Stone Garden" Lyrics
Hirasawa - Red
phonon_belt
平沢進 -「石の庭」
Japanese lyricsCollapse )
Romaji lyricsCollapse )

Hirasawa Susumu - "Stone Garden"
My rough English translationCollapse )


Translation Notes:Read more...Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://phonon-belt.dreamwidth.org/18397.html.

平沢進 -「賢者のプロペラ-1」/ Hirasawa Susumu - "Philosopher's Propeller-1"
Hirasawa - Red
phonon_belt
"Philosopher's Propeller-1" is a great opening song for the Philosopher's Propeller CD. It's rousing yet whimsical. It's full of techno elements but has that bit of folk music blended in alongside some almost operatic falsetto. And it has lyrics that don't really make much sense to me but that are somehow beautiful. :P

In other words, it has a bit of everything that makes me love Mr. Hirasawa's music. ;)

If you haven't seen it already, the music video for this song is also pretty amazing.

And in case you're wondering about my tags) "Philosopher's Propeller-3" is the Solar Ray remix of "Philosopher's Propeller-1." Same lyrics for both.

平沢進 -「賢者のプロペラ-1」
Japanese lyricsCollapse )
Romaji lyricsCollapse )

Hirasawa Susumu - "Philosopher's Propeller-1"
My somewhat fast and loose English translationCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://phonon-belt.dreamwidth.org/17502.html.

平沢進 -「ルベド(赤化)」/ Hirasawa Susumu - "Rubedo (Reddening)"
Hirasawa - Red
phonon_belt
As discussed here, rubedo (or "reddening") is the final step for creating the philosopher's stone in alchemy. In terms of spiritual/mental growth, though, it is the culmination of the process of self-realization and leads to the appearance of the Self archetype, which Jung apparently described as "the total, timeless man . . . who stands for the mutual integration of conscious and unconscious." The process of rubedo has also been described as follows:
Once the inner light has been discovered, it must be made into the only reality in our consciousness. After having descended into the unconscious [in nigredo and albedo] . . . we found the Light. [...] [O]ur conscious, or attention, must completely penetrate our unconscious, or soul, or everything that lies hidden in ourselves.


Perhaps that's why this song is one big command to "see" or become conscious of something?

平沢進 -「ルベド(赤化)」
Japanese lyrics.Collapse )
Romaji lyrics.Collapse )

Hirasawa Susumu - "Rubedo (Reddening)"
My English translationCollapse )

Translation Notes:Read more...Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://phonon-belt.dreamwidth.org/15972.html.

平沢進 -「賢者のプロペラ-2」/ Hirasawa Susumu - "Philosopher's Propeller-2"
Hirasawa - Red
phonon_belt
The melody of "Philosopher's Propeller-2" is almost identical to that in the instrumental track "Albedo" on the same album. Both songs have what sounds like the chanting of some kind of sutra in the background, though it sounds more like a group of many people in "Albedo" and more like one single monk in "Philosopher's Propeller-2." (No idea what's actually being chanted, though.)

To go back to the alchemical background to this album, albedo (or "whitening") would be the second stage on the way to creating the philosopher's stone or (on a psychological level) transforming the self into something resembling enlightenment. Albedo is a stage where the individual comes to terms with the male and female aspects of their unconscious, and gets rid of "inflated ego and unneeded conceptualizations." (That might be part of the reason "Albedo" has no lyrics--they're unneeded. "Philosopher's Propeller-2" also has rather sparse lyrics and mentions getting rid of "today" and the past it's connected to.)

As this page notes, in albedo:
[A] white light appears. [...] The alchemist has discovered within himself the source from which his life comes forth. The fountain of life from which the water of life flows forth giving eternal youth. The source is one: male and female are united.


But enough. Let's look at the lyrics!

平沢進 -「賢者のプロペラ-2」
Japanese lyricsCollapse )
Romaji lyricsCollapse )


Hirasawa Susumu - "Philosopher's Propeller-2"
My inelegant English translationCollapse )

Translation Notes: Read more...Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://phonon-belt.dreamwidth.org/17833.html.

平沢進 - 「ニグレド(黒化)」 / Hirasawa Susumu - "Nigredo (Blackening)"
Hirasawa - Red
phonon_belt
As I mentioned here, nigredo is the first step for creating the philosopher's stone--a source of enlightenment, basically--in alchemy, but the concept has been applied to spiritual/psychological development as well.

To quote from this random website:
Psychologically, nigredo is a process of directing oneself to find self-knowledge. A problem is given full attention and reduced to its core. This is not done so much in an intellectual way, but especially by feeling the emotions. By really going into . . . it, one causes . . . the decomposition of that in which one had been stuck. The confrontation with the inner reality is often painful, and can lead to depression. But once in the depth of the darkness, with the discovery of the seed of the problem . . . the white light is born (= albedo, whiteness, the next phase). A state of rest arises.


Now, on to the song!

平沢進 - 「ニグレド(黒化)」
Japanese lyricsCollapse )
Romaji lyricsCollapse )

Hirasawa Susumu - "Nigredo (Blackening)"
My English translationCollapse )


Translation Notes:Read more...Collapse )

- Interestingly enough, these lyrics have a lot in common with the lyrics of "In the Square," a much earlier song.

This entry was originally posted at http://phonon-belt.dreamwidth.org/17357.html.

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