Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Spotlight - Miwa Gemini

Welcome to the newest volume in the Sunday Spotlight series. Today it is my pleasure to introduce Japanese born Miwa Gemini, who's set to release her second full length album, This Is How I Found You, here in the States. Besides adding her lovely voice to the nine songs on the album, she also plays banjo, mandolin, and piano (which she was originally classically trained to play). She just hit the road last week in support of it but was kind enough in between packing her bags to talk with me about the third cut, Something Ordinary.

Text in red is hers, questions in black are mine.


Here we go, here's something about something ordinary :)

The story begins like this: a girl was in love with a boy, but the boy had another girl, then another girl, then another girl...

Many songs were written by the girl about her misery. Well one gets tired of it eventually, if one was lucky. I guess I was a lucky one, for I did get tired of it, the sad songs and my broken heart. I was so bored of writing depressing songs that I decided I just about had enough - I said to myself, "So be it, I might be as far away from being happily in love, but at least I will be in one in my songs!"

As I was began thinking about what makes me happy, I realized I was done with all those high drama love affairs, that all I wanted was, well to put it plainly "something ordinary." The kind of love affair that will make the most boring movie ever - "a boy meets a girl and they lived happily ever after." It takes only one person to say "no" but it takes two people to say "yes." And if two people says "yes" without any negotiation or compromises, you begin to see how extraordinary that ordinary is.

One of my friend used to say "if you want something, put it out there." I guess I did that by singing this song and you know, it worked. I have a wonderful friend now that I can talk to about anything or be comfortably silent together. I can laugh with him and if I cry, he doesn't get scared and run away. I call him my husband now. (Of course, being a typical woman, I demand champagne and flowers occasionally though I said in the song I didn't want them.)

So now that my happily-ever-after state achieved I wonder what's next - then I think of what my friend's mother said to us once, "After marriage, that's when the real work begins, girls remember that." And the wise words of Dolly Parton assures me also. Asked about what she thought of gay marriage issue, Ms. Parton smiled and said "Why shouldn't they be allowed to suffer like we do?!"

Looks like there will be plenty to write about happy or otherwise!

And to further plumb Miwa's mind:

1.) Originally you trained as a classical pianist. What made you make the leap from there to the music you perform now?

Erik Satie and The Carpenters!!! Memories of my childhood. Well what I want to say is that I wanted to write my own music. I wanted to create something strange and beautiful.

2.) When I first visited your website and looked at the "words" page, I thought I was looking at poetry you had written, but then realized they were the lyrics to some of your songs. Are you a reader of poetry and how do you approach writing the lyrics to your songs? Do they come first or the instrumental parts?

I usually write music part first and wait for its story to show up. Sounds kind of funny if put that way, I just realized...
I appreciate poetry and of course I read fair share of Beaudlaire, W.H. Auden and Elizabeth Browning but really I love Edward Gorey. Especially his alphabetical one liners give me an infinite pleasure!

3.) Similarly, under "her story" on your website, I was absolutely struck at the fancifulness and creativity of your writing. It has almost a Alice In Wonderland feel to it. Outside of your music, are you a writer as well?

I would love to publish a book of my short stories illustrated by my drawings one day - hopefully in a style of Andersen or Washington Irving. I have a Rip Van Winkle book illustrated by Arthur Rackham, and it's absolutely wonderful. Rackham also illustrated Alice in Wonderland, too.
I say Through the Looking Glass is still one of my favorite book. I love the imagery and humor in it.


Hopefully Miwas will be remain happy in her happily-ever-after state! As you can tell, Miwa is brimming with artistic creativity that flows freely in all nine tracks of the album. The US release of the album is scheduled for March 18th, but you can download it now or buy the import.

and one from her first album:

Visit her website, her label Rock Park Records, and become her friend on MySpace.


E. said...

yesterday i thought i must writing something about miss gemini.
and now you...

Sean said...

Hey E,

Don't let me stop you - the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned - especially if it's about Miwa!