The guitar, which is also known as a "small orchestra," takes on a "deep black" tone in response to the Japanese soil and spirituality, which is incredibly rich in humidity and irrationality.
Making guitar into "wagakki"
(traditional Japanese instruments)
As usual, an idea came up during a casual discussion and soon led to a heated production meeting. Our guitarists seemed to find difficulty grasping the concept (it may be my imagination, but their faces soured as if the whole thing was an unthinkable fancy). The production progressed very slowly.
"Write Japanese-style compositions and play them on guitar?" No.
"Form a guitar and Japanese traditional instrument ensemble?" Wrong.
"Tweak the guitar somehow to sound exotically Japanese?" It won't work.
"Try a Japanese melodic open tuning?" Hmmm.
If you treat and play the guitar like a koto, a biwa, or a shamisen, it could turn out to be a fun thing to do. However, doubt kept entering our minds, despite it being an interesting idea—should we really take this on as one of our projects?
We came to the following conclusion: Let us leave it to other people to play the guitar in the realm of traditional Japanese music, which has been established in various ways. Suppose we, as contemporary Japanese musicians, allow the guitar to emit a sound that is rarely heard by the ears of Westerners or even Japanese listeners? In this case, the guitar would become a "Japanese" instrument.
Again, as usual, we came to theorizing things (or slightly forcing logic), and the process of trial and error began.
So, here's how the "black string" album turned out:
We claim that this album's sound production would have been rendered impossible without Japan's unique musical/non-musical mentality, sense of space/time, and our nature worship/religion. The guitar, which is also known as a "small orchestra," takes on a "deep black" tone in response to the Japanese soil and spirituality, which is incredibly rich in humidity and irrationality.
The guitarist, Ito, performed excellently. I was amazed at his spontaneity, which I even find exceptional, and his way of alternating between "playing" and "hearing" through his dignified and determined musicianship.
Yoshinari Nashiki (Producer of "Black Strings" / Music Production Advisor)