Hiroshima-based artist and composer Meitei considers himself an old soul, often preoccupied with the customs and rituals of the past. Recently Meitei lost his beloved 99-year-old grandmother, a woman who he considered to be one of the last remaining people to have experience and understanding of traditional Japanese ambience. His music and art is driven by a desire to cast light on an era and aesthetic that he believes is drifting out of the collective Japanese consciousness with each passing generation, what he calls “the lost Japanese mood”. He chose to dedicate Komachi to his late Grandmother.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
It’s time to discover a new story of Japan in my life. I feel strongly that I want to make it into music content.I am interested in Japanese music that reflects the unique culture and mood of Japan. The story is not related to music.That is why I am focusing on various fields. Recently I was interested in many of Japan’s old heritage. I am also interested in fashion culture, ceramics and dyeing culture. I want to make them music contents.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I bought a cassette MTR 10 years ago. I used it to make my first music. I realized that making music is more enjoyable than listening to music. And I still remember being excited about recording rather than playing music. And I was initially fascinated by analog style. But now I’m interested in a more digital style. I don’t have any particular commitment to my production style. I’m a maker, so I think Meitei’s concept is to create unique content as a Japanese maker. I want to share it with people all over the world and use music to share new concepts.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
My favorite album is not musical (of course, these music are beautiful). They sometime have pleasures in unpleasant emotions. They are based on the beauty of opposing emotions. Or music with a concept. I think that making music with a concept touches the possibilities of music. We basically live with a concept. That’s why we are impressed when we touch something different from our concept. Actually, people are not impressed with music, but are impressed with the concept behind it.There are many excellent albums. This time, I chose these 5 album.
John Frusciante – Niandra Lades & Usually Just a T-Shirt
I rarely listen to this album now, but I wouldn’t have made music without it.This album was my treasure when I was 20.I think there is music that resonates in the memory of everyone. For me, this album is exactly that.
Meitei – Yabun
This album was born when I realized my own existence. Actually, this album was made when I was 27 years old. 7 years ago. A special album for me.”What is the reason for using music?” The first album I was able to answer such a question. Then I made kwaidan and touched on the new possibilities of music. I realized that the concept creates new possibilities for music. I now have the concept of Japanese.
Tobias Wilden – Artifacts – Scenes-Piano Works
I have been listening to his music for the past two years. Warm tranquility is born in the center of an empty space. For me it is an important part of life. When I listen to his music, I can be in a calm and kind solitude. He often visits Japan. Then take a beautiful photo. It is expressed in his music. I am always fascinated by his point of view.
Joe Hisaishi – A Scene at the sea
When I first listened to this album, I think it was about elementary school age. I am about 10 years old. Even though I was listening for the first time, I felt like I had already listened to this music.The reason I respect his music is that there is a natural and Japanese concept in his music. Many Japanese have forgotten to lose sight of their identity due to westernization. Unfortunately, there are many shallow Japanese emotions in modern Japan. However, Joe’s music has a Japanese concept. One of the reasons is that he studied Western music thoroughly. And finally he realized the beauty of Japan.
Chrono Trigger Original Soundtrack – Yasunori Mitsuda
This album is a soundtrack for a Japanese video game. I often listened to this album when I was young age. Music is basically composed based on the game concept. I really like the style of music that is composed with these ideas. Actually, music with a concept is very open and full of possibilities.Music is a good example of creating a place outside our real world.
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Métron Records. I’m looking forward to going there in the near future.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Beautiful islands in the Seto Inland Sea area. I often drive there. Recently there are many tourists from abroad. And a shrine and a temple. I often go there.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
That is unthinkable. But maybe I’m doing some research and development. Basically I like making things.I used to make artifacts using old wood. So even if the music goes away, I will start making something. I should make something digital & physical. And I’m probably spending my days creating with a concept.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Chilly gonzales – Re-Introduction Etudes
I always emphasize the concept of music when creating a work as an album. This album also has a concept. I think that the difference in concept is important for 21st century music. We need to question the concept of music and think about what we need to use it for. This album had a clear intention to use music. I was very affected.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Mitski. I want her to sing in Japanese. But it is not limited to her, In fact I want to make music that people of different nationalities sing in Japanese. Female Vocal is good. I think it will be a very interesting track. Recently I noticed that non-Japanese people sing Japanese is very exotic and mysterious.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I haven’t had much interest in gig until now. So I’m not so excited there. Recently I started preparing for Meitei’s show. So I think I will discover something there. And that is my first show. So I honestly don’t know the fun of show.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Technology is a very important part. I basically compose music to create music content, so working with a DAW or PC is an indispensable process. If this isn’t possible, I can’t achieve the music content I want.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have two brothers-in-law. But they don’t know that I’m making music because now I don’t meet and talk to them.But when I was young, I listened to the music they listened to. They are about 20 years older than me. And both of them were interested in music and played and performed live. I also went to see it once. It might have been an interesting experience. But when I was young, I was not interested in music. I started focusing on music when I was 24 years old. At that time I had already left my hometown. I had no conversation with them over time. But we don’t have a bad relationship.
Meitei’s latest album Komachi is out via Métron Records!