Whenever you see a picture of delicious-looking food, you can almost smell and taste it as well. As the sense of smell and the sense of taste are imagined by the mind, they are both true and false.
Thinking about it this way, music is more than just something that comes from sound. If music is something that can shape a world, by contrast, it is something that can also recall memories. When you talk about music, it is absolutely essential to talk about these senses as well. The illusion that there are none who never get the wrong impression is just that, an illusion.
In this article, I have written whatever I can remember about the illusions I saw when I composed these songs. However, my inability to write well about my older days is also just an illusion.
This song was meant to be dark and serious. No cheery sense of refreshment, but more exuding a feeling of heavy distress. Shooting games have a number of cool, pop, and dance music-styled songs in them, but there are is a surprising lack of cheery songs.
This song resembles a fantastic eastern sky with no shadows, just like a hallucination of seeing paradise right before you. By the way, this song is titled Shanghai Teahouse because when I first starting making Touhou Koumakyo (EoSD), it was titled Touhou Kochakan (Teahouse). This song made such an impression on me, that I used the game's title as the song's name too. However, the game's title ended up not matching the story, so I changed it.
Since I felt like I'd discovered a new self, I thought it would be nice to write a song that's a little different than usual. If you just listen to the intro, it gives off a dandy feeling that's suited to cigarettes, but when you get to the main part it's pretty much the same as usual, very like me.
I can remember writing that I wanted to make a really cool song this time. I think if I tried redoing this song, it would come out really great. But, that would be too much of a pain.
This image gives me a vision of a town where rain is quietly falling. In fact, this is a song that lets me imagine the existence of humans, which is rare. Even the Forest of Dolls from the title kind of feels like an old, ruined human village. Well, since it's my old self, I guess I can't be too certain...
When I wrote this song, I designed it to start out as eerie and slowly become more and more courageous. Something like going to a graveyard in the middle of the night on a dare, except it's no ordinary dare. It's a dare given to those who truly believe they are mingling with the Netherworld, like they become wandering spirits themselves...
The part of this song that leaves the most of an impression is the cute yet courageous hook. It's like imagining mysterious girls dancing among a gravesite with no tombstones. If you think of it that way, even the intro with the ghostly sounds (as I call them) also sounds cute.
The sounds that most ghosts seem to make are like "Whooooooooooooo", and that's my image of them as well. I think that even hearing the sounds of ghosts in the rain would resonate clearly.
A song that tries really hard to get the climax to the climax. This song's theme is simply my image for Remilia Scarlet. Mysteriously, as the game heads towards the final stage, the songs start having smaller and narrower themes. But with this song, it just keeps developing as it progresses.
When I listen to this song, I see the illusion of a game. It makes me feel like I'm playing an illusionary game. No genre in particular, and I don't understand why it does, but it just makes me feel like I'm playing some kind of game.
I especially like the piano in the second half of the hook. When I was writing the song, its tension just kept rising and let that energy carry me to the end. Nothing wrong with that, right?
I thought about making this song the theme for one of the members of the Sealing Club, Mary. Not because Mary's a magician or anything like that, but I thought it would make a lot of sense.
This song makes me imagine an occult investigation club at a juvenile school. The feeling like they're playing house somewhere is irresistable. The song itself also feels like I could use it in a game, and despite the fact that it's on this CD, I think it is a very Touhou-like song.
There's a strange sound that can be heard behind the song. I put it in there because I think that an occult investigation club would meet in the science room, and that seemed like a science room-ish sound. But what's a science room-ish sound anyway?
An oriental-styled fantasy piece with a melody that sounds like you've heard it before, but somehow forgotten about. Actually, I think this piece sounds very cute. The piano's melody expresses ephemerality, and the wind instrument's melody feels like something you'd hear at a childrens' festival.
Young children and customs passed down through history come together in a very cute and ephemeral way. Although it's hard to say if ephemeral things are cute (maybe if they are jumping around).
Since this song doesn't feel very dark or heavy, any unplesant feelings would be completely removed after listening to it, if you had any to begin with. I think it's that kind of song.
I really don't... understand this song very well. I don't remember much from when I was composing it. But I am certain that main part of the song is the reverberation in the ending (for about 3 minutes). I enjoyed the ending reverberation so much that I don't think much about the intro or the melody.
This song really doesn't make me see anything until the ending reverberations. At that part, it's a very desolate feeling, as if there were only memories of something remaining.
Even for these comments, because I didn't write about this song immediately after I composed it, I can't recall anything about my mental state at that time. However, judging by just the song's title and the song itself, being able to listen to it from an objective viewpoint is rather interesting.
About the Music Column "Musical Sense of Illusion"
About the Music Column "Musical Sense of Illusion"
These articles about how we adapt to composing various styles of music
were written by the head priest of the Hakurei Shrine, who wrote these columns about music as fast as if he were composing them.
To describe it accurately,
if you cut out everything that's a lie, it's almost too trustworthy.
Surely, he must be the REAL Hakurei Shrine's head priest, as he says.
But whether or not you enjoy the articles that he wrote,
his true identity should be of no matter.
...Yes, you should enjoy these articles purely for what they are, and take them into your mind like that.
This song feels like it has an amazing sense of speed. Among all the final boss themes for the games I've made until now, I am satisfied in saying that this is the cutest one. While it feels fast, the fact that the main melody is also very simple makes it feel nice.
In this song, it feels like the world is no longer becoming any wider, and no matter where you go, it feels very lonely. A feeling that everything pleasant in the world is falling apart into thin pieces. I think that's where the song's "Missing Power" comes from.
But if you just take the intro, and change the weight of the sound, it's concerning how it becomes a much heavier piece. Even now, I might not even be too sure about what to make of it. But I guess it's suitable for that rambunctious brat (rude) of a last boss.
A Sealing Club is a group of people who feel that there is another world broken off from this one. Since I never gave them a theme song, I decided it was about time they had one, so I wrote this song. A theme song needs to be cool. That's what I say. (biased) That's why I made it as cool as I possibly could and made it catchy and fashionable.
When I listen to this song, I see visions of cool piano playing. It's the kind of song you play while drinking alcohol. I think it's a good idea for songs with cool piano parts have a smooth rhythm and a single, defined direction. You just have to forget the notion that following this theory will produce a bad song.
I was enthusiastic to make a song so suspicious-sounding that others would be unable to cope with it, and this song also feels rather calming and Touhou-like. I found PCB to be calming overall, and it had a lot of songs that were important to the scenery, but at around this point in the game I shifted tracks to a more "This is a shmup, so shoot things." feeling.
When I listen to this song, I feel a strong force that exhausts my physical energy. It's just with this song that I may not see things in the present. The illusions I see are both from the present and the future.
"Necro-" means "death". The fantastic world of the dead. The fantastic world that only reveals itself at the time of death. That is why this song has no feelings of the past. There needs to be a song like that where you can feel the present.
While I always speak of illusions, I want to make it clear that this is a realistic song. I made this song to tie up the CD. If you don't have a song like that at the end, then I fear that the CD will end on an uneasy note. Having illusions from the beginning to the end is overdoing it, so it needs to feel like it returns to reality at some point.
However, because this song was meant to return the listener to reality, I think the song itself has little power. As I don't see any major illusions either, the image of it being a just a normal song is strong. Still, a CD needs a long like this.
Strange Bird of the Moon, Illusion of Mysterious Cat
I haven't mentioned it yet, but this song is about Renko and Mary. The Strange Bird is Renko, who is represented by the fast first half of the song. The Mysterious Cat is Mary, who is represented by the strange rhythms in the second half. It's almost like riding a bird flying through a city at night, or almost like a drunken cat staggering through the city. That was the intent I had in mind when I wrote this song.
I don't understand why I can't figure out the theme when I listen to this song. To be honest, I'm not entirely satisfied with it, but somehow I decided a normal song like this belonged on a CD mixed in with the others. I still like it, though.
I tried hard to write this song to express the idea of "This is certainly the Japan that Japanese people saw". For some songs that are said to be pure, traditional Japanese music, I don't really think they were completely made in a Japanese manner. The way Japanese people see history starting to rebuild itself, they see that the present and the past are beginning to seperate. Actually, I think that they should be looking more at what happens naturally wherever Japanese people are using modern methods.
Right now, I think of this song as a Japanese song. It doesn't necessarily need to have a shamisen or a bamboo flute, and it doesn't use a Japanese musical scale, that's just what it is. Whenever I hear songs like this, I feel the illusion that I'm grateful to have been born in Japan. Uh, illusion? No, no, don't get the wrong impression now.
I think that "Hourai" is a keyword that will show up even in later Touhou works, but this is when I first came up with and used it in the title of the first song on my first music CD. Yes, I decided on the name first, and then wrote the song based on that image.
This is a quiet song that is scary, yet calm. I don't think I've written anything like this one lately... Probably because I've got nothing but shmups on the brain now. Well, I guess it's just my narrowing outlook, but sometimes I feel like I can't go back to the more general Touhou mindset.
This was the first original song on the CD that I wrote comments for, so I feel it is especially precious. I would re-write the comments in a number of ways, I think it helped me improve a lot so I am very grateful for that.
While I am someone who has yet to actually see Kaguya-hime, this song was not meant to represent The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, but rather what happens after the story ends.
The messengers from the moon who reveal themselves only on nights of the full moon, and the ones they oppose, the humans on Earth. But those from the moon reach their wits' end and lose the will to fight. That's when the bamboo on Earth begins to glow... and the moon princess appears, that is, Kaguya-hime. Kaguya troubles the humans, and one man decides to fight her.
My image for this song is nothing that off-the-wall. It's more of the moon that was said to exist in Japan's sky a long time ago, and the princesses that fly through that sky. Of course, they still haven't lost their playful spirit, just like how some people still enjoy retro games. As I also want my songs to remain in people's minds decades from now, I will continue to do my best.
Somehow, this song has an unthinkable amount of darkness and heaviness compared to the songs in my games now. While I can envision something when I listen to most recent Touhou songs, with this song, there's no background to speak of. It's just darkness. I don't like writing songs like this now, so I want to know what kind of mental state I was in when I wrote this song.
However, because almost all of the piano in this song doesn't conjure any particular image, I think that I intended for it to set the rhythm. Listening to it now, it feels like it's meant to tie everything together, but it increasingly loses control. It's easy to imagine why I don't understand if it was a good idea.
"The Science Era" is a song that doesn't really feel like the future. That's natural, because the phrase itself doesn't sound that old. In actuality, this song is trying to exhibit a more complex theme, a song for those who miss the Science Era. I rather like this song myself.
Boys and girls that wear retro clothes, and a world that immerses itself in an occult pseudoscience. That's the kind of things this song makes me envision. Nothing bright by any means, but it's an unusually positive world with sepia-toned science.
I might as well say that it has a nostalgic feel to it. However, whenever I reminisce, it's mostly about things like sounds or melodies. I might even do this with my own songs that I write in the future.
This is an extremely catchy song. While that may be because it is a new song, it is also very close to my own envisioning of Touhou. A naturally girly cuteness, a feeling of giddiness, an Japanese oriental style, and for a shooting game that also never lets up, I think a song like this every now and then is a good idea (Kind of like other people's problems.).
Yes, I used to play trumpet and I still own one now. I think trumpet-playing for this kind of song is pretty cool.
By the way, the trumpet has the main part because it's a wind instrument.
I want to point out that the song's title and theme have a story. The song itself plays the part of the border, because the border itself has been sealed away in the song. So it's a duplex barrier. The intro represents sensing dreams, while the main melody represents the sense of reality.
So, what about the song? It doesn't make me feel anything in particular, but for songs with that kind of meaning, as long as the meaning is understood, it's enjoyable. On the other hand, it means that the illusions in the song are very unbalanced.
This was the most difficult song for me to write out of everything I've written so far. I guess you could say it's because it's my own theme. It's like the theme song that plays when you make your entrance on a talk show, so writing this song was somewhat embarrassing.
I think I inadvertantly did a good job on this song. But it's too grand and too cute, so there's no way it could be my theme song.
For some reason, when I was writing the main melody I ended up humming "Yumeta-ga-e, Yumeta-ga-e" along with it, so I used that for the title of the CD (夢 [yume] 違 [tagae]). I was actually going to title this song "夢違観音" (Yumetagae Kannon, The Buddhist diety of mercy in a different dream), but I didn't want to have that title for my theme song, so I changed it.
A song with a similar mindset to Plain Asia, but this song's melody and the sounds I used are more conspicuously Japanese. This is an original, Touhou-style reinterpretation of the traditional Kagome-Kagome that every Japanese person knows.
While it wasn't composed in the same time period, I think that it's just as powerful as Touryanse, making them the two major fantasy children's songs. While the similarities end there, they both seem to have unfading power. I wanted to see how much I could fool around with the song without reducing that power. I think that's a good way to demonstrate how powerful they are.
By the way, Cinderella is a foreign fairy tale. Huh? You knew that already? Sorry.
This song is completely opposite from the CD's first song, Kid's Festival. I wanted to make a fantastical melody with the piano. I think there are people who have noticed, but on the Changeability of Strange Dream album, I was trying to tell a story through the songs. The rearranged pieces represent dreams, and the original songs represent the real world.
The part of this song that leaves the most impression on me is the hook, which is fairly serious, so listening to this after listening to Kid's Festival is a little tough. Whenever I do, it makes me think "Mary's dreams are kind of nightmarish, huh?"
The title screen songs all have the same general theme, so saying that they all sound familiar is unnecessary. You don't even have to think about it the first time you hear them. But they aren't different arrangements, and they don't have the same melody note for note. It's simply just because the atmospheres they create are the same.
To get in the right frame of mind in creating a title theme, I think it's a good idea to avoid any unpleasant feelings and don't make the player lose their head. These aren't hard-and-fast rules, but I prefer to have a gentle push into the game.
The Strange Everyday Life of the Flying Shrine Maiden
This is probably the most realistic song in Dolls in Pseudo Paradise. It doesn't really have any fantastical parts (excluding the piano solo), so it doesn't feel like I could use it in a game except for the credits, but I think it has the right qualities for the final song on a music CD. Or that's how I appraised it back when I made it.
However, I'm a little concerned with myself since this song doesn't make me visualize much at all. Maybe it's a fault of the song being too realistic, but I don't know if that's really the whole problem.
In particular, I have no idea what made me come up with the title of this song. I think the shrine maiden mentioned in the title is Reimu. It's Reimu, but I didn't write down what exactly made me imagine her in this song. I suppose that my past self valued this song a little too highly. Yes.
I wanted a song in PCB to show that there was a different atmosphere between the worlds up to stage 4 and from stage 5 on. This is the result of that, and I'm rather satisfied with it. Rather than tell a story, this song helps establish the setting. When you listen to a song like this, you more or less feel like you're there. Although for this song, I was trying to create the image of "An extremely beautiful place that does not exist here".
When I listen to this song, I see visions of ancient Japan as if it never changed and still existed today. I don't think this was by chance, but it is certainly an illusion.
There are many impressive songs that I name after the game it appears in. This is another of those songs.
EoSD is the 6th game in the Touhou series, but in many ways it was a new start. However, I wasn't sure if I could make too many unexpected changes, but then I thought "With a title like "Touhou", people will imagine there are a lot of oriental things in this game, so I'll make the first one not very oriental". This song is a result of that.
Listening to this song creates a rather suspenseful feeling. While each person will have their own feelings on it, it still sounds very unstable with its rhythmic repeating melody. I intentionally placed that eeriness in this song.
It might be a good idea for me to make this kind of song occasionally. The only problem is that it really doesn't fit the optimistic attitude of the lot in Gensokyo right now.
Making songs for non-shooting games gives me a number of problems, but making this one for whatever reason was a little too normal. This is the theme for that troublesome youkai, Yukari Yakumo. That's why I arranged this song as if it had a boundary so there are so images. On the first half of the boundary, there's an ominous feeling, and on the second, a more pleasant feeling. I particularly like the feel of how fast the POV changes when it enters the pleasant side.
When I listen to this song, I rapidly envision a field of sight over a shrine in the evening. If you listen to it, you'll immediately know it's a Touhou song, but somehow it feels different from the others. This isn't a theory; there is a difference in the "illusionary component" of this song. It's the effect of my change in mindset making a song for a non-shooting game.