2013年12月07日

Think with music #001 Musician, Takeshi Ueda (AA=) part 1

Think with music

We never know exactly what is the right answer to choose when we try to go towards our future. I think, that to choose what I believe is the right for myself among the choices I have can only bring out the best result. So, I want to hold on to the message that we should never give up and to have our own minds always.

aa01.jpg

"All animals are equal"
Overwhelming energetic sound with a simple fair message, this is the style of music by Takeshi Ueda of AA=. Miyuki Toritani, a member of TTE, and a photographer of her friends Ken Shigematsu went to see him on one day in October. Here we share the conversation we had then.

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part 1 : All animals are equal
part 2 : War and Humanity
part 3 : Difference
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Social paths of Takeshi Ueda
Born in 1968, musician

1990-2006 Played as the bassist of the legendary band THE MAD CUPSULE MARKETS. Since their early days, the band had made challenges to advance into overseas music scenes by doing live tour and attending music fests. In 2003, during their EU tour, the band passed by the troops heading for the Iraq War in a highway parking in England.

In 2008, he started the new solo project called AA= to aim for the way of taking charge of everything he does in music. He's been pursuing new ways of creating music other than the mass consumption style, to fight against difficulties in global environment and human society.

In 2011, soon after 311, the Great East Japan Earthquake, he started the charity project named AA=AiD. He composed a new song "We're not alone" produced the song with his musician friends for free, and been continuing other charity work since then.

In 2012, he made a new song "The Klock" for the popular movie "Helter Skelter" directed by Mika Ninagawa.

Since 2012, he's been wearing an original Tee with the message of "anti- anthropocentrism"

In September 2013, AA= released the two new single "WARWARWAR" and "HUMANITY2" and releasing their 4th album by the end of the year. He says that we've got the band gradually after these 5 years after starting as his solo project (laughs).


In January 2014, he' s going to have a live tour #4

Official site http://www.aaequal.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/aaequal
wikipedia Wikipedia

part 1 : All animals are equal
aa02.jpgHe named his solo project after a quate in the novel "Animal farm" by George Owell in the early 20th century.

Q1: All animals are equal
-I was surprised to see such simple four words. How did you come upon it?


It's originally a quote in a novel, and there's an animation movie based on it. I found it from a documentary about the campaign strategy of the two parties of the US. I've always liked "1984" by George Owell originally and knew the title of "Animal farm" but I've never read it. When I heard the phrase in the program, I wanted to read it, so this is how I met it.

In the novel, though the four words is used in the context of Communism and Marxism, ignoring it, it had so much impact on me. I even thought it such a holly words. You know such words can be used for both good and bad, but I decided to use it for my band name.


Q2: Roots
-I wonder what're the roots of you to find such words in your life.


I don't think I have particular roots for it, but there's something I've come to find it important as I've been doing the band work and met many kinds of people that... I think we can call a band an art for which we show our values by words and sounds with huge passion for something invisible like sounds or music.

The world of music is where everyone has his values for such things. But some people have different values. The bigger our former band grew, the more people with the different values gathered, when we had various kinds of confliction and collision.

Among these experiences, I've come to find what is important for me is keeping the pure mind to music or the faith to face music after many twists and turns of twenty years. I don't want to betray "the god of music" if there was him.

At the same time I felt it's really important to keep my theme clear and to hold my justice, without which I couldn't allow myself to create or play music though I know I have to use the word "justice" with care. After I decided to make the thought blush up and to perform them, I've got shifted so rapidly in such way.


Q3: anti-anthropocentrism
-The word you've been using for your message Tee.


It may be different from the strict meaning of the word, but I've been using it inspired by its image and their meaning I could catch.

When we go too selfish, the justice I think can't be existed, so I chose the word as a caution to myself not to forget about as well as a message. We have to think about it with whole of globe as well as our society. In addition to that, Anti-anthropocentrism is one of the words related to my justice. I know enough that it might cause danger to the world if we'd act perfectly as the word means, but to keep ourselves aware of it is important I think.


Q4: AA=AiD
-You've started AA=AiD, a charity action for 311 the Japan's great disaster, soon after it happened. Will you share the feelings and the thoughts you've got through it? And what do you feel the most strongly now?


I only did what I could, thinking of what I could support for the suffered people, which I'm sure that most of the people living at the moments thought and did. Since I'm a musician, I could bring such action quite impact in its own way and tend to draw your attention, but I think everyone living at that time did the same. I don't think I did something special.

"Yorisou", considering as how others feel, is so very difficult for there's a big difference between people experienced and didn't, or people lived there and didn't. We can easily say "Yorisou" with words, but apparently it's not such easy. So I'm sure that doing simply what I can do with my heart is the most important thing, which I could do.

I often have the chance to be asked to express my thoughts, and then I think about what my words might tell them, but only to find there's not much for it. Because many people suffered much more terrible experience than I, and I never think I can completely tell others about it.

However I could support those who went through such things by means of what I can do, which I think we only can keep doing for them. I often asked my speech, but I don't want to speak much.

On the contrary I expect that I can find something I can do more as I try to continue talking in that case, though I'm afraid I'd be wrong or make someone hurt because of my too much action... So I need to learn more.

aa03.jpg "I expect that I can find something I can do more as I try to continue talking in that case, though I'm afraid I'd be wrong or make someone hurt because of my too much action... So I need to learn more."

>>part 2 >>part 3
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written& translated by Miyuki Toritani from Think the Earth
photo by Ken Shigematsu from Qualia Pictures
translation supported by Tsu Lim, Kim Aira, and Ryan Poppen

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