My Nerd Dream Come True

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted here, but I’m going to try to make this a weekly habit.

Very excited to share that I’m working on a project with my good friend and fellow composer, Joe Sanders. Not sure I can share all the details yet, but basically we’re writing anime songs. Not for a literal anime, which would be the BEST thing, but this is still already unreasonably cool. This is the first time I think either of us have cowritten something, and the process is much smoother than I was expecting. I think we compliment each other’s skill sets nicely (I tend to get crazy and overly hip, and Joe has a sense of grounded simplicity), and we are both willing to lead and follow, rolling with ideas and accepting criticism with positivity. It’s nice collaborating with friends.

I expect to write more posts about this project in the future, but the most challenging aspect so far has surprised me. Writing the music has all flowed easily and been some of the most fun I’ve had writing in awhile. But part of the project is writing English lyrics and translating them (re: having them translated for us) into Japanese. In addition, I’m singing the new Japanese lyrics. I consider myself a talented singer, and I understand a fair amount about Japanese, but I’m by no means a native speaker. This means 1) we have to rework the melodies we’ve written so they work with sometimes wildly different lengths of phrases than we were expecting while maintaining the syllabic emphasis, and 2) I have to try to sing those syllabic emphases in a natural, performative way. I understand these challenges are inherent to writing in a language that is not your own, but writing the music and English lyrics first has added a spin that I wasn’t prepared for. Luckily, our translators are very helpful native speakers that I’m sure will tell me when I do something cringe-inducingly wrong, and I’m excited to get it right.