* Limited First Edition Pressing
* Covers of traditional Japanese folksongs"
"The second installment in Japanese singer-songwriter Saho Terao’s reimagining of Japanese folk songs! In Terao’s hands, the traditional music of Japan takes on completely new forms, transforming from lullabies to pop songs; from children’s play songs to somber piano ballads; from work songs to folk arias.
Across 16 tracks, Terao serves as both performer and archivist, chronicling music that’s being threatened by an aging population and youth gathering in urban centers. She preserves the melodies and lyrics perfectly, but modernizes many of these songs, occasionally giving them lush band arrangements that only a musician of her caliber could pull off.
“Tori ni Naritaiya” (lit. I want to be a bird), a song from Shiga prefecture with lyrics that are almost incomprehensible to a modern Japanese speaker, is given a west coast jazz spin, with a hard bop bass line that Mingus himself would have been proud of. “Nakunaiyo” (lit. Don’t Cry) a lullaby from the Amami Islands, sees Terao’s modern sensibilities meld perfectly with more traditional arrangements. The intro, in which Terao sings a capella over hand claps in a call and response between herself and a male choir. You can’t help but imagine that this is how this song has been performed for centuries, and when the rhythm section comes crashing in, the marriage of traditional melody and modern arrangements is complete.
The study of folk music often paints it as music of the past - stuck in the form that it was practiced in at its conception. But folk music, more so than any other genre, should evolve with the people and their music. Terao brings the traditional music of Japan to the 21st century, using her voice and arrangements to breathe life into music that faces the threat of extinction. Released on vinyl for the first time ever, Saho Terao’s My Favorite Children’s Songs 2 is an album you absolutely must not miss.