Free Motions of Praise and Ascend
As published in the Japanese magazine BEEAST
“Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.”
– Isaac Bashevis Singer
I left Montreal as dawn was slowly taking the shape of the bright and magnificent colors of a day that quietly whispers its lights through the faded darkness of the remaining shades of a night, from purple, to blue and orange. This luminous canvas made of lively shades turns the horizon into a comforting velvet sky, another miracle of sorts, spectacular display of splendors so radiantly alive that you know how blessed you are to witness them all, to lose yourself into them and to wish you had enough faith to suspend time from moving, from changing so fast, hoping images would stand still, contemplative as I was, if only for a few seconds.
I disappeared in the silence of this dazzling morning, moment of peace, made of high hopes and promises. Daybreak has always been the moment I like to leave home the most; it’s too early to grievingly wave goodbye and too late to selfishly keep the night alive. That’s why I find this moment very romantic, actually. You dwell into the fragile balance of innocence and uncertainty. Or maybe that’s why I have never been quite good with “au revoir”. I have never been into vows confessed in shadows and never been into fake secrets crafted with half mysteries to behold. Even if I have dropped pennies in fountains at times, faith doesn’t know right or wrong, but the heart does. That’s why it was good to leave without the sensation of leaving anyone behind. To simply go, to walk in the joyful gleam of a greater return physically refreshed and emotionally rejuvenated, breathing life for the wonder it is, for the beauties I now freely embrace, or at least, that I more often accept than I ever did before…
The idea of having time to rest, even if this has never been easily welcomed from me in the past, was more than necessary this time and I knew it more than anyone. To be honest, writing “Between Illness and Migration: Tokyo Sessions” took quite a lot out of me, probably more than I would ever fully understand or admit. But it did. And as much as I have never had such a great and fulfilling time in studio as when producing “Tokyo Sessions”, as much as I have never felt so close to artistically express what my heart and soul so profoundly longed for like I did through the “Tokyo Sessions” writing and recording time, as much as I have never been so close to the other band members as during the whole “Tokyo Sessions” process, facing old demons, letting go of past ghosts, surrendering to all the emotions and feelings we kept shattered deeply inside for so long. It was an incredibly intense odyssey of turbulences for me. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” said Maya Angelou. That’s why I know that regardless of how dreadfully painful it’s been at times, that whole “Between Illness and Migration” journey has been amazingly liberating for me.
Therefore, as totally exhausted as I was when I concluded the voyage, I now realize that I found way more to my life than the emotional chains I got freed from. As the American author Charles Bukowski wrote “If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose.” To truly live, you need to die to yourself. At least, that’s how I felt the last few months, from our last concert in Japan, to the completion of the album ”Tokyo Sessions” that this concert inspired. I died from a song to another, uncompromisingly losing myself in the album’s spiritual essence, completely letting go, losing control to the uplifting and hollowing stream of its merciful immersion. Regardless of if I would ever be able to resurface or not, I was ready to give more than I knew I had. From one song to another, stripped down from what was or used to be, graced from everything I held onto so tightly, redeemed from the sorrow, the guilt and the grief I purposely let my hidden pain feed my soul with.
I found in “Tokyo Sessions” that emotional resurrection that lies within abandonment. Just as migration is the emancipating rebirth of self, that renaissance lives in every little sound, noise, whisper and word I died to and found life in. Just like the album cover art featuring blooming plums so magnificently captured by my dear sister Sakiko, which perfectly represents the living incarnation of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s saying about hope and salvation: “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.” Again, it’s the perfect representation of what the pilgrimage of “Between Illness and Migration” means to me, now that it’s completed, with “Tokyo Sessions” as its definitive incarnation.
In fact, that’s why “Tokyo Sessions” could be the last album I would ever write, and that’s why I would be serene if it was to be the case, the nature of death and rebirth, of migration and emancipation being perfectly incarnated by that peaceful perspective. It’s something way greater than what I might think of myself, way deeper than my introspective renditions, way more radiant than any of my epiphanic contemplations. And it’s seated in the plane, looking by the window and listening to the final mix of “Tokyo Sessions” that I’m writing those few words, heading for a moment of my own to an intimate place by the Caribbean seas, open to life after I died for what looks like a never-ending self-inflicted procession of misery. I can now hear an everlasting cheer emerging from old wounded eulogies and feel my spirit elevate through thanksgivings designed for shades to glow and shadows to shine.
Listen to the new song incarnation of “Empire of Sorrows” on “Tokyo Sessions”, and you will immediately sense the state of heart and soul I am talking about, as well as feel the way the ocean shines in free motions of praise and ascend: http://j.mp/TokyoSessionsINTL
“The sound of water is worth more than all the poets’ words”*
– Octavio Paz