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Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red/Lyrica

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< Article and Interview: Merlin   Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red   Article and Interview: Youmu
 Guide to Notable Locales in Gensokyo: Hakugyokurou


Illustration by Genji Asai.
第百十五季 皐月の四
Season 115, Satsuki issue #4 (est. 2000/06/02 ~ 2000/07/02)
In Search of New Sounds
The sources of unnatural sound
お騒がせ演奏隊プリズムリバー三姉妹の記事を書くと必ずと言っていいほど、三女リリカ・プリズムリバー(ポルターガイスト)が奏でる不思議な音についての問い合わせが多く寄せられる。あの自然に存在しない不思議な音はどうやって作った物なのか、そもそも何の音なのか、と興味は尽きない。今回はその疑問に答えるべく突撃インタビューと検証を行った。 I have received numerous requests practically demanding I finish my series on the Prismriver Sisters. There appears to be much interest in the mysterious sounds created by Lyrica Prismriver (poltergeist), the youngest. I similarly had a burning curiosity for how she makes such strange, unearthly sounds. I pressed her for a tell-all interview.
そもそもプリズムリバー三姉妹を知らない方の為に説明すると、長女のルナサ・プリズムリバーがヴァイオリン、次女のメルラン・プリズムリバーさんがトランペット、そして三女のリリカ・プリズムリバーさんがキーボードを使って、色々なところでライブを行う演奏隊である。その三女のリリカさんだけ、鍵盤状の楽器の形状からは想像できない様な音を奏で、自然に無い幻想の音を使うのである。非常に純度の高いというか、音程がはっきりしている音が多く、癖のない音が多いのも特徴だ。殆どの者はその音を他で聴いたことがない。 For the uninitiated, the Prismriver Sisters are comprised of violinist Lunasa Prismriver, trumpeter Merlin Prismriver, and keyboardist Lyrica Prismriver, going from oldest to youngest. They hold live concerts in many places around Gensokyo. Lyrica's piano-like instrument plays unimaginable, extraordinary sounds that clearly are not produced by natural means. It is notable for the fact that it can produce notes within a wide scale and with amazing clarity. Most people have never heard anything like it anywhere else.


"This keyboard itself is a kind of fantasy. Maybe you could call it the phantom of an instrument, which plays sounds that have been lost from the outside world? I don't really understand how it works, but hitting the keys makes sounds come out all the same, so there's no problem. Both sounds and instruments become 'fantasy' when they disappear from the outside world, and if they disappear from the mortal realm entirely, they become phantoms. My sounds are the sound of fantasy, the notes of the world beyond. It makes perfect sense that no one from this world has heard them before, yeah?"

彼女が言うには死を迎えた音だと言う。そういえば幽霊達は不思議な音を奏でる事がある。ヒューとかドロドロといった言葉で表わされる聞いたことのない非常に不思議な音だ。それも音の幽霊と言うべき物で、昔はこの世でも普通に聴けたが、何らかの理由で今では聴けなくなった音なのかも知れない。 In her words, these sounds are 'the sounds that have died out'. Now that I think about it, phantoms have been known to play mysterious notes as well. They play highly mysterious sounds that none have heard before, but that are expressed with words such as "fyoo" or "blub glub". These, too, are known as "the phantoms of sounds". They might be sounds that could have been an everyday occurrence in our world long ago, but for some reason or another, can no longer be heard today.
さらに言うと彼女が奏でる音は、外の世界で死を迎えた音だと言う。幻想の音でありあの世の音でもある。言われてみれば、最も幻想郷に住む騒霊らしい音なのだ。そしてキーボードはあくまで音の幽霊の象徴でしかないという。 Furthermore, the notes Lyrica plays are said to be sounds that have died off in the outside world. Sounds of fantasy, of the world beyond. So to speak, these sounds are the ones most similar to the poltergeists that live in Gensokyo. She also says that her keyboard is nothing more than a symbolic representation of these "phantoms of sounds".
(射命丸 文) (Aya Shameimaru)

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32 芋煮会の参加者募集
32 蜆が豊漁 今年は小粒で高品質
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5 — Fairy of Ice, Eaten by Giant Toad
32 — Searching for participants for the Baked Potato Party
32 — Good Haul of Clams, High Quality of Grains This Year
33 — Fear of Birdlime, Illegal Bird Poaching Continues


Illustration by Touya.



Aren't I amazing?



Are you?



I mean, look at me! I can stir people's emotions through sounds that nobody's ever heard before!



But you still have no idea how the sounds are being produced, right?



Duh. Of course not.



If you want me to recognize how amazing your efforts are, you'll have to explain what's so amazing about your sounds first.


音がどうやって出てるだなんてあんたに判るって言うの? たとえば稲妻が落ちる音、風が木々を揺らす音、ひぐらしが鳴く音、どれ一つ取ったって説明できないじゃん

Are you telling me you know how sounds are made? How about the sound of thunder falling, the sound of wind rustling through the trees, the sound of cicadas chirping? I bet you can't explain a single one.



Explaining those... would be rather difficult.


でしょう? だから、音は出ることより使う人の方が偉いの

Right? So the person using the notes is what's amazing, not how the notes are produced.



So they're amazing, are they?


ただ、さっき上げたような音は、自然が作り出す音でしょう? だから自然が偉い。そういう音を使っても私は全然偉くない

But all those examples I just gave are sounds created by nature, right? So nature is the amazing one, in that case. If I used sounds like that, I wouldn't be amazing at all.



Is the amazingness the part of your sound that matters?



Sounds that don't exist in nature, sounds of fantasy, sounds not of this world, sounds that have died off... There's no one else who can use sounds like that, right? Hence, I'm amazing.



Amazing, yes. By the way, how exactly did you become able to use those 'sounds of fantasy?'


どうしてって、私は騒霊よ? ポルターガイストよ? 使えて当然、使えなければ不自然

How? I'm a poltergeist. A 'noisy ghost'. It's only natural that I can use them. If I couldn't, it'd be unnatural.



So that's just how it is, hm...? I don't think that's a very satisfactory answer.



Well, it's not as if we're simply "ghosts that are noisy". It's more like we're the ghosts of noise.



Can noise also die?



Noise is the sound of living things. It's the sound of thoughts, emotions, mania and depression... When the thoughts of living things explode out, that's noise. And when that noise exists on its own, independently of anything else, it becomes a poltergeist. Amazing, right?



I'm sorry, but it doesn't seem all that amazing.



If my sisters' songs represent the ups and downs of people's emotions, then my songs are made of the remaining emotions and thoughts. Thoughts and emotions are linked to fantasy, and when my noise combines with my sisters', it creates a living, breathing thing. That living thing is the spirit of music that birthed us in the first place. A "lyrical spirit". Amazing, yeah?



If nothing else, today I learned that when musicians talk about music, they quickly become very hard to understand. Your explanation is every bit as abstruse as your sisters'.



Our sounds are our life, after all. But what's so hard to understand about it?



It may be simple for you, but I'm really struggling to parse most of this.


あんたは音楽を理解しないと音楽が楽しめない? 聞こえる音が何の音だか判らないと気持ちが盛り上がらない? 演奏の技術が優れているか判断しないと曲が語れない? そんな心の入り口が狭いだなんて……それじゃまるで人間みたいじゃん

So you can't enjoy music unless you can understand it? You can't have your spirits lifted unless you know exactly what sounds you're listening to? You can't talk about a song unless you can distinguish the quality of the performer's technique? If your way of thinking is that narrow... you sound just like a human, honestly.



I suppose you're right. The best music is that which moves the heart... even if it's noise.



You got that right.


リリカ・プリズムリバー Lyrica Prismriver
姉妹の中では一番下の妹。狡猾で調子が良い。どの楽器も得意だが、普段は鍵盤楽器やパーカッションを担当する。 The youngest of the sisters. Upbeat and slick. Good at every instrument, but she usually plays keyboard instruments and percussion.
出演作:『東方妖々夢』『東方花映塚』 Appearances: Perfect Cherry Blossom, Phantasmagoria of Flower View

< Article and Interview: Merlin   Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red   Article and Interview: Youmu
 Guide to Notable Locales in Gensokyo: Hakugyokurou