Portrait 005 : Eiichiro : Sing Yellow
< Map out >
I travel a lot.
In my 20s, I didn’t want to be off the track. I didn’t even want to be touched by the others who do not understand who I am, but probably, I didn’t really understand myself either.
In my 30s, I started knowing myself better and left on a trip. I felt happy to be off the track, then I could see the world wider, and be free. My 30s ended up with a ridiculous number of travels.
I used to map out my own life and had a plan to slow down in my 40s, but I am still traveling. I know this is what I do, and I do not think I stop.
I travel to meet people.
I play my guitar and sing songs there, but the biggest part of all my travels are to meet the persons who need myself.
I often play at cafes or restaurants, or small places. Those owners have their own places they have to manage, and it is not easy for them to be out to travel. So I drive and visit, and listen to them.
< off the route >
After a few years of my career as a professional musician, I left music behind. I was totally tired of working in the organization, having a lot of people and support around visibly wherever I go.
But my friends found me, visited me where I was working then. They never encouraged me to play, but after meeting them and spending time together, I started feeling like playing my music again.
Being away from music was like a rehabilitation, and I was with music naturally when I realized.
When I restarted, I was determined that I would never be in the organization any more.
I wanted to make life simple. Carry my guitar, visit the place where my music or myself is in need, and I play.
I am happy to work independently. I have thought of establishing my own company, but if I do, there will be the cases that I cannot accept or tolerate the other people who I like. It’s not what I want.
Now I know plenty of people who work independently and support me when necessary.
< wait for the light>
The world of grown-ups is full of lies, don’t you think. But we can take those lies as services they give.
When I perform live, I try to lighten the weight of the world that the audiences carry on their shoulders, and make their colors clearer or purify if they look cloudy. It may sound like I am pious. You can call me whatever you want.
Before I sing, I gently hold a small ball of hazy warm light in my palm, and take it into myself from the top of my head. Then I wait until right time arrives.
This is what I always do deep down silently.
< note of blue>
In my childhood, my head was always full of colors. When talking to friends, some color always turned up to the background of my head, like, oh that red boy is coming to me. I talked to him to match his color, and that was how I got along and made fiends.
Sorry I am talking in abstractions, but that was my childhood.
Now I do not see those colors, or I should say, I can get on the people without relying on those colors. Maybe I put a lid on that sensor.
I do sessions with painters, and I was told that there is some specific tone when some blue comes in the drawing. I was supposed to play improvisation, but there was some rules I made up unconsciously. When I notice those rules, I always want to smash them.
I don’t know my color, but the color I wish I was is yellow. Yellow is round, and gentle. There are not many guys who are yellow, and many of them are blue.
When I was in junior high school, my homeroom teacher was very strict, but he was “yellow”, so I didn’t mind getting told off by him. He looked after me and made a way to enroll in the high school, where I could make good friends who love music, and we are still close friends.
It would be nice to be said that I am yellow, one day.
< Question from another artist : portrait 002 Marta >
Could you describe your work in 3 words?
It is difficult to describe in 3 words … Simply, to work is to live, but I really do not think I “work”.
I just drive to meet people and listen to them, hoping that it could be of some help to them.
< Question to the future contributors >
When do you feel happy in your own way ？
About Eiichiro :
He calls himself a counselor of the shopkeepers all over Japan. He travels to meet and listen to them as far as they wait for him, rather than to play music. Sometimes he appears suddenly, and disappears, in and out, or come and go. He is like a beautiful fish swimming under water that nobody could catch, but his words and music definitely stuck somewhere inside of you if you meet and listen to him. He should be driving now, so we drive to catch him. Journey continues.
Interview with Eiichiro Taruki, musician / traveler / counselor
Photography : Masa Hamanoi
July 2021 at Ibaraki (photography) / studio gris Tokyo (interview)