Saturday, 11 July 2015

1001 Nights - The 21st Night: Miyamoto Karin

Continuing on in the series of Hello! Shop 1001 Nights talk events, Miyamoto Karin made an appearance for the 21st instalment on the 7th of July 2015!

Usual disclaimer that these are based on fan reports on Twitter, and what with the translation process, and stitching the tweets together into a cohesive report, please bear in mind that there are bound to be mistakes and/or inaccuracies. That out of the way, this event's hashtag was #FirstSqueeze!

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Even before the event started, the idol cyborg gave us fallible human beings a quick reminder.

This is Miyamoto Karin!
Today! At the Akihabara store、
Hello! Shop 1001 Nights
Juice=Juice Miyamoto Karin 「Tanabata no Yoru ha 1st Album Hatsubai Chokuzen Special!」 will be held!
Event participation tickets along with product exchange coupons are currently being sold at the Akihabara store!
I'll be waiting for all of you♡
And how can you resist that? The cost of entry was making an album pre-order, which is probably what the aforementioned product exchange coupons are for. Buy an album, get to participate in a Karin talk event? Sounds all-upside to me.

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On that note, the first discussion topic was, appropriately, 'Miyamoto Karin talks about 'First Squeeze!' (She will also talk about make-up)'. The chairperson Nishiguchi-san appeared first, and made a slip-up, referring to the event as an ANGERME album release commemoration event. The wota responded with an uproarious 'Eh~!?'.
Continuing on, the main draw of the event, Karin-chan, made an appearance in spectacles ♥.


Karin-chan was also wearing her album outfit (note: not the one pictured above), and mimicked her own face on the cover as MC Nishiguchi-san introduced the album.

Purchasers of the limited B version of the album would also receive a DVD containing concert footage. It also included some rehearsal footage, in which Karin-chan had a salaryman-like hairstyle. Although the members of her family told her that she looked adorable with that hairstyle, she attests that it's a hairstyle that she'll never do again in the public eye, and thus promotes the album by highlighting that the DVD is the only place where you can see her with that hairstyle.

Karin-chan talked about song covers she would like to do that weren't included in the album.
  • Firstly, 'Shanimuni Paradise' (Morning Musume。). She finds that both the high tones and the low tones bring out the charms of the song. In Juice=Juice, Takagi Sayuki-chan is solid with the low tones, while Karin-chan's good at the high tones. So she thinks that if Juice=Juice covered it, the song would make good use of the voices of the Juice=Juice members and bring out their strong points.
Nishiguchi: If that's the case, then perform it at your 220nd performance!
  • Next was 'Asu ha Date na no ni, Ima sugu Koe ga Kikitai' (S/mileage). Karin-chan's reason: The song starts with harmonised 'Nanana~'s, and Juice=Juice have been working hard at harmonisation. Also, Juice=Juice has a lot of cool songs and relatively few cute songs, so she'd like to try singing this one.
  • 'As for One Day' (Morning Musume。). She'd like Aarii to do the opening lines, and the swaying dance is nice.
  • 'Koisuru♡Angel♡Heart' (v-u-den). Because it's cute and will get the audience pumped up, she'd like to include it in a concert setlist before they enter into the second half.
Nishiguchi: For quite a while, your reasoning has been from a producer's point of view.

Next on the agenda was a trial listen of the album songs. However, to add to the engagement of listening to the music, they would project the lyrics card that Karin-chan had used during her recording session. The lyrics card also had various symbols on them, written by Karin-chan herself to aid her singing.

The first song they focused on was 'Ai no Diving'. What caught people's eyes was the name of the composer and lyricist: Hoshibe Shou. This person has had a hand in several recent H!P songs - ANGERME: Nanakorobi Yaoki (Composition), Gashinshoutan (Composition), Juice=Juice: Choice & Chance (Lyrics & Composition), Umaretate no baby love (Lyricist), Ai no Diving (Lyrics & Composition), Chikutaku Watashi no Jun (Composition), Kobushi Factory: Dosukoi Kenkyo ni Daitan (Lyrics & Composition).

This person's recent involvement with making music for H!P has led to a recent topic of discussion amongst the wota: Who is this Hoshibe Shou? Heck, given the variations in how you can read Japanese names, I'm not even sure if 'Hoshibu' is how you would pronounce '星部'. (Note: Name confirmed to be pronounced as Hoshibe)
Nishiguchi: Recently, the songs by this person have all been good. It's an amazing batting average.
Karin: I asked the staff 'Who is this person?', and they told me, 'It's someone you've met'.
Perhaps it narrows things down a bit, but doesn't help the speculation particularly much. Anyway, Karin-chan starts explaining the various symbols used on the lyrics card. To aid the audience's understanding, while explaining her notation, Karin showed examples of how the song would differ with and without taking into account the symbols.
  • At the very start of Ai no Diving was a 'V', which indicated 'take a breath'.
  • An encircled 'あ' indicated a vowel to be stressed, as it's easy to go wrong on vowels.
  • A '/' emphasises a pause.
  • The 'fallin' love' at the end of Ai no Diving's chorus was marked with an 'R', and this was a reminder for her not to say 'falling' in a Japanese way - to our ears, the Japanese pronunciation would sound like 'Four-in'.
  • At the very end of the chorus was '4ウ', which would mean to extend for 4 beats, and then cut to the back.
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Next came 'Choice & Chance', which was also accompanied with an annotated lyrics card projected on the screen. For this song, the lyrics card had far more markings than Ai no Diving's. While Ai no Diving was in a relatively simple 4-measure, C&C was jumbled up with more detailed 1~2-measures. Asked about what stands out in the song:
Karin: The shifting of the member parts are intense, so it's a battle of how much we can bring out the mood at our own parts.
Nishiguchi-san also took the opportunity to tease about the music video that had been recorded, and would be coming up in the near future.
Nishiguchi: There are somewhat surreal scenes in the music video.
Karin: For those scenes, I acted with the mindset 'Ignore reality!'
Karin then explains why she's wearing spectacles.
Karin: I wanted to wear spectacles to match with Nishiguchi-san...... not!
Nishiguchi: What's up with that slight raise-then-drop?
The real reason is that Karin-chan would wear spectacles to help her sing during recording sessions. It gets a bit technical, but what I was able to get is that you can bring out the best sound if you sing while wearing spectacles, holding your hands behind your head. Nishiguchi-san suggests that the audience try it out at karaoke. This was taught to them by vocal trainer Sugai-sensei, who had celebrated his birthday just the day before the event..



Karin-chan also touched on something she mentioned in a recent blog post, which is that she doesn't drink cold water during recordings, in order to maintain her voice.

Another thing that she's picky about is that she doesn't wear shoes in the recording studio. She finds it difficult to bring out the power in her voice if she's not barefoot. It seems to be a common occurrence, as studios have mats for barefoot use. However, for this recording, shoe-clad Aarii had gone in to record before Karin-chan, and the staff who had to adjust the microphone downwards commented 'You're short, aren't you'.

And we come to the end of the album discussion. Now Karin-chan will talk about make-up, and she brings out the make-up kit she always uses.
Karin: When I'm putting on make-up, the members tell me, 'You're acting all cutesy again...' I don't notice it myself though.
And with that, Karin-chan launched into a practical demonstration of how she normally puts on make-up, with Nishiguchi-san holding up a mirror.

For starters, Karin-chan doesn't apply foundation! To keep her fair skin bright, she applies CC cream as a base. Then she'll hide any shadows with concealer. After that she'll apply powder, blusher, draw a line on her eyebags, lipstick, and she's done!

As Karin-chan was in high spirits, applying on blusher and lipstick with a smile on her face, Nishiguchi-san commented that it would have been fine if the make-up routine she was doing were to be put up on HaroSute as is. The wota responded with cheers of delight.

The Hello! Cons start next week. Karin-chan prefers Challenger, she was charmed by the setlist.
Karin: You can't tell without watching both of them though!
She adds that they'll be performing songs from their album at the Hello! Cons.

Wrapping up the first part, Karin-chan promotes the album with 'If you don't buy all 3 versions, it won't be complete!'


And now we start on the second part, 'Miyamoto Karin talks about '80s Idols'. Karin-chan's entrance was accompanied with Matsuda Seiko's 'Aoi Sangoshou'. She's in the same outfit as the first part, sans spectacles.

Karin-chan began on the path of being an 80s idol wota because her mother was a fan of Matsuda Seiko, and when Karin-chan listened to Seiko-chan, she started investigating 80s idols as a whole. When Nishiguchi-san asked the audience how many of them got into 80s idols in the 80s itself, quite a number of hands were raised, about half of the audience in attendance.

Karin-chan had also brought along a notebook.
Karin: This is an idol info notebook I made myself, I wrote the things I'd looked up in here. But there's still a lot of empty space though.
And so, we start on 'Miyamoto Karin's Top 10 80s idol compositions'.


10th: Kikuchi Momoko 「Broken Sunset」(86)
Lyrics: Arikawa Masako
Composition Arrangement: Hayashi Tetsuji

Kikuchi Momoko-san was cute no matter what she did, it gave Karin-chan the shivers. Kikuchi-san would sing with her hands at her belly, yet it looked good. Kikuchi-san's singing also suited songs by Hayashi Tetsuji-san, with Karin-chan taking the opportunity to talk about the good points of Hayashi Tetsuji-san's songs


9th place: Kashiwabara Yoshie「Karin」(82)
LyricsComposition: Tanimura Shinji
Arrangement: Aoki Nozomi

Glancing at the album cover, Karin-chan comments, 'How outrageous. How does she pull off being so sexy despite her slimness?' While Tanimura Shinji-san composed and wrote lyrics for the song, Karin-chan thinks of it not as an idol song, but as a song that's accessible to people of from all walks of life.
Karin: Also, that posed look at the end of the chorus? It's outrageous, it's sexy.
Karin-chan also likes Kashiwabara-san's large steps. When Kashiwabara-san holds a microphone, she raises her index finger, drawing your eyes. Something else Karin-chan found outrageous? Kashiwabara-san's ability to put her hips in as she took steps, yet her shoulders would remain still.


8th:Hori Chiemi 「Inazuma Paradise」(84)
Lyrics: Kan Chinfa
Composition: Hayashi Tetsuji
Arrangement: Hagita Mitsuo
Karin: The lyricist for this song was Kan Chinfa-san, and the composer was Hayashi Tetsuji-san, it was a golden collaboration! This combination also did 'Kita Wing'. I guess that my choices this time around reveal my liking for Hayashi Tetsuji-san's songs.
According to Karin's mother, Hori Chiemi-san was an idoly idol, yet she wasn't cutesy, so she was also adored by girls of the same age.


7th:Nakayama Miho 「BE-BOP-HIGHSCHOOL」(85)
Lyrics: Matsumoto Takashi
Composition: Tsutsumi Kyouhei
Arrangement: Hagita Mitsuo
Nishiguchi: For this, the lyrics are by Matsumoto Takashi, and the composition was by Tsutsumi Kyouhei!
Karin: That's right, this is another golden combination!
Karin comments that the choreography for Nakayama Miho's songs were intense. Other people would move their hands a lot, but Nakayama Miho's songs were hard to remember as they involved leg movements as well.
Nishiguchi: Wait a minute, you memorised the choreography in detail?
Karin: I ended up memorising it naturally as I watched it. It's a routine habit.

6th: Matsumoto Iyo 「TV no Kuni Kara Kira Kira」(82)
Lyrics: Itoi Shigesato
Composition: Tsutsumi Kyouhei
Arrangement: Sagisu Shirou
Nishiguchi: The staff for this one is wonderful too!
Karin: That's right,they acted as the copywriters.
Nishiguchi: And the arrangement was by Sagisu Shirou! The one who did Evangelion!
Karin-chan found the choreography adorable, giving the wota a quick demonstration. Matsumoto-san would also stand straight upright at parts where there wasn't any choreography, which was something Karin-chan found adorable as well.
Nishiguchi: What are the charms of Matsumoto Iyo-san?
Karin: I found out about this somewhere, but she was popular with the group of people who made their début in 1982 at the time. Even though Matsumoto Iyo-san made her début in '81, she led them, it was amazing.


5th: Kawai Naoko 「Love Letter」 (81)
Lyrics: Ryuu Machiko
Composition: Makaino Kouji
Arrangement:  Wakakusa Kei

When Kawai Naoko-san made an appearance on TV music shows to perform this song, she was pretty quiet, perhaps due to nerves. but her concert videos were really intense. Karin-chan found that difference amusing, and she wishes that she could have been born in that era to be able to have watched it live.

On the topic of Kawai Naoko-san's daughter becoming a singer, Karin-chan was asked about what she would do if her own child wanted to become an idol.
Karin: Hmm... I would respect their intention, but I think I'd tell them that being an idol is relentless.
Among the 6 people mentioned so far, if Karin-chan were to pick one person to hold a person with, she'd pick Kawai Naoko-san. Even though she brings out her voice in a cute way, it's got a core to it, so Karin-chan would really like to learn from that.



4th: Ishikawa Hidemi 「Namida no Paper Moon」(83)
Lyrics: Asaki Kaoru
Composition: Oda Yuuichirou
Arrangement: Otani Kazuo

Upon seeing the single cover on the screen, Karin-chan squealed 'How cute!'
Karin: This song is in an unexpectedly high key, but it's amazing how the way she sings doesn't make it feel that way. Also, when she inclines her head at 'Tokimeku', it's like 'Whoa~! (How cute!)'
And where did Karin-chan find out all this information about idols?
Karin: I'll definitely make recordings of those special programmes with nostalgic videos on TV. Also, besides that, I looked at all sorts of video materials...

3rd: Nakamori Akina 「Second Love」(82)
Lyrics: Kisugi Etsuko
Composition: Kisugi Takao
Arrangement: Hagita Mitsuo
Karin: This song was a collaboration between Kisugi Etsuko-san and Kisugi Takao-san, as was 'Slow Motion'.
For Karin-chan, Nakamori Akina-san's charms lay in her cool, long tome. Also, looking at Nakamori Akina sing with her eyes closed, Karin-chan would end up imagining what Nakamori-san was thinking about.


2nd: Koizumi Kyoko 「Kogarashi ni Dakarete」 (86)
Lyrics Composition: Takamizawa Toshihiko
Arrangement: Inoue Akira
Karin: I really like Takamizawa-san's songs. 'The Stardust Memory' as well. It's really easy to listen to, but when you listen to them, they're really profound.
Nishiguchi: What do you find charming about Koizumi Kyoko-san?
Karin: I heard that she's a really candid person backstage, but when she sings a song, you enter the world of that song. Also, I heard her wise words that went something like 'Because Matsuda Seiko and Nakamori Akina were around, I went in a different direction'. I'd like to learn from the professional awareness of the 80s idols.



1st: Matsuda Seiko 「Heart no Earring」 (84)
Lyrics: Matsumoto Takashi
Composition: Holland Rose
Arrangement: Ohmura Masaaki
Karin: Even from the intro, it sticks in your ear, doesn't it? It was arranged by Ohmura Masaaki-san, who does a lot of these intros. Also, it's nice how the girl in Matsumoto Takashi-san's lyrics is clearly depicted. It was also nice how the outfits and the steps felt different from what had been done so far. For the songs of this era, they really put some thought into the concept of each and every song and discussed it with the staff. I think that 80s idols were truly artistes.
This song comes first for Karin-chan as she'd like to be able to sing like Matsuda Seiko-san. Karin-chan also likes how Seiko-chan sings 'Heart no Earring', with her hair cut short, just like on the cover. The stylish steps would also bring a smile to your face.

Nishiguchi: What are the charms of Matsuda Seiko?
Karin: Her singing. High notes, low notes, everything's perfect. Only Matsuda Seiko-san could pull off that way of singing.

Karin: I was really happy to hear that the lyrics for 'Ça va ? Ça va ?' were written by Miura Yoshiko-san (who did a lot of songs for Matsuda Seiko). I shouted out in joy when I got back home.

Karin: Matsuda Seiko-san's image colour was light pink, but Miura Yoshiko-san wrote the lyrics 'The shore is the moss-green of love' in 'Aoi Sangoshou', to match that colour. It'd be light pink and moss-green, right? Isn't that amazing?

Karin: I really like her 11th album 'The 9th Wave', where all the songs were arranged by Ohmura Masaaki-san. Also, 'Denwa de Date' was also arranged by Ohmura Masaaki-san, and the sound of the phone in the intro draws you into the song! Talking about intros, I also like the intro to 'Tenshi no Wink'! I like that story of Matsutouya Yumi-san writing in to request for the song, and the people who liked it included Matsuda Seiko-san and her staff as well. When the lyrics had an inflected question mark, normally you'd sing it by raising that part, but there are times when you use a lowered inflection, you can sing it in that way to capture the lyrics. 'Tsuzuiteiku Story' also has parts that are like that.
Nishiguchi: Well, it seems that there isn't enough time with just this event. We'll have to listen to the fruits of Miyamoto-san's research in the next event. (Applause from crows)

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Nishiguchi: So finally, if you could cover an idol song from the 80s, what would you like to sing?
Karin: Hmm..... There are a ton, but everyone has their own views on all those songs, so it would be difficult to do a reproduction of them. If pushed to say, it'd be (Ohta Takako's) 'Delicate ni Suki Shite'. This is an Ohmura Masaaki arrangement as well.

Talk events to commemorate the album's release would be starting the next day at various places.
Karin: There'll be handshake events as well. Let's talk passionately about the album!... It would be fine to ask about things like favourite foods as well.

Sources: Twitter - #FirstSqueeze!, @tozamasan, @tam_a_negi, @BaseBallBeer, @prse, @hello_shop_tak

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