and she's off...

my friend is hiking the pacific coast trail for the next 6 months or so.

support her and follow her blog.

she teaches me every day that life is an adventure.


photograph  ©david bowers   

tokyo blue weeps.

It was easing into fall, this particular morning.
It started the way most mornings did; I was drinking my first cup of coffee with my boss, and we were idly chatting about photography projects.
He brought up one he had been working on in Japan - and as he spoke, he handed me a CD.
My boss knows that I’m constantly searching for new music, so he let me take the CD home to listen to that night.
After I finished my days tasks I sat down and loaded the cd onto my computer and put my headphones on.
The first song on the 3 EP album、東京, which is the Kanji for Tokyo, started out so gently - almost a whisper from singer Toshimitsu Kokido (小木戸利光), while a gentle piano follows, played by fellow musician and friend, Hiroko Yota.
After a few moments of this beautifully haunting melody, the song crescendos, and Toshi and Hiroko are joined by Hiroshi Kokido (小木戸寛).
The opening alone was enough to get me completely hooked on the Blue Weeps.
I listened to all three songs over and over, exploring the complexity of each song and wondering how two brothers came together to create this – it wasn’t until the summer of the following year that all of my questions were finally answered.

 Album Cover Photography ©Nobunori Torii

3曲が収容されたCD の最初は「東京」。とても優しい始まりで、ボーカルの小木戸利光がささやくように歌い、バンドメンバーで友人のHiroko Yotaが弾く柔らかなピアノが流れる。
このオープニングだけで、私はすっかりBlue Weepsのとりこになった。

While planning a trip to Japan for work, I contacted Toshi through the Blue Weeps’ website and asked if he and Hiroshi might be available to discuss their music over coffee – both brothers were very welcoming and open to the idea.
I met them at Shinjuku station and we went to a local cafe to talk – their guitars in tow.
I found that while the Blue Weeps may only be two brothers, the development of the songs and music is as dynamic as it comes.
All instruments are played by the duo, save for a special piano part provided by Hiroko Yota on the EP.
If there is an instrument they would like to incorporate but don’t know how to play, one of them learns how to play from scratch.
Their creative energy is infectious, and as I spent more time with them, I realized anyone that meets them and hears their music feels the same.
The Blue Weeps’ music has developed a cult following of fans who just want to be involved for no other reason than to support their efforts.
Photographer Nobunori Torii became involved with the band in a fashion similar to mine - he discovered their music and liked it so much he began to do some of their photography.
He now also sells their CDs on his website.
On a sunny afternoon, Toshi and I went to a small, tucked away gallery where friend and fellow artist Keiko Kurita was displaying a show of beautiful photography she shot while traveling in Iceland.
Keiko has also joined in the collaborative efforts of the Blue Weeps and, along with Nobunori, provides the photography featured on the band’s website.
In the short time I spent at the gallery talking with Keiko and Toshi, I was able to meet everyone involved in this wonderful group.
Hiroko Yota, who plays piano on the album, stopped by the gallery and before I knew it we were all sitting together talking, taking pictures, and enjoying the summer day.
I don’t often feel so welcomed by complete strangers, but I felt as if I had known these people my whole life.

仕事で日本に行く計画を立てているとき、Blue Weepsのウェブサイトを通じてToshiに連絡をとった。コーヒーを飲みながら、ToshiとHiroshiと彼らの音楽について話ができないかと聞いたのだ。彼らは快くOKしてくれた。
写真家のNobunori Toriiも、私と同じようなBlue Weepsとの関わりを持っていた。
彼はBlue Weepsの音楽と出合い、その魅力に取りつかれた。そして彼らの写真を撮り始めた。自身のウェブサイトでバンドのCDを売ってもいる。
ある晴れた午後、Toshiと私は小さなギャラリーに出かけた。そこでは、友人でアーティスト仲間のKeiko Kuritaが、アイスランドを旅行中に撮った写真が並んでいた。KeikoもBlue Weepsとのコラボレーションに参加し、Nobunoriと一緒にバンドのウェブサイトを特集した写真を提供している。
アルバムでピアノを演奏したHiroko Yotaもギャラリーを訪れ、いつの間にか私たちは座りながら話をし、写真を撮り、夏の一日を楽しんだ。

So now, in hopes of spreading the beautiful music that Toshi and Hiroshi created, I am trying to put in my contribution.
With their album, Incarnations, available on iTunes, and another on the way in April, I hope the word will continue to spread.
It is rare to meet people so passionate about what they do, not driven by money, and creating music because they have to - because it is part of who they are, an extension of their soul.
This can be heard and felt in every single note of their music.
I hope others who hear it will feel the same and pass it on for others to hear.

For all the kindness you have shown me, arigato gozaimasu, Toshimitsu and Hiroshi.

Please come to NYC for a show soon!






Tokyo Blue Weeps:
Nobunori Torii:
Keiko Kurita:
iTunes – Tokyo Blue Weeps “Incarnations”

 Translation by Tomoyuki Onomura - Arigatou ^_^