Tujiko Noriko recently came back on Editions Mego with an excellent new album “My Ghost Comes Back”, an even more acoustic affair which involved many guest musicians, who used instruments such as the mandolin, viola, musical saw or optigon in the line-up. We had a chat about this with Tujiko, who seems to be one of the most nimble tightrope walkers between pop and experimentalism. Welcome back to Tujiko and that ghost as well!
Chain D.L.K.: Hi Tujiko! How are you?
Tujiko Noriko: I’m fine thank you.
Chain D.L.K.: A lot of things have changed over years…first of all, how do you feel as a Japan-Parisian currently? Don’t tell me you changed the name on your ID card to Charlie Hebdo as well…
Tujiko Noriko: I’m not Parisian. I haven’t lived in Paris since 11 years ago or so. I’ve been always near Paris but not in. I like Paris, but I like anonymous suburbs a lot too. To me, sometimes, suburbs are much more photogenic than Paris.
I didn’t walk with people saying “je suis Charlie”, it was said that it’s for “solidarite”, but I wondered if I should go, for saying why exactly should I go there, and how about her? how about he?
I’ve been staying at home in the countryside with my newborn baby. Second one. I’ve been even more hermetic in a calm and happy cocoon with the innocent baby boy,a girl and a deaf cat. But there is so much horrible news around. I’m sad that he or they had to go mad; we need to know how and why we get mad. When someday these children will get much older and if they will get carried away, getting mean, I wish they would think of their childhood beautiful memories for mere seconds.
I can’t really say how the world is changing neither as a Japanese and a world citizen, but I know I am getting older, and I’m more and more afraid of being a horrible adult.
Chain D.L.K.: Ten years ago, it seems you perceived yourself as a sort of femme fatale…is it so? Has your relation with your body changed more than the one with your musical soul?
Tujiko Noriko: I didn’t know that I perceived myself as a sort of femme fatale.
I’m not really conscious of how I changed in my body/soul stuff. Musical soul might be in a somewhat state of autonomy.
Chain D.L.K.:…and has your love for doughnuts changed as well?
Tujiko Noriko: No!!!
Chain D.L.K.: I know you don’t really like retrospective, so how can you imagine the future steps of your musical personality?
Tujiko Noriko: Oooo, I’m looking forward to making music in the future. I don’t see this as “steps” as if I built my career; to me it’s more random and open.
I want to finish sorting out “my ghost comes back part2”.
I wanna make a very simple “singing album”.
I wanna make some music; like really romantic film music with classical instruments.
I also talked to Aoki Takamasa and we said: “Let’s make “38”” and so I sent like 8,9 tracks to him, but he seems too be busy to work on those for the moment. Nevertheless, we won’t be able to stay 38 forever.
I’ll create a band with Maxwell August Croy who plays the koto and also sang in my new album.
Chain D.L.K.: Some songs of your new album could surmise French folk/pop music…how come?
Tujiko Noriko: I don’t know.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you think that the way many reviewers keep on labeling your style by referring to it as glitch pop characterizes your music today?
Tujiko Noriko: I wasn’t sure even before.
Chain D.L.K.: I don’t know who to thank for the rough translations of your lovely songs…don’t you mind getting misunderstood by all those listeners who don’t understand Japanese?
Tujiko Noriko: I translated them; very roughly. I love making poems/lyrics. Recently I started making proper English translations from my lyrics in Japanese, for someday in the future. I am also interested in making English lyrics. Then more people might be able to enjoy the words of my music. But I’m ok that some people misunderstand or don’t understand them; I think there aren’t so many people who can misunderstand Japanese lyrics.
More than being understood or not, it’s about my natural will. I’ve been living in France talking bad English and talking far worse French for many years, I don’t use Japanese so much like I used to.
Chain D.L.K.: Some songs on your album (“Yellow Of You”, “Under The White Sheets”) really sound like a duet between you and a ghost-like whistling voice…could you describe your ghost and the way you communicate?
Tujiko Noriko: It’s not my ghost. It’s her ghost. I made up a little story, which characterizes this album. In this little story or images, call them as you wish, there is a woman waiting for her dead husband, they have a rendezvous. They communicate each other par love.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the most annoying aspect of interviews (for you and your ghost)?
Tujiko Noriko: Though for sure they have to know my music to be able to have some questions and it’s very nice of them to be curious, it could become a little annoying when someone who doesn’t know me at all talks to me in an attitude as if he or she knows me well, … but I mostly enjoy interviews. it’s communication, meeting someone, I especially like face to face interviews.
Chain D.L.K.: I read somewhere you are often inspired by lights…any hints from the dark?
Tujiko Noriko: Shadows yes, by darkness not really, by silence yes, a lot, but not from the dark, but yes thanks for asking me that, I’ll think of the dark more, maybe it’s inspiring too. But till now the idea of darkness was something violent and unfair for me (imagine you hit yourself bang!!! in the pitch-dark!!!) but sure, it could be beautiful.
Chain D.L.K.: You came back on Rehberg’s Editions Mego… it’s a long time since you’ve been friends…or do you prefer to consider Peter as a collaborator?
Tujiko Noriko: Well.. I don’t really feel that I came back because I didn’t leave.
Peter…!!! I don’t feel that Peter is a collaborator and I guess he doesn’t think of me like that, neither. But for me, Peter is someone special, he has a special effect on my life.
Chain D.L.K.: Something about the people and musicians who collaborated on “My Ghost Comes Back”?
Tujiko Noriko: Really really really, they are generous and open people. I loved working with them. I’d like to work with them again; and also with some other musicians with other instruments.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you going to bring it on live stage?
Tujiko Noriko: I’d like to.
Chain D.L.K.: Any other work in progress?
Tujiko Noriko: I wrote about my musical work in progress or that will start in the near future.
Apart from music, I definitely want to finish editing the film that I shot with Joji Koyama in 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!! Life is too busy and we are too slow for the film.
Visit Tujiko Noriko online at: www.tujikonoriko.com