Last night a typhoon hit Japan, crossing the Honshu island west of Osaka. Two people died and many lost their homes. Today, in Osaka at least, the wind has died down and we’re left with a steady gray rain.
But here, at the Selcy Plaza in Senri-Chuo station, two adorable, brave, and talented young musicians stand under a portable shelter, singing their hearts out to a smattering of people holding umbrellas and tapping their feet—a few of the umbrella-less have simply draped towels on their heads.
Everyone is smiling.
This is one stop on their promotional tour for their new CD.
“Don’t catch a cold in the rain, everyone,” says smiling Chiemi. She laughs. “Well, I guess I’m the one who didn’t bring an umbrella; all of you seem to have remembered. So, here’s a song about the ways I keep smiling and positive! It’s just my own feeling.” She laughs again, and they start. Chiemi seems to hold the autoharp more for a sense of security than for major musical contribution. It actually kind of messes up things when she plays it much, though they don’t let that phase them. You don’t need the autoharp, Chiemi! You have a fabulous voice that stands all on its own, and your magnetic energy is keeping everybody standing here in the downpour.
Emiko is the taller, boyish, shy one, playing guitar and harmonizing low, or singing lead on more soulful songs. According to their website (www.omoware.jp), she’s the one who started the duo when the girls were in middle school, asking Chiemi to sing harmony vocals for songs she was writing. The girls have known each other since kindergarten.
I’m struggling to translate their band name Omoware—想ワレ, as they write it. “Being thought of.” It could imply so many things, but perhaps it’s evoking the phrase “omoi omoware,” as in “thinking of someone and being thought of by (presumably the same) someone.”
Keep writing your own songs, girls. Keep singing your hearts out. Keep smiling just like that and looking straight into your listeners’ eyes. Sell lots of CDs, and rock on.