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Revolutionary Girl Utena – Barbara Waiseiko Mokushiroku Liner Notes

November 20, 2018

The Meteor Night Linked by a Halo of Thought

When I was writing the choral songs for my first new project in a while, The Mechanics of Fools, I innocently thought, “I wonder if Utena music is still forming within me even now,” and those words were what started me on creating this project…. It was when I was writing the songs “Earth Prison Panopticon” and “The Invisible Theater of Impressionists” for The Mechanics of Fools that I thought this. The light of a single thought streamed from my right temple, aiming for a single point in the night sky. And soon it returned to my left temple, linking in a great big halo of light. What resulted from following that halo of thought was wild imaginations of songs: “Baroque Rock” and “My real me is scattered” and “Teatromeda Teatrosaurus” and “Extra-Human Imaginary Dwarf Star” and the rest. Since I was writing the libretto for a new show, I thought, “I don’t have time for this,” and restrained myself. “It’s all right, I’ll manage.” I shut up the libretto and, strongly aware of the giant elliptical halo linking my two temples to that point in the night sky, gave myself over entirely to songwriting. I turned on the TV as I usually do while writing songs, but that night was different. The TV, which I always watch with the volume set to 24, became inaudible to me, and instead I heard someone’s voice speaking to me. “They say that the spirits of the dead become stars, and I’ve also heard that if you call out to wake up those dead people, there is a play…” it said. And then, soon, another voice said, temptingly, “If you create a ‘dwarf star music’ that will cause that theatrical universe to be reborn….” I ignored those voices, scattered fantasies and strange thoughts and mad thoughts and allegorical thoughts here and there around the temporary theater, and, while playing a guitar in lute tuning, built up a “songbow” (as in rainbow) of different types of music. But still, “If you plot the things that were realized by ‘the neverending situation of that girl’s lust and a maturing older girl’s lust’ on an axis from the light of revival to the darkness of the underworld, with a picturesque technique, without hesitation, there is evidence that lyrics have been created,” came an analysis that seemed like it was from a stranger. (It was probably someone inside myself.) Just when I thought “Is someone talking to me?” another someone who seemed like a visiting stranger inquired, “If you buy up old books and old maps, old tricks and old star charts that can’t possibly be in your bookless library that imitates the Library of Babel that possesses all books that exist and you think you can’t read them, would you change the sea from which the earth was born into aged sake, while replacing all the nebulae and constellations that have been created since history began and the whole sky full of planets and stars with naked lightbulbs, and write songs while praying an anatomical oratio that’s no Kaitai Shinsho?[1] … Well, how about it? Do you have the self-confidence?” (It was probably someone inside myself.) “How long is this going to go on?” I said, taking a break, and at once the noise of the TV came back. “This year I watched one of the big three meteor showers, the Perseids, in favorable conditions, and next year it seems like I’ll be able to see another of the big three, the Quadrantids….” An eye that seemed to have existed since the ancient past, which is to say my third eye, looked up at the celestial bodies spread throughout my room.

– May 2017, J. A. Seazer


[1] “解体オラ書”, “kaitai orasho,” is a pun on the title of the Kaitai Shinsho (解体新書), or New Book of Anatomy, and “オラショ” (orasho), an archaic Japanese Christian word for “prayer” from the Latin “oratio.” The katakana at the end of “オラショ” have been replaced by “書”, also read “sho” and meaning “book”, and obviously the first two characters are the same as in “解体新書”, leaving us with… a book of anatomical prayer, I suppose?

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