The ones who sang the ending theme songs of
「The Garden of Sinners」 「Puella Magi Madoka☆Magica」
Photo sponsored by: C & L Music
Text by: IkHwan Kim
Translation by: HIS MASK
Kalafina outstands once again with their third album
Well-known among Korean fans for singing the theme songs of the movie series 「The Garden of Sinners」, Kalafina, a vocal unit, is enlarging its sphere of activity, in ways such as attending 「ANIME EXPO 2011」 in Los Angeles as the main guest. Consisted of three female vocals, Wakana, Keiko, and Hikaru, one of Kalafina’s albums, which was produced by the composer Yuki Kajiura, will finally be released in our country.*
「Seventh Heaven」, the album which has all the theme songs of 「The Garden of Sinners」, has already been released in our country, and their recent album 「After Eden」, which has the ending theme songs of 「Puella Magi Madoka☆Magica」 and 「Dark Butler II」, will be released soon in this country, too. So, Kalafina gave their first greetings to Korean fans.
NT Kalafina was originally a music project for the animation 「The Garden of Sinners」, but now it is a vocal unit. How did it become a vocal unit?
Hikaru After all the seven chapters of 「The Garden of Sinners」 had ended, 「Seventh Heaven」, which had all the theme songs of the animation, was released. At the same date 「Lacrimosa」, the single that had been used as an ending theme song of the TV animation 「Black Butler」, was released, and from that time on, Kalafina became a fixed unit of three.
NT Since Kalafina had been formed for the music of 「The Garden of Sinners」, you must have gotten a lot of influence from it. How did you express the influence into music? Also, how did you accept and understand the animation personally?
Wakana In expressing the view of the musical world of Kalafina, the world view of 「The Garden of Sinners」 played an important role. After the completion of each chapter, I always went to the movie theater to watch it, and every time I did, I felt that my view of the world was broadening. Personally, I think 「The Garden of Sinners」 is a piece of work that gave new excitement and shock to us Kalafina.
Keiko We participated from the 1st chapter till the last chapter, and not only do I feel fond of all of the ending theme songs, but also they remind me of various scenes of the chapters. Every time I sing them, the scenes from the animation come to my mind. As we wouldn’t have been born if it weren’t for this piece of work, it is very precious. Also, I read the novel slowly and thoroughly because without doing so, I found it quite difficult to read due to the use of language and the time base**, and hard to imagine the scenes.
Hikaru Since the role of us Kalafina was accepting the world view of the work and then singing the songs that would flow at the end of it, we read the book first and sang the songs while thinking of the scenery and the feelings of the characters. As Kalafina wouldn’t have been born if it weren’t for this piece of work, I feel very fond of it, too. , I felt really glad participating in such a great piece of work which many people loved.
NT Could you explain about the album recently released in Korea, 「Seventh Heaven」?
Wakana It is the starting album which has the begining of Kalafina. Our pure yet inexperienced selves are in it. It is the precious starting point which makes us return to our wills when we were beginners.
Keiko Also, it is an album which strongly shows the colors of 「The Garden of Sinners」.
Hikaru It could also be seen as an album which clearly shows the characteristics of the group’s members.
NT Tell me which song of 「Seventh Heaven」 is the most rememberable to each of you and why.
Wakana It is 「oblivious」, our debut song. When I listened to it for the first time, I thought it was very splendid. I was touched because I hadn’t felt a sense of incongruity though a soft melody was flowing together with strong sounds.
Keiko Though all of the songs are impressive, during the recording of 「Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku」 I sang the lyrics as if I was speaking. Like if I were speaking every word carefully……. I have never been, and probably never will be, so nervous while recording(laugh).
Hikaru The first song I recorded was 「ARIA」, and I remember clearly, as if it had happened yesterday, that my hands got numb due to nervousness.
NT Could you explain briefly what kind of person your producer, Yuki Kajiura, is?
Wakana It’s kinda hard, but I think she’s a solitary artist who refuses to compromise in order to make the best music.
Keiko It’s really hard. Briefly explaining about a person I look up to is hard. To me Ms. Kajiura is a person who creates and discovers many doors of music, and finds them together.
Hikaru As a human, and as a woman, she is honorable for her attitude towards work and respect for others.
NT Since you guys are known as competent vocalists, please give your Korean fans some tips for singing Kalafina songs.
Wakana The only tip is……. Practice(laugh). Anyway, first, split the parts or melody lines among 3 or more friends, next, listen carefully to each part and memorize the part you’re in charge of, and after that, practice, practice, practice!
Keiko Since our songs are completed with the combination of 3 voices, at least 3 people is needed. And you even might be able to make a pleasant choir if you sing together with your friends the favorite parts of each of you! Try it out.
Hikaru The tip is having 3 or more people sing together(laugh). After that, it would be better if you make out the harmonies by listening to the CDs or watching the live DVDs.
NT The recently released 「After Eden」 will soon be released in Korea. Could you please explain about this album?
Wakana While maintaining the world view of Kalafina, it is an album which is closer to reality and shows more humanity, compared to the past albums.
Keiko This album is an album which was released after a year had passed. You will be able to feel the liveliness of the many lives we performed during that year. Most of the 9 new songs were recorded with a live band, and some of the songs have lyrics which tell the feelings of a rather realistic woman. Listening along with those realistic songs, you may feel the strong impact of 「Magia」, the ending theme song of 「Puella Magi Madoka☆Magica」. It is an album which contains our ‘present image’
Hikaru While there were mighty and splendid songs in the past two albums, the newly released 「After Eden」 is more human and ‘realistic’. The lyrics and the fact that almost all of the new songs were recorded with a live band reveal those points. Accordingly, we were able to record songs that had us sing in new ways or make freshly new harmonies.
NT Please tell us if you have any new resolutions releasing 「After Eden」.
Wakana It is a third album which, I think, shows the new Kalafina. I want to keep doing my best to make people charmed by Kalafina through lives.
Keiko I want to perform more lives to spread our music to more people.
Hikaru Since Kalafina’s musical range has expanded through this album, I want to try my best in singing the songs of this album so that it would lead to future possibilities.
NT Are there any future plans for your schedules?
Wakana To celebrate the release of 「After Eden」, a live concert in Tokyo will be held on the 12th of November. Also, we will go on a live tour starting from January 2012. Please come and see!
Keiko On the 25th of November there will be a one-man live for only one night. Also, the first acoustic live is planned on the 25th of December.
Hikaru I hope you’ll enjoy the songs of this album in live. I want to sing them in more various places, though.
NT Would it be possible to attend Kalafina’s concert in Korea someday?
Wakana Though we don’t have any plans for it, I badly wish we’ll go there someday. I’ll encourage myself by dreaming of the day when we’ll meet all of you, Korean fans.
Keiko I want to say “Yes!”, but it’s not possible yet……. However, I really want to sing our music to you guys in live.
Hikaru However, to get a chance to feel the music together with all of you, Korean fans, we’ll throw our efforts to working in Japan for now.
NT Last, say something to the readers, please.
Wakana Dear fans of Korea, nice to meet you all. The music of us Kalafina expresses a unique world view by using the differences between our voices. Please listen to our music someday. Also, if we get to have a concert in Korea someday, please come to listen to it!!
Keiko Nice to meet you all. Thanks for reading this article. Korea is near to Japan, and I like Korean music. Please listen to Kalafina’s music a lot, too. And I’ll work hard in Japan, believing my wish of meeting you all will come true someday. Please look forward to it.
Hikaru Dear Korean fans, nice to meet you all. I am happy that I can talk to you guys like this. I wish all of you-those who already knew Kalafina, and those who got to know us through this article-would listen to our Korean debut album, 「Seventh Heaven」, and our new album, 「After Eden」. Though this is something quite personal, I really love Korean laver! Please let me know if there are recommendable things or places in Korea♪ Thank you.
*‘one of ~ our country’: Though published after it, this article was written before the release of the Korean licensed version of ‘Seventh Heaven’.
**‘time base’: The dictionary says this is a physics term but I couldn’t find a more suitable expression. By this, KEIKO is probably referring to the reverse chronology of ‘The Garden of Sinners’.