Strands of Music: The Garden of Everything

I was listening to my old, limping iPod the other day and I felt compelled to share this song with you. It’s called “The Garden of Everything” and it’s sung by Steve Conte and Maaya Sakamoto. The lyrics are by Maaya Sakamoto and Chris Mosdell, and the music was composed by Yoko Kanno and Alexandr Borodin.

A few words about the team that put this together: Yoko Kanno is one of my favorite composers of all time. She’s out of this world — a phenomenally talented person. I was introduced to her through her work composing anime soundtracks (her amazing range is evident in the fact that she composed the scores for such disparate series as Vision of Escaflowne and Cowboy Bebop). Maaya Sakamoto is a Japanese singer/songwriter and actress; she’s one of my favorite musical artists, and as someone who only kind-of-sort-of understands Japanese, I’m forever grateful to her for singing with such perfect, graceful, elegant pronunciation. Her songs are alternately beautiful, haunting, and upbeat, and they have some of the most complex, interesting lyrics of all the Japanese music I’ve heard. She and Steve Conte both have histories of collaborating with Yoko Kanno on anime soundtracks (Maaya Sakamoto was the voice of Hitomi in Escaflowne and Steve Conte provided vocals for some of my favorite Cowboy Bebop songs). The three of them come together for “The Garden of Everything” to make a song that I consider pretty damn perfect.

Listen here:
The Garden of Everything

The lyrics are pure magic, and that’s what drew me to the song in the first place (someone in an icon-creation LiveJournal community back in the day pointed me to it because it reminded them of my all-time favorite anime, Revolutionary Girl Utena).

~

Here you are
Daylight’s star
Made out of miracles

Perfection
Of your own
You alone
Oh so incredible

Each atom
Sings to me
“Set me free
From chains of the physical.”

Oh free me, Oh free me

The mirror melts
I’m somewhere else
Inside eternity

Where you on
Outstretched wings
Sing within
The Garden of Everything

Where memories
Call to me
Backward dreams?
Or phantom reality?

Call to me, they call to me

And so here we are
Lovers of Lost Dimensions
Burning supernovas of all sound and sight
Every touch, a temptation
And for every sense, a sensation

(Uta ha ima kaze ni notte
Haruka tooi anata no moto he
Itsuka sora ha hitotsu ni tsunagaru
Watatte yukeru anata no moto he)

(Translation: My song will now ride the wind
Back to you, so far, far away
One day, the skies will connect as one
And I’ll be able to cross them, back to you)

Eyes of pure
Deep azure
Quite unbelievable

The sun’s daughter
You’ve been made
Not to fade
Quite inconceivable

Each atom sings to me
“Set me free
From chains of the physical.”

Oh free me, Oh free me

A love like ours
A starry flower
Through seasons and centuries

As rivers reach the sea
You’ll reach me
With songs of your symmetry

A small boat
There will float
To far off coasts
The Isle of Infinity

Come with me, Oh come with me

Here we’ll see
Love’s lost tree
Made out of miracles

Emotions, crystal leaves
To cover me
And you in eternity

Each atom sings to us
Through the blood
“Love is a miracle”

Sings softly, it sings softly

And so here we are
Lovers of Lost Dimensions
Burning supernovas of all sound and sight
Every touch, a temptation
And for every sense, a sensation

(Uta ha ima kaze ni notte
Haruka tooi anata no moto he
Itsuka sora ha hitotsu ni tsunagaru
Watatte yukeru anata no moto he)

(Translation: My song will now ride the wind
Back to you, so far, far away
One day, the skies will connect as one
And I’ll be able to cross them, back to you)

And so here we are
Twin stars of brilliant brightness
Lanterns lit by life
for all the depths of night
And every day will return us
To arms of the ever eternal

(Uta ha ima kaze ni notte
Haruka tooi anata no moto he
Itsuka sora ha hitotsu ni tsunagaru
Watatte yukeru anata no moto he)

And so here we are
Twin stars of brilliant brightness
Lanterns lit by life
for all the depths of night
And every day will return us
To arms of the ever eternal