Thank you! Ladies and gentlemen, Shōko Suzuki!
(shouts of “Cute!”)
(laugh) Say it louder. (laugh)
It’s not…not every day I get to hear this from 10,000 people, you know. It’s quite a treat.
(continued shouts of “Cute!”)
Ah, that’s enough! Sorry.
Now then, we’re really getting close to the very very end of our time here.
(shouts, followed by unintelligible male voice and laughter)
(Maaya takes a drink of water and sits at the piano)
The last song I’m doing today comes from my best album “everywhere”, which went on sale today. It’s the first song I composed, and it’s called “everywhere”.
Have you picked up your copy yet?
Thank you so much. Really. I hope you’ll allow me a few moments to speak about the composition of this new song that’s in the best-hits album. This song came about last spring, when for the first time I spent five weeks—37 entire days traveling alone through Europe. It was born during that journey. That trip really gave me time time to carefully rethink many things, and in that period after the Windreader Tour, I reset my emotions a little bit, and I took plenty of time…to think about my future.
Those 37 days of wandering around by myself without a guidebook, traveling through 10 countries—it was a huge adventure, but for me, more than wanting to go on an adventure, I wanted to have 37 days that I could spend in an ordinary way. Eat when I felt hungry, sleep when I felt tired, go for a stroll when it was sunny, find shelter when it rained, laugh when I had fun, cry when I felt like it. All of these are plain, everyday things, but I still felt sort of like I wasn’t doing all that great at those things in my daily life, so once I was all alone I reset everything once more, and I left on that trip hoping to become the kind of person who could do those things like everyone else.
So about two weeks after leaving Japan, when I had a sense that something inside me had started to change little by little, I happened to stay at a place in rural Italy that was like a mountain lodge, an inn run by a family, and they had a piano, and so I had my first chance in quite a while to play the piano—the first since the tour, in fact. It just so happened that I ended up watching the house for three or four hours, and I was told, “Feel free to play the piano,” so I did. And in that short span of three or four hours, quite strangely, though I didn’t sit down at the piano thinking I would compose a song, the things I had been feeling on that trip just…flowed out into words and notes, and I had a song. I hurried to put it into the voice recorder I had brought, and that recording was the first version of this new song “everywhere”.
The emotions I’ve put in this song are far too many to count, and it’s hard for me to put them into words here today, so if all of you, since it’s already on sale, and since it now belongs to you, if you would each feel something in it, I think that would convey everything. But the one thing I feel is that, like I said before, I really feel that enjoying your life means you really have to live with joy for your own life and for having been born, and so, I tend to always long for what I don’t have, but I think my task is to find true happiness in the things I have in my hands, the things I was born with, and the life I expect I myself chose. I really feel I shouldn’t look for someone else’s—for happiness from someone else, but above all I should think about how to grant happiness to myself, who is closer to me than anyone, as I grow older.
And so it’s somewhat—I’m full of feelings of gratitude for having been born, and for having people who have watched over me to this very day as I’ve sung…being able to release this song on my birthday for some reason feels incredibly meaningful to me.
I still think it’s difficult to express in words, but if you were to ask me why I wanted to compose a song when I’ve been on—I’ve been playing the piano for just two years, I’d say that the things I want to express and my feelings at the moment just poured out in this really natural form, and that’s what led to it. I would be delighted if it reaches you in some way. So with feelings of thanks, I’ll now sing the last song.