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Friday, February 7, 2014

Olympic Special: Japanese Composer Admits Not Writing Own Music

So… if you are a composer of music, you are supposed to actually compose music, right?

So what if you are a composer who doesn't compose his own music? What are you then?

Apparently you are Samuragochi Mamoru (surname first).

Known as the Japanese Beethoven, Samuragochi, 50, has admitted that he did not write all of his famous musical scores - that he actually hired a ghost writer to compose many of his pieces… pieces that have helped him become famous.

If you look at his life: born to parents who survived the atomic bombs in Hiroshima, and then a few days later in Nagasaki! Holy crap! The double whammy! People who survived both blasts (after the Hiroshima blast, more than a few people traveled to Nagasaki for safety, only to have the allies bomb the sh!t out of it days later) are known as 'hibakusha'.

And… the Hiroshima-born Samuragochi was a fairly successful classical music composer who just so happened to have lost his hearing while in his mid-30s.

Say, wha-?

If you will recall from one of the funnier skits from the Monty Python's Flying Circus television show, Beethoven - one of the greatest musical geniuses ever - was also deaf.

How could Japan not embrace their own deaf composer who created wonderful music.

Anyhow… along with not writing all of his own music, Samuragochi may not actually be deaf.

Nani? O-nani*

(*Translation: What? Masturbation…)

He says "it is totally inexcusable and he deeply regrets [what happened]," says his lawyer. "He is mentally distressed and not in a condition to properly express his own thoughts."

He's not in a condition to express his own thoughts? No sh!t, Sherlock.

Has he ever expressed his own thoughts?

And what's with the term "regret"? Dammit Japan, why do you and your dumbass translators always use the term 'regret'? Just say,"I am so effing embarrassed and deeply sorry for the (insert fug up here)."

Samuragochi's confession on February 5, 2014 came out ONLY when the Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine exposed the fact that Niigaki Takashi (surname first) was actually the genius behind the 'genius'.
Now he keeps his mouth shut.

On February 6, 2014, Niigata held a press conference to announce that he was tired of the whole deception (you were paid! Shut the fugue up!).

I'm going out on a limb here (not really), but I'm guessing Niigata let the cat out of the bag because Japanese figure skater Takahashi Daisuke (surname first) would actually be skating his short program to one of the Samuragochi-named, but Niigata-penned, musical pieces at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

I'm guessing he wanted his three minutes of fame for when Takahasho skates to the music known as "Sonatina for Violin".

Real writer Niigata says he decided to come out now because he was afraid that if news of the Japanese figure skater actually skated to music written by a fraud, that it would actually tarnish the result - whatever it is - of the skater.

No it wouldn't. That's that's the weakest excuse for tattling I have ever heard.  Yes, the music is important to a figure skater, but wouldn't causing a scandal BEFORE the Olympic event be more damaging to the psyche of the skater?

I mean, won't audiences around the world be whispering in hushed tones as the program starts: Pssst… that Japanese skater… did you know his music was written by a guy pretending to be Japanese who actually paid another guy to write the music under his name?"

That's right… the focus then shifts away from the figure skater who has trained his whole life for these few minutes of world-grabbing glory - and moves to a pair of douchebag musical composers - one real, and one not so real.

How selfish.

Niigaki teaches at the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, saying he had been composing for Samuragochi since 1996, being paid a total of ¥7-million (about $76,352).
Let that be a lesson to you kiddies. Writing classical music is not really a way to get rich. Try a rock and roll song… or some other genre of music that is popular in the 21st century.
Niigata says that when he first started writing for Samuragochi, he felt he was more of an assistant because he followed Samuragochi's guidance, and wrote the music because Samuragochi couldn’t write his own scores.
Why? I thought he was deaf… not blind….
Niigata also says that Samuragochi has normal hearing.
"I continued to write pieces under Samuragochi’s instruction, knowing that he was deceiving the public, and releasing the music. I’m Samuragochi’s partner in crime,” cries Niigaki.
Writers - whether its bloggers, magazine writers, novelists, pamphlet writers, poets, composers or even people who fake write the letters in to Penthouse magazine - are all concerned about ego.

People need to know that they created something. I'm the same way. But… if someone pays me to ghostwrite something or ghost edit something, then that is what I am being paid for… ghosting… I'm not even there.

For about a year or more, I ghost wrote four articles a month for a pair of U.S. lottery magazines. I think I made about $600 a month.

Let's see… Niigata earned ~$76, 000 in 18 years… well… let's see… in 17 years, if I had continued to ghost write for a bunch of lottery magazines, I would make: $122,400.

And my writing was something that would take me about eight hours to compose.

By the way… Samuragochi… did you read that part where Niigata says Samuragochi couldn't write his own scores? So… he couldn't even write music?

  • known as a composer of neo-classical music in Japan;
  • deaf composer who is not deaf;
  • can't compose music and hires a ghost writer;
  • doesn't know how to write music;
  • does provide guidance to the ghost writer - which I assume is: "let me hum a few bars, Niigata… now you write the score based on those few notes. It'll be a trill!"

Trill? Thrill? That's a musical bon mot.

I used to teach piano and clarinet and can play all woodwinds, brass and keyboards - but am completely useless with strings and percussion (even the triangle!, though I can paradiddle till the cows come home).

  • ghost writes music for a deaf guy who's not a deaf guy;
  • gets paid to ghost write;
  • doesn't get paid a lot;
  • has a self-serving conscience;
  • wants to save a Japanese figure skater future embarrassment and blabs stupid stuff days before the Olympics;
  • now has his 15 minutes of fame.

Is it just me, but now that you read all of this, does any one NOT think these two musical geniuses are a pair of dicks?

  • Japanese figure skater;
  • won the Bronze at 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics;
  • 2010 World Champion;
  • two-time World silver medalist;
  • two-time Four Continents Champion;
  • five-time Japanese national champion;
  • skating his short program at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics to music written by Samuragochi nee Niigata;
  • now has something else on his mind other than his skating routine thanks to one blabbermouth and one fraud;
  • Hanyu Yuzuru, 19, is Takahashi's main Japanese competition, and Hanyu is one of the most electrifying figure skaters I have ever seen.

Samuragochi wasn't always a dick and a fraud. No… he did always like classical music, but he was also a cool enough dude to write music (and here he did) for the video games: Onimusha (Demon Warrior) and Resident Evil.

Samuragochi was taught piano by his mom, but says he learned how to compose by himself even before he was a teenager.

He says he actually lost his hearing in 1999, yet says his deafness made his art more genuine.

“It is like communicating from the heart. Losing my hearing was a gift from God,” he told a Time magazine journalist in 2001.

Time magazine wrote: “As he turns up the volume on an MD player for a visitor, tears fill his eyes as he strains to hear the rhythmic beat of the taiko drums: percussive noises are the only ones he can detect any more.”

Apparently Samuragochi gained some major fame with his Symphony No. 1 "Hiroshima" after it premiered at a commemoration concert in Hiroshima. In fact… the music became even more popular after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeast coast of Japan, as people associated the Hiroshima piece with the atomic blast survivors to the strength exhibited by the survivors of the 2011 disaster.

Anyhow, not that it matters much now in the 'kick'em when they are down' department, but the Nippon Columbia record company has halted distribution of his CDs, DVDs and on-line downloads.

Tokyo Hustle, Samuragochi's music publisher has cancelled the release of three of his upcoming scores, and has apologized to the fans.

And, Hiroshima mayor Matsui Kazumi (surname first) announced the city would take back the 'citizen's award' given to Samuragochi.

If Milli Vanilli sang a Samuragochi written song in the forest, would it make any sound?

(*sigh*) I used to like Milli Vanilli. God's no! I never bought one of their albums! I just thought they were decent performers.


Ach… Ludwig!

Poor Beethoven is rolling over in his grave - thanks to his Japanese namesake - quickly erasing all of the scores of his famous music. He's decomposing.

That, is just a part of a much longer joke, but I think this article has gone on long enough.

So… who's going to commit harakiri (or seppuku - ritualistic suicide by disemboweling) first?

I wonder which joke I will regret?

Andrew Joseph

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