Semba EP songs (English)

Otemoyan – Otemoyan is a Japanese folk song called “minyo” from Kumamoto, Rié’s hometown. Otemoyan is about Chimo, a young maiden lady in the Meiji period, who is in love with a man with smallpox scars on his face. Chimo is very much charmed by him regardless of his look but hesitates to hold a traditional wedding ceremony due to possible comments made by the townspeople about her new husband’s look.

Originally, Otemoyan was a song played during drinking parties with geishas. Several hypothesis have been formulated as to the origin of the name. The most creditable among them is that Otemoyan was indeed named after a lady from Tominaga who lived near the present Kumamoto Station.  The oldest reference of this song is in “5 Pairs of Shoes”, a book published in 1907 by five promising men of letters : Tekkan Yosano, Mokutaro Kinoshita (pen-name of Masao Ōta), Kitahara Hakushu, Hirano Banri and Yoshii Isamu, who visited Kumamoto at that time. Otemoyan made a debut with the singer Akasaka Koume in 1935.

If you travel to Kumamoto in the summer chance are you will hear Otemoyan played by mass performers dancing in the streets of Kumamoto.  Otemoyan is usually accompanied by shamisen and taiko drums and other percussion ; and sung with Kumamoto accent of south.  The writer and composer is Ine Nagata, a teacher of shamisen and Japanese dances.

Semba  (Antagata Dokosa) – The title “Semba” is the name of the place where Rié grew-up in Japan. It is common for Semba to be sung with a ball game in Japan. Even today children sing this song created during Edo period whilst playing a variety of ball games.

Otemoyan” & “Semba (Antagata Dokosa)” which Rie sang in her childhood, have been transformed into energetic Jazz songs with unique touch through years of trial in Paris. 

Signals From the Lighthouse of Love – This song was composed at the beginning of her career and famed British lyricist Chris Mosdell wrote its lyrics.  

Toi Et Moi – A few years after moving to Paris Rié composed “Toi Et Moi” (“You & I”) with the image of the city of love. Chris polished its lyrics beautifully.

Vis Ta Vie – One of her recent compositions based on her life philosophy. The title means Live Your Life.

Semba (Antagata DokosaOù êtes-vous?)
1. Otemoyan
2. Semba (Antagata Dokosa – Où êtes-vous?)
3. Signals From the Lighthouse of Love
4. Toi Et Moi
5. Vie Ta Vie

Music & Lyrics (3.4.5), Arrangement for all tracks : Rié FURUSE
Lyrics for 3&4: Chris MOSDELL
Arrangement for all tracks : Marc PUJOL, Gabriel GOSSE et Rié FURUSE
Vocal & Piano : Rié FURUSE
Percussion : Marc PUJOL
Guitar : Gabriel GOSSE
Vocal supervisor : Jay WILLIAMS
Recording engineer, Mix & Mastering : Clément GARIEL (for Studio de Meudon)
Recorded and Mixed in SEP & OCT 2017 at Studio de Meudon in France.
Design : Olivier ENOUTOR
Dessin : Camille CAFFIN
Photo : Harper’s Bazaar VN & Eric MADELAINE