Two new music videos have been released today to raise money and awareness for the ongoing plight of victims of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which claimed nearly 20,000 lives and left many homeless or displaced.
Above, a previously unreleased version of the song “Psychedelic Afternoon,” written by Ryūichi Sakamoto and David Byrne, is performed by David Byrne and Imani with animation by UrumaDelvi. Video Link.
In the video, a boy named Seiji is tormented by tsunami-flashback nightmares; one night he wakes up to an apparition of his beloved grandfather. "With a strum of his grandfather’s guitar, Seiji is transported to a colorful, slightly strange, psychedelic world and finally manages to have a good dream."
And the other video out today from the project, “Blossom,” features the song “Happipola” written and performed by Sigur Rós, with animation by Yutaka Yamamoto. Video Link, and watch it below.
A statement from the artists:
Viewers are encouraged to donate to School Music Revival, a charity dedicated to bringing music to the lives of children affected by the earthquake and tsunami, by downloading the videoand/or the Psychedelic Afternoon music track from iTunes, by buying limited edition iPhone cases with artwork from UrumaDelvi and Yutaka Yamamoto, and by donating directly to School Music Revival.
“Sakamoto and I wrote this song a while ago,” David Byrne said of “Psychedelic Afternoon”. “I was hesitant to sing it then, as it’s from the point of view of a child. But now, thanks to the magic of animation, a child can finally sing the song (though it’s my voice). I’m so happy to finally offer something in response to this horrible tragedy, and to have the song find a perfect home.”
Ryuichi Sakamoto stated “The events that took place on 3.11 devastated the Tōhoku region of Japan, and still affect the lives of its residents now two years later. I am proud to participate in the Zapuni project and to show Tōhoku worldwide support through music and art.”
UrumaDelvi, who produced the original animation for “Psychedelic Afternoon,” are best known for the anime series Bottom Biting Bug, first broadcast on NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). The husband and wife team stated, “Our team is thrilled to work with David Byrne and Ryūichi Sakamoto to bring relief and joy to children in Tōhoku through art and music. We hope people from around the world will enjoy the video and help us support School Music Revival.”
Yutaka Yamamoto stated “After the tsunami hit, I traveled several times to volunteer on the ground in Tōhoku to bring relief to the victims. The struggle with this disaster will be with us for ages and we will need to provide relief in all sorts of ways so that the region can be reborn. I hope the world will enjoy ‘Blossom.’”
Zapuni founder Vince Shortino stated, “As a longtime resident of Japan, like everyone here, I was profoundly affected by the events of March 11, 2011. Zapuni is a collaboration effort by friends and colleagues. We believe that together through the power of combining music with art, we can to bring spiritual joy to the children of Tōhoku affected by the disaster. There will be more good work from Zapuniin the future. This is just the start.”