This week I stumbled upon a discussion of a bi – directional feedback loop that has evolved between Japanese and “western” music which has intensified the differences between the two. FACT Magazine, who provided the discussion is a popular online publication which provides a running commentary on music, including general news and various opinion pieces such as reviews, lists and often insightful discussions on musical cultures. In attempts to justify some conclusions on a symbiotic relationship I have stumbled across as a result of my investigation of J-Pop I came across an article on Japonism in FACT. As it happens this discussion of cross cultural influence has been prevalent since the 19th century, Japonism a French term describing the growing influence of Japanese culture though it is only recently in the 80’s and 90’s that this feedback loop developed with the rise of J-Pop. An interesting development in this discussion by Fintoni is a key element of a distinct translation of western influences in Japan, the early influence of an opportunity for incubation. Japanese musicians were initially able to process western music with little historical or cultural context, which facilitated a rich conversation between the east and west, obviously a conversation that occurs more frequently today with the speed of information.
As I’ve been investigating J-Pop facilitations of this conversation have become more apparent when I then return to listening to my ‘normal’ music. Ryan Hemsworth, a Canadian musician has been collaborating more frequently with Japanese producers as well as promoting local translations of J-Pop, such as Kero Kero Bonito based in the UK.
It is evident that collaborations such as these will become more frequent, hopefully more effectively than the Avril Lavigne ‘experiment’, but it will be interesting to see at which point if not already discerning between the musical styles will become too difficult. I have a feeling that the environment that facilitates today’s discussion dictates that a middle ground will be reached in the not too distant future.