This is a mail interview that comes from that Dengeki magazine released a month ago. It’s short and also Touhou-centered. Thanks to a couple of dear friends who helped me in translating some parts!
When did you start your activity as music circle?
In november 2009 all the current members were gathered, and we decided to create a circle, and in the meantime we created the homepage as basis. Since at the time we already decided to make Touhou arranges, for a while we had some sort of reunions to decide which kind of music we wanted to make.
When did you start making Touhou Project arrangements?
The 5th December 2009 we uploaded a PV on Niconico douga: “Kyoai (U.N. Owen was her?)”, our first vocal arrange. Six days after we uploaded a piano arrange of “Satori Maiden ~ 3rd eye”.
How did you start to make arrangements of Touhou Project?
At that time, Ranko and her sister watched lots of videos on Niconico, and I got enchanted by the freedom and the powerfullness of the works Beatmario and many other people published. Then I tried the original works and I started to feel like I wanted to arrange this kind of stuff.
What do you think it’s the appeal of Touhou Project’s original themes?
I think it’s the trait of being able to revive all the personal emotions of the memories of the scenery and the hard fight of when you play. Also, I think that the existence itself of BGM that add shades of freshness, sadness or fear and have ZUN’s unique touch rise up the addiction.
What made you continue to arrange Touhou Project’s music from the beginning until now?
ZUN’s presence, who always entertains the depths and the vastity of Touhou’s world view, is big. Also, circles who make Touhou derivative works and the events: I really love the atmosphere created by the people who come there, and this is a big driving force.
Is there anything you are conscious of when arranging?
It’s a way to make various challenges. I can arrange without changing the melody of the original theme as much as I can or, in the contrary, freely readapt it. Also, since we have a member who is illustrator and designer (Ranko no Ane), the CD artworks and the music closely interact with each album.
Please tell us the most important point of the song you offered to this magazine. [ndV: Chuudou Hokou]
Since this time’s arranged song “Dichromatic Lotus Butterfly” is Reimu Hakurei’s theme, I’d be happy if I was able to express my image of Reimu: powerful, a bit careless, who doesn’t show sadness and eventually the strongest.
If you have to suggest 1 circle or 1 song from a Touhou circle other than BUTAOTOME, which one would be?
I suggest Diao ye zong’s “Genki ni natta toki no uta” (Oriental Dark Flight). I think an important point is to understand how far music can express as derivative work. Among Diao ye zong’s works there are lots that with the music’s composition and together with the booklet have lots of informations and are strong storywise, so it is essential to listen while looking at the lyrics sheet carefully.
What do you think it’s the strongest point of your own circle?
It’s a very difficult question, but it’s the fact we have an illustrator and designer as member (Ranko no Ane). In the direction of one CD, there are many things that influence the music, which it also gets influenced by the artworks and design, so if there is a “BUTAOTOME-ness”, I think it’s that.
Please tell us which are your favourite work, character and music among the Touhou Project works.
Ranko: Imperishable Night / Marisa Kirisame / Septette for a Dead Princess
Comp: Embodiment of Scarlet Devil / Kogasa Tatara / Beware the Umbrella Left There Forever
Paprika: Perfect Cherry Blossom / Chen / The Fantastic Tales from Tono
Ranko no Ane: Imperishable Night / Sumireko Usami / Unknown Flower, Mesmerizing Journey
If you were in Gensokyo, what kind of things would you like to do?
Since it seems there are lots of dangers, I would love to tour famous places to the extent that they are not dangerous. I would donate lots of strange books from my temporary home to Suzunaan, then I’d like to visit the shrine and get some delicious sake as souvenir.
Looking back on your circle activities so far, what is your best memory?
When people said to us “I got introduced to Touhou derivative works thanks to BUTAOTOME” at the events. Since I started to make Touhou arranges thanks to Beatmario, I’m glad that BUTAOTOME became a starting point to Touhou derivative works in a similar way.
Please tell us your future ambitions and goals.
Originally we gathered because we wanted to do something fun, so I’d like to find more fun things to make. Now I want to fly in the sky during live performances.
Released 27th May 2012. This best album contains 9 songs made in the past and 8 songs made for compilations CDs, for a total of 17 songs. With this disc you can enjoy vocal tracks of various genres until you are satisfied, and it’s a popular album that condenses BUTAOTOME’s charm.
Released 12th August 2013, a “Touhou” full vocal album. It has a traditional taste, and it includes mainly serenades which make you feel somehow melanchonic. It has 8 tracks, including “Hakanaki Mono Ningen”, an arrangement of “Dullahan Under the Willows”. So far 3 albums of this series have been released.
Kyou ga Saigo no Ichinichi
Released 8th May 2016. You can enjoy 8 vocal tracks which mainly deal with humans living in Gensokyo like Reimu, Marisa, Sakuya and co. and are arrangements of their themes. Overall the melodies are pop, but you can also hear some gentle songs with piano.