Sumiregusa (Wild Violet)
The lyrics are inspired by hokku by the Japanese poet Basho, which was written while he was travelling to Otsu, in which he says that on his way through the mountain road his heart leapt at the sight of a wild violet.
I am sure we have all experienced an intense moment when we are moved by some part of nature.
Perhaps an epiphany.
Perhaps it is a celebration of life.
Perhaps just a moment that is ours alone.
notes and illustration by Roma Ryan
Amarantine promotional box, 2005
The lyrics for Sumiregusa were inspired by a Hokku, or Haiku, written by the Japanese poet, Basho, while he was traveling to Otsu.
He says that on his way through the mountain road the sight of a wild violet touched his heart.
We have all been moved by the beauty of nature, so I am sure we can all relate to those seventeen syllables that Basho wrote. We have all had a moment that pulls at our heartstrings. One such moment for me was when I was walking in the woodlands and I came across an old, broken, dying thistle. He was such a sad sight. There was a small history in him that would soon be lost. And yet he struggled on. I called him Don Quixote. I went every day to see him until he wasn’t there any more. The following year his children bloomed, he did not return. Even today, although that place has been taken over by the ever vigorous bramble, and there are no signs of any thistles, I still pass by and remember him.
Perhaps these moments are an epiphany.
Perhaps it is our own acceptance of the world and the way it is.
Perhaps it is a celebration of life, or just a moment that is ours alone. In Sumiregusa all of nature is equal in its power to inspire, to move, to touch – from a small pebble to a great mountain, from one green leaf to the many colours of autumn, from the song of birds to a purple flower.
notes by Roma Ryan
enya.com: Sumiregusa website, 2004
In September 2004, Panasonic used ‘Sumiregusa’ in a Japanese commercial promoting their Viera television. Warner Music Japan consequently announced that the new full-lenght album would follow in November 2004. The announcement was promptly denied by Aigle Music in a press release published on Enya.com and a radio edit of ‘Sumiregusa’ was made available for streaming.
Aigle Music press release
This press release was prepared specially for the Official Enya Website. Hello to everyone.
I hope the following will help to clear up any confusion about the song Sumiregusa and the unfortunate announcement of a date of release for Enya’s Album.
Very recently, we were asked by Panasonic in Japan if we could give them some suitable music for their upcoming marketing campaign for a new flatscreen TV. It should be remembered that this campaign was supposed to be confined to the Japanese market. Panasonic had sent a crew to Scotland to film some beautiful landscape scenes for their advertising campaign and were good enough to show us this before we gave a final answer. We talked about the idea and we all felt that this was a suitable vehicle for the particular piece we had in mind. We had been toying with the idea of a song in Japanese for some time and had already taken this to quite an advanced stage. We know Panasonic to be a highly respected company and we have no problem being associated with them. Panasonic intend to showcase their filmwork with “Sumiregusa” in sixteen thousand stores throughout Japan.
You may be familiar with the film “The Last Samurai”, featuring Tom Cruise and the beautiful Japanese actress Koyuki. The same actress appears in the Panasonic advert.
Up until this point the Japanese affiliate of Warners (WMJ) were very happy with the whole idea as agreed and were very excited about the prospect of such a huge campaign preceding the next Enya release. Unfortunately our Japanese friends assumed that because the song “Sumiregusa” (Wild Violet) was released by us for this usage, that a new album automatically followed. In their excitement they announced a release date for an Enya album, complete with a catalogue number and a promise of an exclusive extra track. By the time we became aware of this announcement it was too late, the news was already in cyberspace. It also appears that WMJ gave Panasonic the go-ahead to use the song on their website. You need to remember that our Japanese colleagues are incredibly enthusiastic people where Enya is concerned, and though this is of course appreciated, they obviously overreacted.
None of the other affiliates knew about the news of the release date until it had been announced by WMJ. When you realise that the only people allowed to announce the release of any Enya album is either ourselves or Warner Music UK you can see the upset this has caused for everyone involved, including WMJ. However it is you, the fans, that matter most in all of this and we sincerely apologise to all of you.
Enya is particularly upset on your behalf, as she is aware of the confusion this news has caused. The last thing she wants is to build up false expectations and then to let people down.
A special word to Enya’s Japanese fans – again, we are very sorry for this confusion.
Enya says …
“All I hope is that we can enjoy your continued support and wonderful loyalty.”
ENYA / NICKY / ROMA
enya.com: Sumiregusa website, 2004
|Unknown TV Show (Japan)
Mono no aware
Murasaki iro no hana
Haru no hana
To fuyu no koyuki
Shizen no bi kana
Ah! Midori no ha to
Aki no iro
Kaze no koe
Tori no saezuri
The poignancy of things
A purple flower
The blossoms of spring
And the light snow of winter
How they fall
The beauty of nature
A green leaf and
The voice of the wind
The song of birds
A sad sea
A joyful sea
A wild iris
lyrics by Roma Ryan
EMI Music Publishing Ltd, 2005