It seems like a fairly common dream. I have it often enough, anyway: dreams where I’m not exactly flying, but where I feel light, where each of my steps takes me two or three metres further than usual, like walking on the moon. We lived this dream on earth, in a faraway country, for a few minutes, thanks to two musicians
It wasn’t as simple as dreaming. We were in Ebuisu, a bleak neighbourhood of Tokyo, under wind and rain. We were supposed to meet the Tenniscoats in a museum where they were participating in an art installation. We waited for them for a long time; while waiting, we tried to explore the neighbourhood. There was nothing interesting waiting for us there, tall grey buildings, a railroad underneath a green footbridge, and streets empty of people.
Saya had a magnificent smile, an easygoing attitude, and took charge. When we got to the bridge, she started to sing, leaving us with no choice but to follow. Baibaba Bimba is the simplest of songs, a persistent and repeated verse, sung by a calm voice, strong without being overwhelming, echoing the same three or four words unceasingly.
Saya sang the melody as if came from deep within the song, a base strong enough to frame and repeat. Coming down the stairs, walking along the railroad tracks, over the noise of passing trains, she played with the surroundings to give rhythm to the song, taking advantage of everything she passed – some steps, a sewer cover, a fence, to cover her Bimba. We just had to let her take us, which we happily did.
Afterwards, she sang in French and laughed at the word ‘plage’ (beach), braved the wind and the rain, hummed in the middle of an intersection. A hideous neighbourhood on a rainy day. It’s still our best memory of Japan.
Translated by Tara Dominguez