Dw. Dunphy Releases Tribute to Father of Japanese Special Effects

Latest addition to the Test Test Test project finds Dunphy remembering Eiji Tsuburaya, the Japanese special effects legend.

Red Bank, NJ, June 17, 2015 --(PR.com)-- One presumes that the best way to honor a special visual effects guru would be to make a film also showing special effects. Musician Dw. Dunphy doesn't see it that way.

"Especially in the case of Eiji Tsuburaya, where his story speaks to determination and resolve, rather than just his output, which is unarguably impressive," Dunphy said. At the start of Tsuburaya's career, he was derided by his film studio superiors who saw visual effects as a dishonorable practice, a deception, and not worthy of regard. In post-WWII Japan, his wartime films -- carefully designed recreations in miniature of notable battles -- temporarily had him banned from the medium, brandished as a war criminal. (No one could have gotten that close to these battles without being a collaborator, so his accusers thought, without recognizing these were scenes reinvented on a movie backlot.)

Tsuburaya's moment of glory would come years later when, in conjunction with director Ishiro Honda and a team of inventive and creative partners, Tsuburaya unleashed a living metaphor for the horrors of the nuclear age: Godzilla.

"So how does that translate to music," Dunphy questioned. "Here is someone whose original concept for Godzilla was to be a stop-motion animation tour-de-force. Both he and director Honda revered the work animator Willis O'Brien did on King Kong, and they wanted to emulate that. But limited time and more limited budget denied them. So they worked within their constraints and made something that is still a part of the modern imagination. That's a lesson to every creative individual in this world, that even though you are working under less-than-optimal circumstances, you can make something that lasts. It would have been ridiculous for me to honor that spirit in a way other than doing what I do, which is to make music."

In terms of his latest project Test Test Test, Dunphy said, "The process of creating a series of songs, then binding them into an album, then selling the album is still viable if you are an established commodity. But if you are an independent musician with limited amounts of time and even less of a budget, what do you do? You can release right now, or you can wait until you have all your material and everyone has forgotten about you. Test Test Test is an experiment in 'right now' releasing."

The plan for the album Test Test Test, as Dunphy describes it, is to establish the framework for the album and then, over time, write and record tracks and drop them into the album as he goes on. "That may mean that, by the time the proper album is done, some songs will disappear from the official listing. All the steps of making a standard record will be in play, including the final tracklist decision-making, except for this it will will all be out in the open."

The final release, once completed, will see formal release through Dunphy's Introverse Media, coordinated by the Secret Decoder Records label. "This will be the first of my instrumental albums under the SDR partnership," Dunphy said. "But again, it will take some time for the whole to come together, so Test Test Test is as much about the process as it happens as it is what comes of that process."

"I could only dream that something I make, with the limited resources at my disposal, would have as lasting an impact as Tsuburaya's creations. I try, but I cannot be so proud as to think I could reach so far," Dunphy admitted. "But the true effort is in trying, one way or the other. That's the lesson of Tsuburaya: you go for it no matter what. With that, I think he should be as significant a figure in that field as (Willis) O'Brien, Ray Harryhausen, and Douglas Trumbull."

As for why the song "Tsuburaya" does not reference the Godzilla theme, Dunphy reminded, "Well, that would have been Akira Ifukube, and he would require an album all to himself!"

The single for "Tsuburaya" is now available for free on Bandcamp: dwdunphy.bandcamp.com/track/tsuburaya
Introverse Media Ltd.
Donald W. Dunphy