Larry Kenny -- Project portfolio


Since my enka translation project went decently well, I decided to apply the idea to other genres. These are foreign-language songs, arranged and wholly or partially performed in English, along with analyses of the songs and the translation process.

Enka: The Japanese Spirit in Translation

These are original arrangements and English translations of iconic songs from the Japanese musical genre known as enka, together with some thoughts on lyrical and musical translation. While initially envisioned as a full album, ultimately two songs came of the project, though I have since carried my interest in musical translation outside the genre.

I also have a summary of this project, which doubles as an essay on translatability and the role of enka.

Funding for this project was generously provided by the Paul K. Richter and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Memorial Fund.


Songs that I've written.

Music for short animations

Over the past couple years I've had the opportunity to score a handful of short student animations for classes at Dartmouth. Most of these pieces are stored on the animator's YouTube channel; the links will open in a new tab.

Covers of non-English music

I love exploring music in other languages. It's both great language practice and a world of unexplored musical territory (and also a world of tired, over-explored territory that sounds fresh and exciting because sure, you've heard that progression a thousand times -- but have you ever heard it in Japanese?)

Here I've uploaded a few covers, not because my arrangements are anything to make a YouTube video about, but because I've provided (non-lyrical) translations and written about the interesting aspects of the song's use of language, or how that usage does or doesn't get lost in translation. Bear in mind that these writeups were written at various stages of my language study and are not meant to be professional translations. If you see a mistake, have a better translation or a native speaker's perspective, or catch me making up nonsense, please let me know!