What I Saw profile picture

What I Saw

Maia Hirasawa

Release date: 2013-10-24


All music and lyrics by Maia Hirasawa (copyright control)

except "I said I`m gonna" lyrics by Annika Norlin (Music & Words Stockholm/EMI Music Publishing Scandinavia)) and Maia

Produced and mixed by Lasse Mårtén at Music and Words

Engineering by Lasse Mårtén, Janne Hansson and Maia Hirasawa

Mastered by Henrik Jonsson at Masters of Audio

Arrangements by Maia Hirasawa and Lasse Mårtén

String Arrangements by Hanna Ekström

Photos by John Strandh

Artwork by Johan Toorell at Bold Faces


Electric Guitar, Pedal Steel: Anders Pettersson

Bass: Ulf "Rockis" Ivarsson except on "Thunder": Anders Pettersson

Drums: Lars Skoglund

Violin: Hanna Eklund

Cello: Anna Dager

Trombone, Euphonium: Staffan Findin

French Horn: Ida Frej

Synth on ”Still Think Of It”: Josefine Lindstrand

Additional backing vocals and hand clap on "Please", "Still Think Of It" and "Back To The Start": Josefine Lindstrand and Sarah Frey

Pianos, acoustic guitars, synths, organs, autoharp, marimba, hand clap, backing vocals: Maia Hirasawa

Programming, ebow: Lasse Mårtén

Recorded at: Decibel / Music and Words / Atlantis in Stockholm


Lights Are Out
Back To The Start
Still Think Of It
Give Me
What I Saw
No One Else But God
I Said I´m Gonna
Go To Sleep


He came and picked me up in his old Volvo 240 the morning after. I had not slept at all and did not know if this was really happening, if this was actually reality. I was used to earthquakes, but this was something completely new to me. This one never ended.

It was as if someone down there was very, very mad. And above ground: chaos. Instead of sleeping I spent the night at the café opposite my apartment.

I felt significantly safer in the backseat of his car, travelling through the suburbs of Tokyo; his calm made me feel calm. We spent the day in front of his black and white TV set.  The news went on continuously. We were quiet but I am sure both of us kept thinking the same thing, about our friends in Sendai. Was someone not breathing anymore? Was anyone alive? The catastrophe in Japan in March 2011 naturally had a deep impact on my new album “What I Saw”. Sometimes it feels as if everything happens at once. 2011 was one of those years and I do not think I ever felt as much need to write as I did with this album. It was absolutely essential to convert everything inside my head into music. They say time flies and it has actually been four years since my last album, “GBGvsSTHLM”, came out. But, gee, I have done quit a lot too. I have released two albums and an EP in Japan, I have toured quite a lot and, last but not the least, I have become the mother of two fine kids. 

“What I saw” is about life itself, about the hardest thing I had to go through, about the longing I felt from a hospital window, about insecurity and, of course, about the big unconditional love.

(Oh, my friends in Sendai made it and are still alive.)

/Maia Hirasawa February 2013