The following is an official translation of an interview conducted with composer Tsuneyoshi Saito regarding his work on the mecha anime franchise Fafner in the Azure. It was published in the liner notes of the now out-of-print soundtrack album ‘NO WHERE’, released by Geneon for the North American market.
The music composed and produced for Fafner in the Azure presents an unique viewpoint on the international traffics of anime production: Saito opted to record the soundtrack for the anime series abroad with the renowned Polish orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, for what he refers to be a willfully classical compositional process, and thus providing Fafner in the Azure with a sonic experience that references the symphonic scope of a Star Wars score.
(Note: the interview also featured producer Go Nakanishi from King Records.)
The extraordinarily persistent anime series and franchise Sound! Euphonium gained a new entry, in the form of a cinematic spin-off Liz and the Blue Bird by director Naoko Yamada, hot off the heels of her high-profile A Silent Voice manga adaptation.
Also marking the second time they’ve worked together, Yamada enlisted Kensuke Ushio as the film’s composer, evidently the beginnings of a thriving professional relationship between two young and already prominent practitioners of their respective art forms.
The following is a translation of the interview with the composer, published at lisani.
An instant crowd-pleaser, in spite of the disjointed international release schedule by Netflix, Violet Evergarden is a labour of love for the tight-knit Kyoto Animation team. In search of music that can reflect the quiet intensity of the melodrama on display, Japan-based American composer Evan Call was instructed to construct the sentimental anchor of the entire production.
The following is a translation of the interview printed in the Violet Evergarden Original Soundtrack booklet, conducted with the composer and series music producer Shigeru Saito.
Kensuke Ushio is on the verge of becoming a household name in the western anime fandom, thanks to his exhilarating and sensitive contributions to numerous modern anime classics’ original soundtracks, namely Space Dandy (as part of LAMA), Ping Pong, A Silent Voice and the recently released Devilman: Crybaby.
However, Ushio already had a decade-old alter ego of sorts in his stage name agraph, which he adorns when producing and releasing his own solo albums, exploring the pure, unadulterated creative impulse within him. ‘the shader‘ is his third solo electronica album release.
The following is a translation of the interview conducted with the artist by Natalie Music.
You know…I went into starting this post with snippets of ideas for the intro: something snappy, a humorously depressing comment on 2017, and end it with a cheesy flavour of hope. But instead…I ended up with this.
I think I’ve sampled more albums than I ever did in 2017: more varieties of artists both old favourites and new discoveries, an increasingly diverse set of classical repertoires, genres and origins. That comes with good news and bad news, and I think the good news is kinda obvious already. But the bad news: I’ve listened to less albums COMPLETELY than the past two years, since there’s always something I want to jump onto prematurely.
Nevertheless, I think it’s best I keep up this tradition of massive yearly reviews, where I get to highlight the world of background music, and to continue bastardising this idiotic concept that such music ‘shouldn’t be noticed’.
Princess Principal was an action-adventure highlight of Summer 2017, and a big part of this resonance with the fandom was undoubtedly the high-octane musical identities afforded to the production by its arranger/composer duo of rising star Ryo Takahashi (ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka, Classroom of the Elite), and prolific veteran Yuki Kajiura (Kara no Kyoukai, Fate/Zero, Sword Art Online, ERASED).
The following is a translation of the interview conducted with the two composers by Natalie Music.
Spielekonzerte (German for ‘game concerts’) certainly doesn’t sound like a new and flashy concept in the west, until you have the context to realise that it didn’t find its international attention until 2003 rolled over. Which was decades after the very first game concert ever held in 1987, led by the famed Dragon Quest composer Koichi Sugiyama at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
Like I always say, there’s something inherently magical about film music. I wouldn’t miss it for all the unoriginality (I prefer the word ‘homage’) that it so proudly displays at every glorious turn or twist. So. Let us have our 7 minutes and 38 seconds of pure bliss, away from the politics, away from 2017. Let’s go back to 2016 for just another few moments.
(Yes. You can pretty much guess my winners from just reading the above paragraph.)
There is a sense of idyllic rhythm that Aria exerts when one allows him or herself to engage with its cinematic heartbeat. It’s obvious: everything has its own rhythm, its own footprint, when it makes contact with another existing entity. If one takes this idea far enough, existence is just another way to visualise and define relationships. And creating rhythm is but another expression for finding uniquity.
You know that time of the year, when suddenly jingle bells (the actual thing…and that damn song) started appearing in every shopping mall you visit? The television channels starts to air cheesy Christmas-themed comedies and cartoons every 7pm (I think this is the 9th year in a row I remember seeing Elf staring Will Ferrell getting a re-airing on TV), and you start to overhear Michael Bublé-performed Christmas carols being played in car radios as you strolled along your home street.
(Page numbers are below the ‘related articles’ section. Please excuse its odd placing, as WordPress doesn’t allow me to alter its position.)
Note: this publication is a highly extensive and lengthy endeavour that invite readers to refer back to for analytical ideas. In other words, it is written with a sea of wiki-style links to additional readings, clips and videos, endless subject matters, tangents and covers a lot of ideas. I recommend that you bookmark this page for future reference, whenever you feel the need for some creative writing ideas, or just some music-based observations you find difficulty in analysing or putting your ideas into words. I hope my efforts help you in that regard.
A few months ago, I went on a tweeting rampage:
Been watching a few game music concert streams on YouTube…sometimes I wonder about how scoring games is diff from scoring films.
This is NOT an analytical piece. This is a raw and unfiltered self-meditation, as I find writing with no aim nor external audience in mind to be rather calming and self-satisfying. If you want to take a peek at me in my most creatively pure state, this is not a bad place to start.
Emotions, feelings and our comprehension of the world around us are the groundworks of each individual’s existence. In many ways, I am a person who’s flawed, afraid of the world’s lingering shadows, questions the nature of each flickering light and is very much wary of the superior forces that are far out of my reach and understanding. I’m afraid of what I don’t know, but sometimes I’m even more afraid to learn the truth.
Alternative Titles: The Perfect World of Kai, The Piano Forest
Director: Masayuki Kojima
Animation Production: MADHOUSE
Music: Keisuke Shinohara
Genres: Slice of Life, Music, Competition, Supernatural
Disclaimer: the societal commentary present in this publication are all the writer’s own personal observations and opinions. No journalistic or scholarly value and sources are cited nor present (unless stated otherwise).