If I were to think back to where I was in 2009, as a reference point for the decade that has just gone by…time REALLY didn’t go by THAT quickly huh?
This year’s contemplation came a few weeks late, because of the seriously bipolar weather suffered by Australia: bushfires in December/January quickly gave away to thunderstorms and flash flooding, which promptly knocked out our broadband.
A lot has happened. A lot of stories I got to witness and tell. A lot of triumphs and a lot of bullshit. Music enjoyment-wise as a fan of film music and soundtracks, the gold plunder is evermore deep, and I always relished in finding new names making it big in the spotlight.
2019 was also a year of goodbyes, as multiple years-long franchises close their curtains on a bygone era. How To Train Your Dragon. The MCU. Star Wars.
In continuing one of this blog’s last longstanding traditions, I present to you: the best in soundtracks of 2019.
The [enveloping sounds/noise] of the keyboard and the creaking sounds of the guitar – that’s what surprised me the most in the first episode of this show. Of course, the animation by Studio Bones was also fantastic, but what hooked me were the boisterously dancing sounds that floated out of those visuals into my living room from beginning to end. Had I ever heard such lively and tangible notes coming from a TV anime before? Then came the second episode, where the BGM created by Mocky was simply overflowing with a sense of adventure. Make no mistake about it. This is Shinichiro Watanabe, no holds barred.
As September 2018 draws to a close, the TV anime Shojo Kageki Revue Starlight has, for the moment, come to an end. Now that everything has come to light, we are able to deliver the second half of the roundtable discussion between the music producers, Teppei Nojima (Pony Canyon) and Kohei Yamada (UPDREAM), and the lyricist, Kanata Nakamura. In it we look back on the revue songs that have accompanied the dramatic developments of the second half of the series, and ask about their overall thoughts as they strove to produce a ‘musical x anime mixed media’ project – something that has never been done before.
Shojo Kageki Revue Starlight: the franchise that has taken its ‘musical x anime mixed media’ concept and turned it into a myriad of different projects. The TV anime, which has been one of the franchise’s main pillars, will soon be coming to an end. What are the secrets behind the revue songs that have appeared in nearly every episode, leaving a strong impression on the viewers in their wake? LisAni will attempt to answer this question by diving into a roundtable with the show’s staff. In part 1 of this talk between three of the music production team – the music producers, Teppei Nojima (Pony Canyon) and Kohei Yamada (APDREAM), and the lyricist, Kanata Nakamura – we will be looking back on the songs that featured in the first half of the series.
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.