Are you a fan ofÂ film music? Do you recognize the movie in an instant on the opening notes?Â And do you remember growing up enjoying the nostalgia ofÂ films like “My Neighbour Totoro” (1998) or “Spirited Away” (2001)?
Joe Hisaishi shares the “Three Keys” that led him to produce great Music – It is about Meeting the right people, drawing inspiration, and the power of music and film.
The Rock Star
The man behind these amazing film music composed ten feature films forÂ Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli and and Film Director Kitano Takeshi.Â HisÂ compositionsÂ are not onlyÂ huge in Japan but around the world. As such, it is common for two concertÂ performances to turn into three to meet the raving demands of those could not get tickets in time.Â Just recently on theÂ 24th April 2015,Â Joe Hisaishi was chosen to opened theÂ Far East Festival in Udine, Italy. The Far East Festival isÂ Europeâ€™s biggest showcase of genre and mainstream Asian cinema. Tickets was sold out in less than a week!
ToÂ help you relive Joe Hisaishi’s film music, lets watch Joe Hisaishi in “Studio Ghibli’s 25 Years Concert,” commemorating the 25 years of musical collaboration between composer Joe Hisaishi and film maker Hayao Miyazaki.
Meeting the Right Person
Joe Hisaishi – born Mamoru Fujisawa – in Nagano Japan took up the violin at the age of five. As his music career progressed, he fell under the spell of acclaimed Japanese electronic outfit Yellow Magic Orchestra, who boasts members such asÂ renowned composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.Â Hisaishiâ€™s minimalist and sometimes experimental style was greatly influenced byÂ the Yellow Magic OrchestraÂ and it evolved during the 1970s and expanded into orchestral works.
In the year 1981 Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki was looking for a composer to score his filmÂ NausicaÃ¤ of the Valley of the WindÂ (1984). AÂ friend recommended JoeÂ Hisaishi to Studio Ghibliâ€™s Miyazaki. Through this recommendation, the two became great friends and worked together on many projects. This big break led to Joe Hisaishi’s overwhelming success as a composer of film scores.
In an interview, Joe Hisaishi said “My inspiration for my symphony came from various sources in all different kinds of music. I wanted to blend western orchestration with East Asian influences, and strangelyÂ enough I found this sort of blend in the score of an animated television series. Avatar: The Last Airbender was a series on the childrenâ€™s television network Nickelodeon about a world with four nations: Earth, Water, Wind, and Fire. These nations try to live in equilibrium as the Fire nation expands to gain global supremacy”.
Hisaishi has been enamored by the sound of the Taiko drumsÂ ever sinceÂ he went toÂ Wesleyan University, and he found this symphony the perfect forum to use them. The score for the animated television show combines Taiko drums and East Asian instruments with western orchestration, and this inspired the style and instrumentation of hisÂ piece.
The Miyazaki films also inspired â€œElementalâ€ themes because the films always exalt nature. The melodies and harmonies that Hisaishi uses to accompany these images as well as his use of minimalism in his Kitano film scores inspired much of the melodic and harmonic style of hisÂ symphony and has very much been a part of hisÂ overall composition style.
HisaishiÂ alsoÂ drew great amounts of inspiration from the many great composers of the Romantic era, twentieth and twenty-first century; Beethoven, Berlioz, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Wagner, Phillip Glass, John Williams and Danny Elfman.
Film And Music
Joe Hisaishi has been received around the worldÂ in a manner usually reserved for rock stars. HisaishiÂ believes that the reason his music now spans more than three decades andÂ has travelled so far is due toÂ the two languages of music and cinema cross all cultural boundaries.
The line between film scores and concert works have always been blurred to him, for he isÂ a very visual composer and often attribute images to what heÂ writes and what heÂ hears. This is why heÂ decided to use nature as the fundamental theme of hisÂ symphony.
“This is a rare thing, everywhere you go in the world, people share these two things (music and film) and can relate to them.” ãƒ¼ Joe Hisaishi
Joe Hisaishi’s storyÂ has inspiredÂ many to craft out their own journey to success. Hisaishi did not shun from his own individuality, but embraced it with open arms. He blended western orchestration with East Asian influences while also drawing musical inspiration from the composers from the Romantic era.Â His individuality and creativity has taught us toÂ have faith and believe in our pursuits – not by walking in the footprints of others, but by crafting our own distinct path.
In Singapore, Conductor Joshua Tan and the SSO once again brings you the best of Joe Hisaishi at a not-to-be-missed concert at the Esplanade. Reminisce and look back on fond childhood memories while listening to music from Studio Ghibli’s acclaimed animation films such asÂ My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service and more…Â Catch the SSO Pops Concert: My Neighbor Totori – The Best of Joe Hisaishi this coming August 2015! Click here to get your tickets now!