Work of the Week: Joe Hisaishi - Filmmusic
The focus of this Work of the Week is not in fact a single work, but Japan’s most popular contemporary film composer, Joe Hisaishi. On 6 August, a portrait concert "My Neighbor Totoro: The Best of Joe Hisaishi" will be given by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in Singapore’s Esplanade Concert Hall.
Hisaishi is a prolific film composer, having written well over a hundred works for the big screen, TV and advertising. He is responsible for the scores of some of the most successful animated films to come out of Japan, including "Howl’s Moving Castle" and the Oscar-winning "Spirited Away", working in collaboration with Studio Ghibli and director Hayao Miyazaki. Hisaishi’s scores are often atmospheric: using gentle, melancholic piano lines or the power of a large orchestra he is able to abduct his listeners into a fairytale world.
Hisaishi on the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki:
Many of his works have flying scenes and flying has always been the dream of human beings. So I tried to connect with this feeling of hope, to the spirit of these scenes. Music that is slower, that allows the audience to experience what’s in the space between movements. It still starts the same way - with a piano. I use technology but don't rely upon it. I think it should be part of the process, not the entire process.
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