Ho Hisaishi, Best Composer of Music for Hayao Miyazaki Animations

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Published: 07th December 2010
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I always think that Jo Hisaishi is best matches with Hayao’s animations. Music is one of most important aspect in an animation’s success. On the other hand, it’s also the animations success makes the music known by fans.





Joe Hisaishi was born on December 6, 1950. He is a composer and director known for 100 film scores and solo albums dating back to 1981. Joe Hisaishi’s music has been known to explore and incorporate different genres, including minimalist, experimental electronic, European classical, and Japanese classical, and he’s also a typesetter, author, arranger, and head of an orchestra.





He is best known of his work with animator Hayao Miyazaki, having composed scores for many of his films. Their first cooperation was Hisaishi was introduced to create an album for the animated film Nausica? of the Valley of the Wind,and they became great friends and would work together on many future projects. Then as movie My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle released, Hisaishi strengthened his reputations as one of the top musical contributors in anime industry. In those animations, music is one of the most important parts that makes the animation so touching and captivate.





I just watched the movie My Neighbor Totoro, and Spirited Away second time for each last weekend, and I like the music there very much. As the music in My Neighbor Totoro, more emotionally engaging are the two friendship themes that are more in tune with the warm, enchanting melodies that have defined much of the composer’s works. Both exuberantly turn the second half of "Moonlight Flight" into an album highlight. The relaxing theme from "A Lost Child" and "Mei Is Missing" also merits return listens for its ability to take all your worries away. Both Totoro and Miyazaki’s two successive works, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Porco Rosso, would produce lighthearted works for the composer, but Totoro has the most memorable and uniformly strong collection of themes. With numerous cute scores for cute films for kids falling into anonymity these days, Hisaishi’s absence from Hollywood continues to puzzle.





And to the music in Spirited Away. As if one needed more incentive to explore the score, Spirited Away contains the composer’s most powerful action fare for animation to date, albeit in very short passages. The closing 30 seconds of "Nighttime Coming", as well as the rampaging opening to "The Bottomless Pit", foreshadow the powerful brass statements that the composer would unleash in the 2007 Korean TV series "The Legend: The Story of the First King’s Four Gods". "Faceless" is a more determined, structured approach, building up a general, rumbling unease with brass and thundering drums while having the lighter Oriental percussion give the track an oddly playful air. A sensational combination indeed, though I would not use the cue to sell the album. The score’s thematic weaknesses may leave listeners hoping for the next "The Destruction of Laputa" little miffed, but more patient listeners will easily be rewarded by the score’s diverse and immaculate beauty, especially if they stick around for the delightfully innocent credits song. Next to Ponyo it is the composer’s finest work for a Miyizaki film.





If you have interests, you can search for music albums from Joe Hisaishi. He’ll never let you down.





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