In Japan, where Hisaishi is well known as a composer for his soundtracks to films by Hayao Miyazaki, Takeshi Kitano and many others, this rush for tickets would be expected. Scheduled for April 23, the concert will be a splashy opener for the 17th edition of the Udine Far East Film Festival — and would have been unthinkable when the festival held its first edition in with a program of Hong Kong films. At the turn of the millennium, Asian films being shown at international festivals were mostly arty dramas made more for the festival circuit than home audiences, and so-called cult films in the horror, sci-fi or fantasy genres.
It kicked of with a small Tibetan bowl and was a whirlwind of music and dance, ending with some tasty treats and green tea on the plaza. It is crucial and our job as performers to introduce new composers, styles and music to our audience. Pushing the boundary of expectation and acceptance.
There will be 6 world premieres, 13 international preems, 25 European preems and 14 Italian bows. Tickets for the Hisaishi concert, to be held in a 1,seat venue, were sold out in less than a week. High-end shoppers and film-goers will be able to combine both pursuits at Selfridges when it opens a permanent three-screen movie theater inside its flagship London store later this year.
While possessing a stylistically distinct sound, Hisaishi's music has been known to explore and incorporate different genres, including minimalistexperimental electronicEuropean classicaland Japanese classical. Lesser known are the other musical roles he plays; he is also a typesetterauthor, arranger, and conductor. He has been associated with animator Hayao Miyazaki sincehaving composed scores for all but one of his films. He is also recognized for the soundtracks he has provided for filmmaker 'Beat' Takeshi Kitanoincluding A Scene at the SeaSonatineKids ReturnHana-biKikujiroand Dollsas well for the video game series Ni no Kuni.
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One of these is Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi original name Mamoru Fujisawawho is a little-known film composer in the West, but a household superstar across Asia. Along with the equally overlooked genius of the heavy rock band X-Japan, he is one of a small number of musicians to play before the Japanese emperor by invitation. Like many in the West, I discovered Hisaishi when he shot to fame infollowing the box office success of the multi-award-winning Spirited Away — the highest grossing anime film of all time.
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If you loved the original soundtrack, this is a beefed up arrangement on it and classical music lovers will be right at home too. The album is divided into two sections with nine and five tracks respectively and these two suites flow their tracks into each other to create a story of their own. The orchestration is huge and bombastic with the strings and wooden percussion really standing out.