Essay on Joe Hisaishi (Mamoru Fujisawa)

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Biography

Joe Hisaishi was born on December 6, 1950 in Nagano, Japan under the name Mamoru Fujisawa. His musical training started early on, when he began to take violin lessons at age five. It was around this time that he first discovered his passion for music. Fujisawa truly began to explore this passion in the 70’s, during which, a cultural menagerie of Japanese popular music, new-age, and early electronic music flourished. Inevitably, those genres influenced Fujisawa's early compositions. (Wikipedia) Fujisawa was highly influenced by the new-wave of Japanese electronica such as the Yellow Magic Orchestra and Ryuichi Sakamoto group. It was not until 1975, that he made his first public performance, and it is not until a decade later that
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(Team Ghiblink, Nausicaa.net) Afterwards, the pair would go on to produce eight more films together. (Wondercity Inc. , 2011)
2008 marked an important year for Hisaishi. In honor of his work, a concert event was produced at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo to celebrate the anniversary of 25 years of collaboration. (Dasnoy & Tsong, 2013) The concert featured performances of Hisaishi’s signature Miyazaki film score compositions. Approximately 1,200 musicians and singers participated in the performance, including the 200-member New Japan Philharmonic World Dream Orchestra, 6 featured vocalists, the combined 800 members of the Ippan Koubo, Ritsuyuukai and Little Singers of Tokyo choirs, and a 160-piece marching band. Joe Hisaishi, who by this time has become an important icon to Asian music, conducted the performance from his piano as a giant screen backed the entire performance, streaming projections of correlating clips from Miyazaki's films along with the music. (Team Ghiblink, GhibliWiki)
In 2010, Hisaishi returned to his roots, becoming a professor at the Kunitachi College of Music to fulfill an endeavor to teach younger generations about music composition, passing on his legacy, all the while continuing his career as a composer, arranger, pianist, and conductor. (Dasnoy & Tsong, 2013) Over the course of his career, spanning more than 30 years, Joe Hisaishi built a solid global fan-base, including an enthusiastic multi-generational following in China.

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