Music Notes: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso – Episode 3

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso - 03-01
Note: Still catching up on a lot of things. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso is one of those things.

Although episode 3 of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso has none of the grand performances of the previous episode, it does feature a serendipitous moment that uses a piece from one of my favorite musical conventions: the theme and variations. What typically happens in a theme and variations is that the composer starts the audience off with a theme to serve as the melodic foundation. The composer then plumbs the depths for musical adornments and alterations that together, create a riveting, imaginative affair.

So on this day, after the violin competition, Kousei and Kaori find themselves in a small pastry shop. As the two settle in, they notice a girl playing a familiar French tune from the patisserie’s piano: “Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman,” or, for the rest of us, the melody to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (among other things). Kaori immediately recognizes that it’s not just any old version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” but Mozart’s rendition of it. [Read more…]

4th Annual Anime Music Awards – The Best of 2013

Attack on Titan Band

Introduction

Anime music fans have long been spoiled by the sheer quality of anime music that have come out with each passing year. There would always be something special that seizes the year, whether it’s an epic soundtrack or a catchy J-pop/J-rock number that would have us humming the melody forever and a day. So when you have a down year like 2013, it’s only natural to feel a bit slighted.

When OP/ED themes lean towards genericity and soundtracks are either overblown in their pomposity or overly atmospheric to the point of boredom, finding those hidden gems becomes a more trying task. Whether 2013’s musical material represents what anime directors/producers are looking for, or that this is simply a blip upon an otherwise strong musical run and we’ve simply been spoiled, is hard to say. That said, we do bring gems from 2013, and of those gems we’ve unearthed, these are what shine brightest: [Read more…]

In Memoriam: Origa (1970-2015)

origa-stars
For me, it was the soaring sustained note. The one that emphasizes the word “calling” at the start of the chorus. Hearing that sung made me feel like I was being yanked onto a higher plane of existence, where the past would flicker on by, leaving an exciting, adventurous future to loom large. It also brought a Russian singer to my attention, a singer whose voice had the radiance and purity of a flawless diamond, performing an otherworldly song by Yoko Kanno. Born Olga Vitalevna Yakovleva, she would be better known simply as Origa. That she has passed away on January 17, 2015 marks a huge loss of one of the few (and they are few) capable singers to grace the anime music stage. She died of lung cancer, at the young age of 44.

Note: Full playlist below if you don’t want to listen to the featured tracks one at a time.

Full Playlist

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


[Read more…]

Wolf Children Original Soundtrack – Review

Wolf Children OST

Album Title: Wolf Children Original Soundtrack or
Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki Original Soundtrack
Anime Title: Wolf Children
Artist: Ann Sally, Masakatsu Takagi
Catalog Number: VPCG-84928
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: July 18, 2012
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia, iTunes

[Read more…]

Music Notes: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso – Episode 2

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso - 02
Compared to the first episode of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, the second episode doesn’t have nearly as much music, probably because they’re building the foundation for Kaori and Arima’s relationship. But they did feature a superbly animated violin sequence using yet another Beethoven piece: his Violin Sonata No. 9, commonly known as the “Kreutzer” Sonata. The piece’s first movement was featured as the piece all of the violinists would have to perform at the Towa Music Competition.

So for a more professional rendition, here’s the first movement of the “Kreutzer,” performed by Joshua Bell and Yuja Wang (I’ll be referencing this throughout the post): [Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: