Musical Connections with Cellist Eru Matsumoto

Eru Matsumoto
Video game and anime music have long struggled to find a place within the realms of what is considered “serious” music and Eru Matsumoto probably realizes this more than most. As the principal cellist for the rePlay Symphony of Heroes video game concert at Anime Expo as well as a soloist who performed selections from Sword Art Online, Eru Matsumoto was careful to affirm her love for classical music, but also stress that music, in all its forms, should serve to connect with the audience.

In my conversation with cellist Eru Matsumoto at Anime Expo, the theme of “forging connections through music” was one that came up repeatedly. From the beginning, her interest in the cello laid the foundation upon which Eru’s musical threads would be initially stiched. But it was her passion and persistence that would ultimately allow her to reinforce those threads, thereby linking them together into a rich and meaningful tapestry. [Read more...]

AniPiano 2014 Concert feat. TheIshter & Friends

AniPiano Ishter

Imagine, for a moment, that you’re going to this hypothetical restaurant called the House of Bacon that is the talk of the town. Everyone raves over how it serves some of the most mouthwateringly scrumptious bacon that you’ll ever taste, prepared in all manners, shapes, and sizes. Now, imagine that you’ve decided to try its delicious fare and step in. But wait! You have to eat a bowl of uncooked tofu before you’re allowed to try any of the bacon. You’re right to be annoyed by this turn of events, but you grimly soldier on, determined to get to the bacon. It’s a trial, but you make it. In the end, the bacon is indeed delicious. And yet, that tofu in the beginning leaves a sour aftertaste. This wasn’t what you had signed up for.

And that describes my experience at AniPiano 2014 in a nutshell. [Read more...]

ANI-ON LIVE! Anime Expo 2014 Concert Report

Ani-on Live Anime Expo
Hullo everyone! Pointblanket here: long-time Anime Instrumentality lurker and first-time contributor. I’ll be sharing my impressions of the recent performance of up-and-coming anime rock cover band, Ani-On Live!, who played a series of shows during Anime Expo this year.

For those who are unfamiliar, this Boston-based group is led by the emphatic producer, Shota Nakama (of Video Game Orchestra), who also plays guitar and keyboard for the band. The other members normally include Maho Azuma and Luis Rivera on vocals, Masato Ito on lead guitar, Louis Ochoa on Bass, and Takuma Anzai on Drums. Ochoa and Takuma were unable to attend the shows out in Los Angeles. Instead, their parts were pre-recorded and mixed in as background accompaniment for each musical number. This tricky feat of coordination was made possible through the efforts of underground sound engineer and mixer Falk Au Yeong who is known for his contributions towards the original soundtracks for the Sonic: Before/After the Sequel fan games and his close collaboration with many of Shota’s projects.

But enough of introductions, and on with the show! When considering the limited nature of the Lounge21 venue at Anime Expo and the fact that blaring rock performances aren’t usually my type of show, Ani-On Live! put on a powerful yet fun performance whose energy was clearly reflected by the attending crowd. There was even a full line of fans performing “wotagei” throughout the evening to make the mood feel just right. [Read more...]

No Game No Life OP Single – This Game – Review

Limited Edition Cover

Album Title: This Game
Anime Title: No Game No Life
Artist: Suzuki Konomi
Catalog Number: ZMCZ-9306 (Limited Edition)
ZMCZ-9307 (Regular Edition)
Release Type: OP/ED Single
Release Date: May 21, 2014
Purchase at: CDJapan

[Read more...]

Anime Expo 2014 Detox and Quick Thoughts

AnimeExpo2014
Anime Expo has this odd way of taking what should have been a manageable schedule and throwing enough wrinkles to make for a packed weekend. And no, I’m not just talking about the huge crowds or the never-ending parade of logistical problems either.

Everything I had going on, both for work and for fun, had me on my feet the entire time. If it wasn’t a press conference or an event that I was interested in covering, then it was simply reaching out to the anitweeps to meet up, say the hi and hellos, and catch up if I’ve met them previously or put a name to a face if I haven’t. And with all the people to see and things to do, Anime Expo was pretty good at keeping me busy and occupied. It’s certainly better than being bored out of my mind, which can be a danger when you account for my narrow interests in certain facets of the anime fandom. [Read more...]

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