One of the most successful non-Disney animated films turns 20 today! Fox Animation’s Anastasia – notable for its all-star cast, award-winning Lynn Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty musical theatre writing team, and Don Bluth’s legendary strokes – is a nostalgic fairytale look at the tragic story of Anastasia. We grew up playing the popular “Once Upon A December” in youth orchestra, and we’re so happy to present our interpretation for string sextet.
Singer Katherine Wright joins us again for another strings + jazz rendition of a modern anime classic – “On My Own” by the fantastic Ai Ninomiya!
Happy Birthday to the new king of romantic anime OST, Masaru Yokoyama. Best-known for his heart-wrenching scores to Your Lie in April and Love & Logic, the modern pianist-composer has amassed an invigorating body of work worthy of today’s spotlight. Check-out our top 5 tracks from his discography:
Watashi no Uso (Your Lie in April, 2014)
Perhaps is most-defining work, Masaru’s score to the deeply moving Your Lie in April is equal parts delicate and (emotionally) heavy-handed. The piano-based forlorn theme captures the essence of the beautiful tale about 2 virtuosi who discover love, loss, and frienship through the power of music. We dare you not to cry!
Suite of the Seven Stars (Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, 2015)
What Yokoyama calls his “classical” music, this piece from the epic Gundam series embodies the self-superiority and European aesthestic of the ruling “Seven Stars” family clans. But, the entire OST pays homage to the western-style film/battle music heavily associated with the Gundam series and is a bit of a departure from what we usually hear from Yokoyama.
Read an interview with Yokoyama by Kakaku.com (Japanese only)
AGAIN & AGAIN (Plastic Memories, 2015)
Plastic Memories is truly tragic – and a perfect fit for our birthday boy! Yokoyama wrote the music for Melody Chubak’s soft English ballad with lyrics by Luna Goami. Solo piano is, of course, the composer’s forté – expertly expressingly the sorrowful romance with step-wise melodies, slight pauses, and an undulating tempo. Most certainly an OST to be remembered.
Kaze no you ni… kumo no you ni (Arakawa Under the Bridge, 2010)
Yokoyama’s first anime song is “comfortable” – not a word you’d associate with the source material in Arakawa. The J-POP-influenced, and often comedic, score is light and airy with some promising melodies. You could tell he was going to go far in his career. Perhaps the only drawback is the usage of obvious electronic string sounds, but that could link to the premused “other-worldly-ness” of the titular character and her gang of misfits. Yokoyama’s hiring was a natural progression considering his work on the hilarious talk show/drama Ijin no kuru heya.
For the Quest (Fate/Apocrypha, 2017)
This year, Yokoyama joined the forces of fate, expanding his repertoire to score for a music large “fantasy” symphony orchestra. Brass and woodwinds dominate the score, but strings often have Celtic melodies reminiscient of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. If you’re a fan of Fate/zero and Unlimited Blade Works, you’ll definitely be inspired by his newest epic OST!
Happy Birthday, Masaru-san!
OP/ED video series is on its 4th video – the first opening to the ever-so-delightful Mr. Osomatsu anime, “Hanamaru Pippi wa Yoiko Dake” by A応P!
Continuing our OP/ED series, we’ve uploaded a TV-size trio version of the popular OP to Madoka Magica, “Connect” for violin, cello, and piano.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of Yoshihiro Togashi and Studio Pierrot’s anime series Yu Yu Hakusho! As one of the classic hits of 90s anime invasion, it has a special place in our hearts and is one of the first anime for some American viewers.
To celebrate, we’ve arranged a special jazzy version of the opening theme “Smile Bomb” featuring the lovely singer Katherine Wright and a string sextet.
Follow announcements of “Yuhaku” 25th anniversary celebration on its official webpage.
Season IV has begun! And we’re proud to be serving our online followers with new videos and a brand-new series. Every month, we’ll be adding to our OP/ED series – our takes on various animated openings and endings arranged for chamber ensembles. The first – “Kanashii Ureshii” – is from the Summer 2017 anime Koi to Uso (“Love and Lies”) and features our Artistic Director, International Relations Director, clarinet, and guitar!
Next week is the 25th anniversary of Yu Yu Hakusho, so we might do something special to celebrate!
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