Akira (1988) was a frontier of animation production at the time, including excellent music composed by Shoji Yamashiro (Tsutomu Oohashi).
The composer is quite an interesting person.

Born in Tochigi Prefecture, he attended Tohoku University and graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture. He received a Doctor of Agriculture.

He held positions such as Instructor at Tsukuba University, Professor at the National Institute of Multimedia Education, Professor at Chiba Institute of Technology, and General manager at the Department of KANSEI Brain Science, ATR Human Information Processing Research Laboratories.

While he is a composer, conductor, and producer, his research interests as a scientist includes Environmental and information sciences, Kansei science, Production engineer, molecular biology, artificial life, and anthropology.

He is the President of the Yamashiro Institute of Science and Culture and the Director and chief researcher of the Foundation for the Advancement of International Science.

In 1974, he founded the Geinoh Yamashirogumi.

Geinoh Yamashirogumi (Japanese: 芸能山城組, Geinō Yamashirogumi) is a Japanese musical collective founded on January 19, 1974 by Tsutomu Ōhashi, consisting of hundreds of people from all walks of life: journalists, doctors, engineers, students, businessmen, etc. They are known for both their faithful re-creations of folk music from around the world, as well as their fusion of various traditional musical styles with modern instrumentation and synthesizers.

Akira soundtrack is built on the concept of recurrent themes or “modules”. Texturally, the soundtrack is a mix of digital synthesizers (Roland D-50, etc), Indonesian chromatic percussion (jegog, etc.), traditional Japanese theatrical and spiritual music (Noh), European classical, and progressive rock.

Akira music is especially fascinating because it features an interesting blend of old and new. The composer was given much freedom in his creative work and the track was written independently of the animation. If you get a chance, see the documentary on making Akira.

Some instruments used: Gamelan (an Indonesian orchestra of chimes, gongs and Jugog, a wood xylophone ensemble), guitar, organ, synthesizers and primarily male chorus, including Buddhist and Noh chants. (Source)

Track List
1. Kaneda
2. Battle Against Clown
3. Winds Over the Neo-Tokyo
4. Tetsuo
5. Doll’s Polyphony
6. Shohmyoh
7. Mutation
8. Exodus from the Underground Fortress
9. Illusion
10. Requiem

“Kaneda” is one of my favorite Akira songs 🙂


2 thoughts on “Akira Anime Music by Shoji Yamashiro

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