Joe Hisaishi

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    • Joe Hisaishi: According to Disney's staff, non-Japanese feel uncomfortable if there is no music for more than three minutes. You see this in the Western movies, which have music throughout. It's the natural state for a (non-Japanese) animated film to have music all the time. However in the original "Laputa", there was only one-hour's music in the 124-minute movie. There were parts that don't have music for seven to eight minutes. So, we decided to redo the music as (the existing soundtrack) will not be suitable for markets outside Japan.

    • Joe Hisaishi: I just happened to start out as a modern composer who was immersed in severe dissonant sounds for the longest time. I also happened to be allowed to compose some melodic pieces as well. In terms of being allowed to achieve this range, I believe Mr. Kitano and Mr. Miyazaki just pulled it out of me.

    • Joe Hisaishi: The Japanese filmmaking industry has certain elements that are very old-fashioned. Of course I work on Hayao Miyazaki's projects, but most of my work is in the actual motion picture arena, not in animation. Japanese filmmaking is old-fashioned by nature, and even the music making is old-fashioned in some aspects. For instance, even though the technology in the music field is rapidly evolving the industry doesn't embrace it. Furthermore, because music isn't something that you can see with your eyes, everyone seems to shy away from dealing with it. Working with Disney, I felt that every staff member loves music and loves movies. And they all have their own set opinions on how the business and the music are structured. I felt this was a huge difference between the two industries.

    • Joe Hisaishi: There aren't many people who influence me. But for instance, in the movie music arena, of course I've listened to those who make music for Hollywood movies; such as Hans Zimmer and, who was that, James Horner? And a couple of other people. But I can't say that they've influenced me.

    • Joe Hisaishi: I usually play the piano solos myself. When I write music I make it a rule to always play the piano myself. Just as a song's dynamic changes with the singer, I believe that I must play my own music so that my flavor is there.