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Music Inspirations? For Kanno and Myself... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Sunday, 18 January 2009 10:05

Been kind of busy the last few weeks... so here's just a little thing that I've been meaning to post.

Lots of people love Kanno Youko's stuff for various anime and games.  Many love the fact that she just hits the mark with such a diverse range of music.  I personally loved some of her older stuff; Brain Powerd is such an "honest" soundtrack, and that sort of honesty is something I strive for in my own music.  Her new stuff?  Eh.  Not super awesome stuff, I think.

Regardless, I was really surprised when someone sent me to this website: 【菅野よう子】インスパイア?類似曲比較動画まとめ ([Kanno Youko] Inspired?  A Comprehensive Music Soundtrack Comparison)

Basically, check out the various Youtube and Nicovideo links.  Come to your own conclusions.

Me... well... it's interesting thinking about it since over here, someone recently accused me of grabbing the Phantasm theme in order to make this first track from Castlevania: Order of Shadows.  Eh... I guess it's possible to see it that way.  If you really want to compare, the stuff that's similar are pretty different from a functional standpoint.  In my track, that beginning motif is there primarily as a backing for the guitar solo, and the phrase length is twice as long as that in Phantasm, which is more a theme than a motif.  It's also there for the entirety of the song in Castlevania, while in Phantasm, it drops out as soon as the soloistic part develops.  I mean, really, it just feels very different to me as a song.  Take it or leave it, but any resemblance is purely coincidental, as I've never heard of Phantasm until a few days ago.  I'm just not a horror film kind of guy.

(Also... man, what's up with that music in that Phantasm youtube link?  That performance is pretty bad.)

Oh yeah, my thoughts on those Kanno comparisons?  I definitely think she or her assistants were a bit more than inspired.  Yeah, my little Castlevania song contained a primary element that sounded similar to another primary element in another piece of music, but the pieces themselves were quite different.  Many of those Kanno pieces don't just have one or two similar elements, but many elements coming together to create a very similar song structure with similar arc and similar feel.

Comments (1)
1 Sunday, 01 March 2009 18:40
dunno if anyone's gonna see this comment, since the entry is kind of older, but...

The truth is, sometimes a director will want a specific song in a specific scene. Unfortunately, due to things like budget and licensing issues, getting a song into a television program can be impossible.

What happens sometimes is precisely what you see on that website. The composer creates an "original" track that borrows extremely heavily from the one the director wanted. This way the director is happy, because he gets a track that has the same feeling and atmosphere as the one he wanted to use, the composer is happy because they get the money, and the company making the TV show is happy because they don't have to pay anyone royalty fees. I'm not really sure about copyright specifics in Japan, but this is probably a-okay since they managed to go out and do it.

Anyways, I don't think Yoko Kanno deserves all the flak she got over the "borrowed" songs. In all likelihood, she was probably just doing her job, which was giving the director the music he thought best supported the scene. Its a shame that it couldn't all be original, but this is hardly the scandal people want it to be, and it happens all the time in TV land.

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