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  1. I thought that I'd start a topic on a composer who seems to be quite prolific but not many people are familiar with.

    From what I've heard of his I'd say that his music falls into two types; 1) the soundscape-style I originally heard in Ringu, and 2) the more strings-led score such as Seven Swords.

    For me, his CDs are not ones that I would pick up automatically - I have to hear some samples before picking up something that I'd say I would like.

    Some examples of both types I'd recommend hunting out (though I'm not going to say you'll like them!):

    Soundscape scores:
    1. Ringu
    2. Chaos
    3. Dark Water
    4. Rin-ne

    More melodic scores:
    1. Avalon
    2. Innocence
    3. Seven Swords
    4. A Battle of Wits
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
    • CommentAuthorJoep
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2007 edited
    A bit of a strange seperation. Avalon for instance has as much atmospheric soundscape as melodic material. But I agree on the mentioned soundscape scores in that category.

    What's so though about a lot of his scores is that you never really know what you're getting. Some scores have the most gorgeous pieces of music, while also containing weak electronical rubbish. Take the whole Stay/Fate Night series. It has some boy soprano moments that belong amongst his best, while other parts are unberable. Also the large amount of volumes of many animes are seem so thought to get through. If you count all the Patlabor released, you keep on discovering ones you knew nothing about.
  2. What about Ghost in the Shell? Why nobody mentions that film score masterpiece (not half as good an album though, but the score works wonders in the film...)
    http://www.filmmusic.pl - Polish Film Music Review Website
    • CommentAuthorJoep
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
    Probably not because this topic just started? wink I can play it over and over again on cd and watch it as part of the film. I liked the way Kawai took stuff form the first to let it return in the sequel, such as a more dramatic choir and impressive taiko.
  3. PawelStroinski wrote
    What about Ghost in the Shell? Why nobody mentions that film score masterpiece (not half as good an album though, but the score works wonders in the film...)

    I first heard Kawai's music for Ghost In The Shell through the music for Innocence and so I usually refer to this music as music from Innocence rather than Ghost In The Shell.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
  4. Joep wrote
    A bit of a strange seperation. Avalon for instance has as much atmospheric soundscape as melodic material. But I agree on the mentioned soundscape scores in that category.

    Certainly an artificial grouping - based purely on my own experiences of Kawai's music. He seems so prolific that I have only scratched the surface of his works.

    And as for adding Avalon into the "more melodic scores" was to get 4 titles in each group! wink
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorSylvos
    • CommentTimeApr 7th 2009
    I noticed "Night of Fate" from Fate/Stay Night strongly resembles one of Lair's themes by Debney. I'm curious whether one of these two was inspired by the other or if they both came up with the same idea at the same time... Both titles are 2007 releases.
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      CommentAuthorSouthall
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009
    I wasn't aware that any of Lair's themes was by Debney! wink
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      CommentAuthorSylvos
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009
    Leaving a reminder for common listeners isn't that harmful, Southall-dono.
    • CommentAuthorJoep
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2009
    Here's the clip of La Sola (from Fate/Stay Night):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGNnqf570Sw

    The first Ost of this series is rather lame. About 30 tracks are crap and the remaining ten cues are simply gorgeous. But those few cues are simply brilliant.
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      CommentAuthorFalkirkBairn
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2009 edited
    I was just browsing around YouTube and I came across a few clips from some Kenji Kawai concerts.

    Here's a couple featuring the distinctive vocals from his Innocence score:

    Innocence: Opening Theme
    Kugutsuuta kagirohi ha yomi ni mata muto!!

    And there's a medley from Seven Swords and Battle of Wits:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQmTWCT3Jm8

    And one of my favourite cues from Avalon, "Log In"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ega2xb0yju4
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorMarselus
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2009 edited
    omg omg omg


    And what about this: my favourite cue from Avalon, and Kawai´s best, "Voyage to Avalon"
    Anything with an orchestra or with a choir....at some point will reach you
  5. He has a tendency to write gorgeous music, but I think his whole style is a little underdeveloped. Much of his music is very uncomplicated, to the point where you know the melody by only hearing it once. Case in point: Dragon Tiger Gate. Not bad per se but very simplistic themes. With Seven Swords he tried to go against that trend. And Avalon is indeed spectacular. The female vocal melody is wonderfully spine-tingling.
    "considering I've seen an enormous debate here about The Amazing Spider-Man and the ones who love it, and the ones who hate it, I feel myself obliged to say: TASTE DIFFERS, DEAL WITH IT" - Thomas G.
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      CommentAuthorBregt
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2009
    Give me a Kugutsuuta kagirohi ha yomi ni mata muto everyday! lick
    Kazoo
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      CommentAuthorMarselus
    • CommentTimeOct 14th 2009 edited
    The percussion section of the orchestra is insane by the way.
    Anything with an orchestra or with a choir....at some point will reach you
    •  
      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2009
    His music is simply gorgeous, the melodies are irresistible. No more notes or anything needed, it has it all. And it has balance which is very rare in our days.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
  6. Has anyone heard his music to the martial art films Ip Man (2008) and Ip Man 2 (2010)?
    Check these as another ones of his gorgeous melodic scores.

    Suites of Ip Man: here and here.
    Main Theme for Ip Man 2: here
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      CommentAuthorMarselus
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2010
    Nice! Watching the movies soon.
    Anything with an orchestra or with a choir....at some point will reach you
    •  
      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2010
    Sweet, let us know more!
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
  7. I've heard Ip Man and it is quite enjoyable. An interested to hear Ip Man 2.
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2010
    I've heard lp man as well (not the sequel 2). Even wondered if cheesy synth-sounding japanese trademarked scores that have a constantly annoying metallic drum rhythm looped and ontop those standard "wonder if it's real or synth" japanese melodies? Yeap, they still exist. Kenji Kawai makes them.

    Definitely not my kind of score, Taro Iwashiro for instance, is ages ahead of this.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
  8. Christodoulides wrote
    Definitely not my kind of score, Taro Iwashiro for instance, is ages ahead of this.

    I find it interesting that you feel that what Kawai produces is somehow a backwards step. Surely, it's just a different style. And as he's still being asked to produce these kinds of scores surely it's a style that has a place in that particular market?
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2010 edited
    Well, there surely is such a marker, albeit limited. I am just replying to the "lp and lp2 scores are gorgeous" comment, as far as i am concerned. His AVALON score for instance is a mugh higher step and so is Sakamoto or Iwashiro or Hisaishi. I am fed up with this mass production cheap sounding japanese scores that offer instant pleasure and are completely forgettable just when you press "stop" smile
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
    • CommentAuthorJoep
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2019
    Live performance of the Voyage to Avalan cue, even including the performances of the original soprano:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FLrh7wMoTA