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Akira Yamaoka (山岡 晃, Yamaoka Akira, born February 6, 1968) is a Japanese video game music composer, sound designer, guitarist, and producer, best known for composing various games in the Silent Hill series by Konami. He also once worked as a producer on the series, as well as serving as a composer and producer of the Silent Hill film and its sequel.[1][2] Since 2010, he has been the sound director at Grasshopper Manufacture.

Akira Yamaoka
Akira Yamaoka - Game Developers Conference 2010 - Day 3 (3).jpg
Yamaoka in 2010
Background information
Native name
山岡 晃
Born (1968-02-06) February 6, 1968 (age 51)
Niigata, Japan
Genres
Occupation(s)
InstrumentsElectric guitar
Years active1991–present
Websiteakirayamaoka.jp

Contents

Life and workEdit

Early lifeEdit

Yamaoka attended Tokyo Art College,[3] where he studied product design and interior design. He originally planned to follow a career in design.[4]

CareerEdit

Yamaoka joined Konami on September 21, 1993.[5] He immediately began to work on the games Contra: Hard Corps, Sparkster, and Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2. He then shortly thereafter worked on the music for the PC Engine and Sega CD versions of Snatcher. When Konami began searching for a musician to compose Silent Hill's score, Yamaoka volunteered because he thought he was the only one capable of making the soundtrack.[3] Although initially hired as a composer, he soon became involved in overall sound design.[6]

On December 2, 2009, it was announced that Yamaoka was leaving his long term employer Konami.[7] On February 3, 2010, it was announced that Yamaoka has joined Grasshopper Manufacture and was working with Goichi Suda and Shinji Mikami on their action game, Shadows of the Damned.[8] He was first appointed to the role of chief sound officer at Grasshopper, but became involved in aspects of game production as well.[9]

On August 10, 2012, Yamaoka announced he would be releasing a second solo album in late 2012, one "different from the usual Silent Hill music."[10] On October 31, 2012, he announced via Facebook, that the new three track Spanish language single "Revolución" would premiere at V-CON during a live performance.[11] In 2014, he expressed interest in returning as a composer for Silent Hills, although the project was later canceled.[6]

In late October and early November 2015, Yamaoka and his band performed tracks from the Silent Hill series at nine live events in cities across the United Kingdom, titled "Silent Hill Live".[12][13] In July 2016, Yamaoka performed live at the BitSummit 4th indie game festival in Kyoto, Japan.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

Before working as a video game composer, Yamaoka initially sought a career as a designer, but instead became a musician after studying product design at Tokyo Art College.[3]

Yamaoka stated in a 2009 interview that his favorite game creator is Suda51, and his favorite video game is No More Heroes.[15] His favorite of his own soundtracks is Silent Hill 2.[16] In March 2011, Yamaoka auctioned some of his musical instruments for the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami Play for Japan flood relief.[16] In a 2014 interview, he stated his favorite film was Dario Argento's Suspiria.[17]

Musical style and influencesEdit

When asked what other artists influenced his work, Yamaoka cited Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails as his "main inspiration, both performing and in music style."[10] Among his other influences are Angelo Badalamenti (best known for his soundtrack work with David Lynch), Metallica and Depeche Mode.[3]

When asked if his studies at Tokyo Art College had helped him in his musical career, he replied:[3] "At that time, Mick Karn of Japan, Steve Strange of Visage, and a lot of other musicians combined the notions of Art and Music with their own new style. I got really influenced by that. Therefore, every time I write songs, I try to combine Art and Music." He has also stated that he derives much of his influence from baroque styles common throughout the 18th century.

Yamaoka stated some of his favorite songs to be "Der Mussolini" by D.A.F., "Amber" by Craig Armstrong, "Moments In Love" by Anne Dudley, "Moon Over Moscow" by Visage, and "The Ecstasy of Gold" by Ennio Morricone.[18]

WorksEdit

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Notes
1991 Smart Ball with Yasuhiko Fukuda and Manabu Saito
1994 Contra: Hard Corps with Hiroshi Kobayashi, Michiru Yamane, Hirofumi Taniguchi, and Aki Hata
Sparkster with Kazuhiko Uehara, Masahiro Ikariko, Minako Matsuhira, and Michiru Yamane
Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 with Michiru Yamane
Snatcher sound programming, with Keizou Nakamura, Masanori Adachi, Kazuhito Imai, and Masanori Oouchi
1996 Gradius Deluxe Pack with Miki Higashino, Kiyohiko Yamane, and Motoaki Furukawa
Ganbare Goemon: Uchū Kaizoku Akogingu with Michiru Yamane, Takayuki Fujii, Motoaki Furukawa, Tappi Iwase, Latino, Hiroshi Tamawari, and Shoichiro Hirata
Speed King PlayStation version
Lightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken "Spring's Undersea Walking Hurricane (Rankerk Hatred)"
1997 International Superstar Soccer Pro
Nagano Winter Olympics '98 with Soshiro Hokkai and Keiko Fukami
1998 Poy Poy 2
NBA In The Zone '98 with Yuichi Asami, Ryuichi Inoue, and Nobuhiko Matsufuji
Kensei: Sacred Fist with Kyoran Suzuki and Norikazu Miura
International Superstar Soccer Pro 98 with Shinji Enomoto, Kosuke Soeda, Nobuhiko Matsufuji, and Hideki Kasai
1999 Silent Hill
ISS Pro Evolution with Shinji Enomoto, Kosuke Soeda, and Hideki Kasai
1999–2012 Bemani series
2000 Gradius III and IV
ESPN MLS GameNight with Shinji Enomoto, Kosuke Soeda, and Hideki Kasai
2001 Silent Hill 2
2002 Contra: Shattered Soldier with Sota Fujimori
2003 Silent Hill 3
2004 Rumble Roses with various others
Silent Hill 4: The Room
2006 Rumble Roses XX with various others
2007 Silent Hill: Origins
2008 Silent Hill: Homecoming
2009 Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
2010 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle with Jun Fukuda
2011 Shadows of the Damned
Rebuild of Evangelion: Sound Impact arrangements
2012 Sine Mora
Liberation Maiden sound producer
Lollipop Chainsaw music director
Silent Hill: Book of Memories guitars on "Love Psalm (Book of Memories)"
Black Knight Sword
2013 Rotolla
Killer Is Dead music director
2014 Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day
Murasaki Baby "Neeko"
2015 Persona 4: Dancing All Night "Time To Make History"
2016 Puzzle & Dragons X[19] with Kenji Ito, Yuzo Koshiro, and Keigo Ozaki
The Silver Case[20] arrangements, "WHITEOUT"
Let It Die music director
2017 Astro Boy: Edge of Time[21]
2018 The 25th Ward: The Silver Case[22] with Baiyon, Erika Ito, and Masafumi Takada

FilmsEdit

Year Title Notes
2006 Silent Hill executive producer
2012 Silent Hill: Revelation with Jeff Danna
2014 Patema Inverted sound director
2017 Kuso[23] with Flying Lotus, Aphex Twin, Thundercat, and various others

OtherEdit

Year Title Notes
2006 iFuturelist
2011 Play for Japan: The Album with various others
Sdatcher
2012 Revolución
"Rinkaku (Eternal Slumber Mix)" by Dir En Grey
2014 "Sustain the Untruth (Remix)" by Dir En Grey

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "A New Silent Hill on the Way From Konami".
  2. ^ "Director's Blog - Silent Hill 2 Composer". Archived from the original on 2011-12-05.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Interview with Akira Yamaoka". spelmusik.net. July 2002. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
  4. ^ http://www.silenthillmemories.net/creators/interviews/2002.07.16_yamaoka_spelmusik_en.htm
  5. ^ "Akira Yamaoka - Sound Director". Anony.ws. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  6. ^ a b http://www.factmag.com/2015/10/29/akira-yamaoka-silent-hill-soundtrack-interview/
  7. ^ Remo, Chris (December 2, 2009). "Report: Silent Hill Composer Yamaoka Leaves Konami". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 4 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
  8. ^ "Silent Hill composer Yamaoka joins Suda 51's 'video game band'". Archived from the original on 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
  9. ^ http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/6405/surprises_in_store_akira_.php
  10. ^ a b "AKIRA YAMAOKA - Interview in Spain at Play Fest".
  11. ^ "AKIRA YAMAOKA - New Single Premieres at V-CON".
  12. ^ Priestman, Chris. "Silent Hill Composer To Perform The Soundtracks Live This Halloween". Siliconera. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  13. ^ Blake, Vikki. "New Dates Confirmed for Silent Hill's Akira Yamaoka UK Tour". IGN. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  14. ^ Greening, Chris. "Akira Yamaoka headlines BitSummit 4th lineup". Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  15. ^ Nintendo Power, Volume 248
  16. ^ a b "Akira Yamaoka (Person)". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-11-20. Retrieved 2015-11-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ Wahlgren, Jon. "Playlist: Grasshopper Manufacture's Akira Yamaoka". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  19. ^ Greening, Chris. "Ito, Koshiro, Yamaoka join forces for latest Puzzle & Dragons soundtrack". Video Game Music Online. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  20. ^ Greening, Chris. "Akira Yamaoka's latest soundtrack to release next month". Video Game Music Online. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  21. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Akira Yamaoka scores the new Astro Boy Card Battler". originalsoundversion.com. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  22. ^ "The 25th Ward: The Silver Case - Coming 2018". nisamerica.com.
  23. ^ Bein, Kat. "Help Flying Lotus Make His First Movie 'Kuso'". Billboard. Retrieved 20 January 2017.

External linksEdit