Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
|Genres||Jazz, classical, orchestral, electronic, new age, blues, folk rock, electronic rock, pop, art rock|
|Occupations||Composer, musician, conductor, Producer|
|Instruments||Keyboard, piano, accordion|
|Labels||Victor Entertainment (flying DOG)|
|Associated acts||Maaya Sakamoto, Nakajima Megumi, May'n TETSU100%, Seatbelts, Samply Red, ORIGA|
Yoko Kanno (菅野 よう子 Kanno Yōko , born March 18) is a composer, arranger and musician best known for her work on the soundtracks for many anime films, television series, live-action films, video games, and advertisements. She was born in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. She has written scores for famous animated works, including Darker than Black, Macross Plus, Turn A Gundam, Cowboy Bebop, The Vision of Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Wolf's Rain, Sakamichi no Apollon, and is the most trusted composer by veteran and new-wave directors such as Yoshiyuki Tomino, Shinichiro Watanabe and Shoji Kawamori. Kanno has also composed music for pop artists, the most notable being Maaya Sakamoto and Kyōko Koizumi. She is also a skilled keyboardist, and is the frontwoman for the Seatbelts, who perform many of Kanno's compositions on the various original soundtracks for which she is responsible.
Some of Yoko Kanno's most famous soundtrack themes include "Kiseki no Umi" (Lodoss War), "Voices" (Macross Plus), "Tank!" (Cowboy Bebop), "Yakusoku wa Iranai" (Escaflowne), "Gravity" (Wolf's Rain), "Inner Universe" (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) and Stand Alone Complex O.S.T. In regards to making the Stand Alone Complex soundtrack she said:
I had this image of a formal and rigid 'manly' world for the original comic. So I tried to think of ways to destroy that world. The theme I had in mind was, 'be human.' It represented the sentiment of 'why don't we take it easy and be more like a human being?'—instead of being a workaholic salaried man working for his company. Or be it Tachikoma wishing to become human. I wanted to express these 'tangible fuzziness,' sort of. For the opening theme song called 'inner universe,' I had an image of digital bits and composed a score consisting of recurrent quick beats.
Having composed in various genres, including blues, classical, jazz, techno, and J-pop, she was once asked if she favored a particular genre:
Ah ... I hear everyone talk about how many genres [I work in] like classical, jazz and others, but personally, I don't divide music by genre when creating. I don't create by saying, 'I must create a classical piece here,' or 'I must create a jazz piece here.' When I create music, I don't consider at all which genre I like best, but what the scene or the anime calls for, like a love [theme] or a mood. There isn't one genre I like more than the others. I find all of them satisfying and all inspire me in different ways.
Since she works in the animation industry, she only receives instructions and storyboards from directors which helps her with composing. However, it is uncertain if all of her works are to be included in the finished project. She once said that this is a way she likes to work, for she does not have to deal with rules during composing. In reference to this, she once stated:
In my case, the creators talk to me and ask me to do a soundtrack a year or two before the animation is finished. At that time, I think of the plot in my brain, when the characters' names—everything about the characters—has not been decided yet. This is even when the title has not be decided yet.
She has composed for many Koei games released during the late 1980s to early 1990s and for Napple Tale, a Dreamcast game. Due to her close involvement in the Cowboy Bebop anime, the game released by Bandai also features her work.
Apart from anime and games, Kanno also composes for live-action films and television commercials. Some popular brands she has composed for are Canon, DoCoMo, Fuji Xerox, Seven-Eleven, Microsoft, Nissan, Toyota, Shiseido, Avon, and Master Card to name a few. Grand Funk Inc. is her recording studio of choice in producing for these two media. Contributions to films started in the 90s but only since 2002 has there been a trend towards the medium. Most of the latter were shown in international film festivals.
She has attended Otakon and Anime Expo in 1999, as well as Anime Expo New York in 2002. In 2010, she made a surprise appearance at Anime Expo. Yoko Kanno performed her solo PianoMe concert at Otakon 2013.
In addition to Japanese, she speaks very little English and some French, but claims that her English is "poor" and she needs translation help to converse in French. In regards to spirituality and religion, she said:
I'm not religious at all. But Japanese don't believe in one God, but in gods everywhere in plants and animals. That's right. In Japan, Christianity has a wonderful image. People enjoy the image of Christ and Christianity in picture books, but not as a religion.
Besides music, Kanno also enjoys photography and writing. She has written a number of journals for Newtype magazine of which photos for illustrations are done by Kanno herself as well, and a selection of photos taken by Kanno of her protégé and former production partner Maaya Sakamoto were featured in the special event program for Sakamoto's 2010 thirtieth birthday concert at Nippon Budokan.
In 2011, Kanno expressed her support and wishes to the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, composing a song titled "Kimi de Ite, Buji de Ite". Later, she composed NHK's official support song on the occasion of the first anniversary of the earthquake entitled "Hana wa Saku" ("Flowers Will Bloom") featuring lyrics by Sendai film director Shunji Iwai. The song features notable natives from the affected areas of Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate.
Solo studio albums
|January 1, 1998||Song to fly||Track 8 performed and all songs composed, conducted by Yoko Kanno.
(Tracks 1–7,9–11 performed by Cosmic Voices from Bulgaria, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra,
|May 22, 2002||23-Ji no Ongaku||All songs composed, conducted by Yoko Kanno, ft. Maaya Sakamoto, released by JvC Victor.
Translates as "11:00 pm Music".
|May 2, 2008||CM Yoko||Compilation album of music for commercials done by Yoko Kanno over the years. All songs composed by Yoko Kanno|
|April 22, 2009||CM Yoko 2||Compilation album of music for commercials done by Yoko Kanno over the years. All songs composed and/or arranged by Yoko Kanno|
|May 27, 2009||Space Bio Charge||Yoko Kanno & the Seatbelts's album|
|June 8, 2011||Yoko Kanno produce Cyber Bicci||Credit: ILA. Compilation album of previous works with Ilaria Graziano, along with new materials.|
|Anime Title||Year||Kanno's Role(s)|
|Porco Rosso||1992||Arranger for ending theme:
"Once in a While, Talk of the Old Days"
|Please Save My Earth||1994||Composer
(other tracks by Hajime Mizoguchi)
|Memories: Magnetic Rose||1995||Composer|
|The Vision of Escaflowne||1996||Composer
(other tracks by Hajime Mizoguchi)
|X Clamp Characters File Vol. 1–4||1996||Composer
(one track for each album)
|Clamp School Detectives||1997||Second ending theme|
|Noiseman Sound Insect||1997||Composer|
|Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight||1998||Composer for Opening theme|
|Macross Dynamite 7||1998||Composer for "Angel Voice"|
See also: Music of Cowboy Bebop
|Cardcaptor Sakura||1998||Composer for Opening 3 "Purachina"|
|Turn A Gundam||1999||Composer|
(other tracks by Hajime Mizoguchi)
|Earth Maiden Arjuna||2001||Composer|
|Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door||2001||Composer
Pianist for the Seatbelts
|RahXephon||2002||Composer for Opening theme for TV & OVA|
|Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex||2002||Composer|
|Wolf's Rain||2003||Composer for TV & OVA|
|Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG||2004||Composer|
|Genesis of Aquarion||2005||Composer
(other tracks by/in collaboration with Hogari Hisaaki)
|Ōban Star-Racers||2006||Composer for Opening and Ending theme songs|
|Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society||2006||Composer|
|Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha||2007||Composer|
|Genius Party||2007||Composer for "Baby Blue"|
|Genesis of Aquarion||2007||Composer|
|Ring of Gundam||2009||Composer|
|Code Geass Gaiden: Bōkoku no Akito||2012||Theme song composer|
|Sakamichi no Apollon||2012||Composer|
|Game Title||First Released||First System(s)||Kanno's Role(s)|
|Romance of the Three Kingdoms||1985||PC-8801, Sharp X1, FM-7||Composer|
|Nobunaga's Ambition Zenkokuban||1986||PC-8801, PC-9801, etc.||Composer|
|Genghis Khan||1987||PC-8801, PC-9801||Composer|
|Nobunaga's Ambition Sengoku Gunyūden||1988||PC-8801, PC-9801||Composer|
|Ishin No Arashi||1989||PC-9801||Composer|
|Uncharted Waters||1990||PC-8801, PC-9801||Composer|
|Nobunaga's Ambition Bushō Fuunroku||1990||PC-9801||Composer|
|Nobunaga's Ambition Haōden||1992||PC-9801||Composer|
|Uncharted Waters 2: New Horizons||1993||PC-9801||Composer|
|Nobunaga's Ambition Tenshōki||1994||PC-9801||Composer|
|Napple Tale: Arsia in Daydream||2000||Dreamcast||Composer|
|Cowboy Bebop: Tsuitou no Yakyoku||2005||PlayStation 2||Composer|
|Ragnarok Online 2||2007||MS Windows||Composer|
|Ragnarok Online 2: Legend of the Second||2012||MS Windows||Composer|
|Continent of the Ninth||2011||MS Windows||Theme song Composer|
|Film Title||Year||Kanno's Role(s)|
|Boku wa benkyo ga dekinai (I Can't Study)||1996||Composer|
|Natsu jikan no otonatachi||1997||Composer|
|Mizu no onna||2002||Composer|
|Shimotsuma monogatari (Kamikaze Girls)||2004||Composer|
|Ashurajo No Hitomi (Blood Gets in Your Eyes)||2005||Composer|
|Honey and Clover||2006||Composer|
|Elegant World (The Show Must Go On)||2007||Composer|
|TV Show||Year||Kanno's Role(s)|
|Yo ni mo Kimyou na Monogatari – Mama Shinhatsubai||2001||Composer|
|Mayonaka Betsu no Kao (The Other Side of Midnight)||2002||Composer|
|X'smap~Tora to Raion to Gojin no Otoko~||2004||Composer|
|Chichi ni Kanaderu Merodi||2006||Composer|
|Kaze ni Mai Agaru Vinyl Sheet||2009||Composer|
Works for associated acts
|Tetsu 100%||Tokyo Taco Blues||1986||Composer for one track|
|Tetsu 100%||1987||Composer for four tracks|
|Ato3cm||1987||Composer for five tracks|
|Jack in the Box||1988||Composer for three tracks|
|Manatsu no Santa Claus||1988||Composer for one track|
|Sunao||1989||Composition credited to band|
|Samply Red||Perfect Rouge||1996||Composition credited to band|
|Ah-ra ii Kimochi||1996||Composition credited to band|
|(with Riyu Konaka) Kiseki to Taitsuku||1996||Composition credited to band|
|Happy Go Lucky OST||1997||Composer for 8 tracks|
|Kemeko no Uta (Happy Go Lucky)||1997||Arrangement credited to band|
|It's for my Ego||1997||Composition credited to band|
|Perfect Rouge I, II, III||2002||Composition credited to band|
Works for pop albums
(In Order of Starting Year of Affiliation)
|Chiyono Yoshino||Montage||1988||Composer for two tracks|
|Song Bird||1989||Composer for three tracks,
arranger for two tracks
|Melanger||1990||Composer for one track,
performer on two tracks
|Keiko Nakajima||Keiko Nakajima||1990||Composer for all tracks|
|Kyoko Endo||Renai||1990||Arranger for seven tracks|
|Kobitori ni Naritai||1993||Arranger for all tracks|
|Fuyu no Miwa||1993||Arranger for all tracks|
|Hashire Hashire||1999||Arranger for two tracks|
|Aki Okui||Lost Melodies||1994||Arranger for two tracks|
|Straw Color||1997||Arranger for one track|
|Tsuki no Mayu||2000||Composer for all tracks|
|Hitomi Mieno||Hajimari no Boukenshya-tachi
~Hikari no Chizu~
|1995||Composer for two tracks|
|Miki Imai||Love of my Life||1995||Arranger for four tracks|
|Thank You||1996||Arranger for four tracks|
|IMAI.MIKI from 1986||1998||Arranger for one track|
|Blooming Ivory||2000||Arranger for one track|
|Yuri Shiratori||Atarashii Kutsu||1995||Composer for two tracks,
Lyricist for one track
|Caramel Pop||1995||Composer and lyricist for two tracks|
|Kyoko Koizumi||Otokonoko, Onnanoko||1996||Composer for eight tracks,
arranger for all tracks except 9 by Samply Red
|For my Life(Single)||1999||Composer for two tracks|
|Maaya Sakamoto||Grapefruit||1997||Composer for all tracks|
|DIVE||1998||Composer for all tracks|
|Single Collection+ Hotchpotch||1999||Composer for all tracks|
|Lucy||2001||Composer for all tracks|
|Easy Listening||2001||Composer for all tracks|
|Single Collection+ Nikopachi||2003||Composer for all tracks|
|Shōnen Alice||2003||Composer for all tracks|
|Kazeyomi||2009||Composer for two tracks|
|You Can't Catch Me||2011||Composer for one track|
|Akino Arai||Sora No Mori||1997||Composer for five tracks|
|Sora No Miwa||1997||Composer for two tracks|
|Hiru No Tsuki||1998||Arranger for two tracks|
|RGB||2002||Composer for one track|
|Yasui Inoue||Kyuu Dan||1998||Composer for one track|
|Crystal Kay||Eternal Memories||1999||Composer for two tracks|
|Komichi no Hana||1999||Composer for one track|
|C.C.L Crystal Lover Light||2000||Composer for one track,
Arranger for one track
|Kei Kobayashi||Nagashime Play||2003||Composer for all tracks|
|SMAP||Say What You Will||2005||Composer for two tracks|
|super.modern.artistic.performance||2008||Composer for one track|
|Yukawa Shione||Yuki No Waltz||2007||Composer for one track|
|AKINO from bless4||Lost in Time||2007||Composer for all tracks|
|Hajime Chitose||Cassini||2008||Composer for one track|
|Origa||The Songwreath||2008||Composer for one track|
|YOSHIKA||The World||2008||Composer for one track|
|May'n||May'n☆Street||2009||Composer for two tracks|
|Natsumi Kiyoura||Juuku Iro||2010||Composer for one track|
|Megumi Nakajima||Be with You||2012||Composer for one track|
This is a list of companies that have commissioned Kanno for commercial music.
- "TETSU100% PROFILE". TETSU100%. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Production IG Interview with Yoko Kanno for Ghost in the Shell: SAC". Productionig.com. March 20, 1966. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- "Production I.G [WORK LIST[Details]]". Productionig.com. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- "Interview with Kanno Yoko". Ex.org. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- "Interview with Kanno Yoko". Ex.org. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- "Pokkarishita Translation Project". Cybird.fr. May 1, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- "Grand Funk Inc. Official Website". Grandfunk.net. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- Yoko Kanno Japanese site
- Yoko Kanno at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Yoko Kanno at the Internet Movie Database
- Nippop Profile |Yoko Kanno
- Yoko Kanno discography at MusicBrainz
- Jmusic.fr.tc biography and discography (French)
- Yoko Kanno Project