Akira Yamaoka

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Akira Yamaoka
Akira Yamaoka - Game Developers Conference 2010 - Day 3 (3).jpg
Akira Yamaoka at the Game Developers Conference in 2010
Background information
Native name 山岡 晃
Born (1968-02-06) February 6, 1968 (age 47)
Niigata, Japan
  • Composer
  • guitarist
  • sound designer
  • game producer
Instruments Electric guitar
Years active 1991–present

Akira Yamaoka (山岡 晃 Yamaoka Akira?, born February 6, 1968) is a Japanese video game composer, sound designer, guitarist, and producer, who is best known for composing the music in the Silent Hill series by Konami. He also 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]


Early life[edit]

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


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 will be working with Goichi Suda and Shinji Mikami on their action game, Shadows of the Damned, in partnership with Electronic Arts.[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 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.[12]

During Halloween 2015, Yamaoka and his band performed tracks from the Silent Hill series at a live event, titled "Silent Hill Live", in the United Kingdom.[13]

Personal life[edit]

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 Suda 51, and his favorite video game is No More Heroes.[14] His favorite of his own soundtracks is Silent Hill 2.[15] In March 2011, Yamaoka auctioned some of his musical instruments for the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami Play for Japan flood relief.[15] In a 2014 interview, he said that Suspiria was his favorite film.[16]

Musical style and influences[edit]

When asked what other artists influenced his work, Yamaoka cited Trent Reznor 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 has 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.[17]



External links[edit]