Akira Yamaoka

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Akira Yamaoka
山岡 晃
Yamaoka in 2010
Yamaoka in 2010
Background information
Born (1968-02-06) February 6, 1968 (age 54)
Niigata, Japan
Occupation(s)
Years active1991–present
Spouse(s)Tamu Murata
Websiteakirayamaoka.jp

Akira Yamaoka (山岡 晃, Yamaoka Akira, born February 6, 1968) is a Japanese composer and music producer. He is best known for composing music for several video games in the Silent Hill series by Konami, among other games. Yamaoka also worked as a producer on the series, as well as composing for the Silent Hill film and its sequel. Since 2010, he has been the sound director at Grasshopper Manufacture.

Early life[edit]

Yamaoka attended Tokyo Art College,[1] where he studied product design and interior design. He originally planned to follow a career in design.[2]

Career[edit]

Yamaoka joined Konami on September 21, 1993.[3] He immediately began to work on the games Contra: Hard Corps, Sparkster, and Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2. Shortly thereafter, he 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.[1] Although initially hired as a composer, he soon became involved in overall sound design.[4]

On December 2, 2009, it was announced that Yamaoka was leaving his long term employer Konami.[5] 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.[6] He was first appointed to the role of chief sound officer at Grasshopper, but became involved in aspects of game production as well.[7]

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."[8] 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.[9] In 2014, he expressed interest in returning as a composer for Silent Hills, although the project was later cancelled.[4]

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".[10][11] In July 2016, Yamaoka performed live at the BitSummit 4th indie game festival in Kyoto, Japan.[12]

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.[1]

Yamaoka stated in a 2009 interview that his favorite game creator is Suda51 and his favorite video game is No More Heroes.[13] His favorite of his own soundtracks is Silent Hill 2.[14] In March 2011, Yamaoka auctioned some of his musical instruments for the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami Play for Japan flood relief.[14] In a 2014 interview, he stated his favorite film was Dario Argento's Suspiria.[15] He is married to Ai "Tamu' Murata who is the drummer of the heavy metal band Nemophila (band). They Have two daughters [16]

Artistry[edit]

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."[8] Among his other influences are Angelo Badalamenti (best known for his soundtrack work with David Lynch), Massive Attack,[17] Metallica and Depeche Mode.[1]

When asked if his studies at Tokyo Art College had helped him in his musical career, he replied:[1] "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]

Works[edit]

Video games[edit]

Year Title Notes
1991 Smart Ball with Yasuhiko Fukuda and Manabu Saito
1994 Contra: Hard Corps with several others
Sparkster with several others
Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 with Michiru Yamane
Snatcher sound programming
1996 Gradius Deluxe Pack with Miki Higashino, Kiyohiko Yamane, and Motoaki Furukawa
Ganbare Goemon: Uchū Kaizoku Akogingu with several others
Speed King PlayStation version
Lightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken "Spring's Undersea Walking Hurricane (Rankerk Hatred)"
1997 International Superstar Soccer Pro 98 with several others
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
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[19]
2002 Contra: Shattered Soldier with Sota Fujimori
2003 Silent Hill 3[20]
2004 Rumble Roses with several others
Silent Hill 4: The Room[21]
2006 Rumble Roses XX with several others
2007 Silent Hill: Origins[22]
2008 Silent Hill: Homecoming
2009 Silent Hill: Shattered Memories[23]
2010 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle with several others
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 guitarist 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" remix
2016 Puzzle & Dragons X[24] with Kenji Ito, Yuzo Koshiro, and Keigo Ozaki
The Silver Case[25] arrangements, "WHITEOUT"
Let It Die music director
2017 Astro Boy: Edge of Time[26]
World of Tanks "Battle in Japan" with Andrius Klimka[27]
2018 The 25th Ward: The Silver Case[28] with Baiyon, Erika Ito, and Masafumi Takada
2020 Dead by Daylight Chapter XVI: Silent Hill[29]
Ninjala with several others
World of Tanks "Mirny-13 – Hangar Theme" with Aleksandr Khilko and Aleksey Vanchuk[30]
2021 The Medium with Arkadiusz Reikowski[31]
2022 Deathverse: Let It Die[32]
TBA Slitterhead[33]

Films[edit]

Year Title Notes
2006 Silent Hill executive producer
2011 Julia X "Julia's Wish"
2012 Silent Hill: Revelation with Jeff Danna
2014 Patema Inverted sound director
2017 Kuso[34] with Flying Lotus, Aphex Twin, Thundercat, and various others

Other[edit]

Year Title Notes
2006 iFuturelist
2011 Play for Japan: The Album with various others
Sdatcher
2012 Revolución[citation needed]
"Rinkaku (Eternal Slumber Mix)" by Dir En Grey[citation needed]
2014 "Sustain the Untruth (Remix)" by Dir En Grey[citation needed]
2022 Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Anime series based on Cyberpunk 2077[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Interview with Akira Yamaoka". spelmusik.net. July 2002. Archived from the original on June 29, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2007.
  2. ^ "Interview with Akira Yamaoka (Spelmusik.net) – Silent Hill Memories".
  3. ^ "Akira Yamaoka – Sound Director". Anony.ws. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Interview: Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka". October 29, 2015.
  5. ^ Remo, Chris (December 2, 2009). "Report: Silent Hill Composer Yamaoka Leaves Konami". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on December 4, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2009.
  6. ^ "Silent Hill composer Yamaoka joins Suda 51's 'video game band'". Archived from the original on February 5, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
  7. ^ "Surprises in Store: Akira Yamaoka's New Direction".
  8. ^ a b "AKIRA YAMAOKA – Interview in Spain at Play Fest".
  9. ^ "AKIRA YAMAOKA – New Single Premieres at V-CON". Facebook.
  10. ^ Priestman, Chris. "Silent Hill Composer To Perform The Soundtracks Live This Halloween". Siliconera. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  11. ^ Blake, Vikki (September 23, 2015). "New Dates Confirmed for Silent Hill's Akira Yamaoka UK Tour". IGN. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  12. ^ Greening, Chris (June 26, 2016). "Akira Yamaoka headlines BitSummit 4th lineup". Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  13. ^ Nintendo Power, Volume 248
  14. ^ a b "Akira Yamaoka (Person)". Giant Bomb. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 20, 2015. Retrieved November 22, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ https://twitter.com/tamu_murata_dr/status/1556459627671212032. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ thegamingmuse. "The History of Team Silent & Creation of the Silent Hill Series". Youtube. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  18. ^ Wahlgren, Jon (July 9, 2010). "Playlist: Grasshopper Manufacture's Akira Yamaoka". Nintendo Life. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  19. ^ "Akira Yamaoka "Would Love" to Return to Silent Hill". November 5, 2020.
  20. ^ "Akira Yamaoka "Would Love" to Return to Silent Hill". November 5, 2020.
  21. ^ "Akira Yamaoka "Would Love" to Return to Silent Hill". November 5, 2020.
  22. ^ "Silent Hill: Origins – Akira Yamaoka | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic.
  23. ^ "Interview: Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka". October 29, 2015.
  24. ^ Greening, Chris (January 5, 2017). "Ito, Koshiro, Yamaoka join forces for latest Puzzle & Dragons soundtrack". Video Game Music Online. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  25. ^ Greening, Chris (September 17, 2016). "Akira Yamaoka's latest soundtrack to release next month". Video Game Music Online. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  26. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Akira Yamaoka scores the new Astro Boy Card Battler". originalsoundversion.com. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  27. ^ Fuller, Garrett (October 19, 2017). "Interview with World of Tanks Composer Akira Yamaoka". mmorpg.com. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  28. ^ "The 25th Ward: The Silver Case – Coming 2018". nisamerica.com.
  29. ^ McWhertor, Michael (May 26, 2020). "Silent Hill's Pyramid Head comes to Dead by Daylight". Polygon. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  30. ^ "Official soundtrack published to YouTube". youtube.com. October 23, 2020. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  31. ^ Takahashi, Dean (May 7, 2020). "The Medium is a next-gen psychological horror game from Blair Witch maker Bloober". GamesBeat. Archived from the original on May 8, 2020. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  32. ^ Romano, Sal (April 27, 2022). "Deathverse: Let It Die second developer diary features composer Akira Yamaoka". Gematsu. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  33. ^ Lada, Jenni (December 10, 2021). "Bokeh Game Studio's Slitterhead Features Akira Yamaoka Music". Siliconera. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  34. ^ Bein, Kat. "Help Flying Lotus Make His First Movie 'Kuso'". Billboard. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  35. ^ Skrebels, Joe (June 25, 2020). "Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, a Cyberpunk 2077 Anime Announced". IGN. Retrieved June 25, 2020.

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