Akira Yamaoka at the Game Developers Conference in 2010
February 6, 1968 |
|Genres||Alternative rock, hard rock, ambient, dark ambient, industrial, trip hop|
|Occupation(s)||Composer, sound designer, sound director, video game producer|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass, keyboards, drums|
Akira Yamaoka (山岡 晃 Yamaoka Akira?, born February 6, 1968) is a Japanese video game composer, sound designer, sound director, and video game producer who worked for Konami from 1993 until his resignation in 2009. He is best known for creating the music in the Silent Hill series; he also worked as a sound director and producer on the series as well as serving as a composer and producer of the Silent Hill feature-length film and its sequel.
Yamaoka joined Konami on September 21, 1993. 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.
On December 2, 2009, it was announced that Yamaoka was leaving his long term employer Konami. 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. He was first appointed to the role of chief sound officer at Grasshopper but became involved in aspects of game production as well.
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." 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. In 2014, he expressed interest in returning as a composer for Silent Hills, although the project was later canceled.
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.
Yamaoka stated in a 2009 interview that his favorite game creator is Suda 51, and his favorite video game is No More Heroes. His favorite of his own soundtracks is Silent Hill 2. In March 2011, Yamaoka auctioned some of his musical instruments for the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami Play for Japan flood relief.
Musical style and influences
When asked what other artists influenced his work, Yamaoka cited Trent Reznor as his "main inspiration, both performing and in music style." Among his other influences are Angelo Badalamenti (best known for his soundtrack work with David Lynch), Metallica and Depeche Mode.
When asked if his studies at Tokyo Art College had helped him in his musical career, he replied: "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.
- Smart Ball (1991) – with Yasuhiko Fukuda and Manabu Saito
- Contra: Hard Corps (1994) – with Hiroshi Kobayashi, Michiru Yamane, Hirofumi Taniguchi and Aki Hata
- Sparkster (1994) – with Kazuhiko Uehara, Masahiro Ikariko, Minako Matsuhira, and Michiru Yamane
- Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 (1994) – with Michiru Yamane
- Snatcher (1994) (sound programming only) with Keizou Nakamura, Masanori Adachi, Kazuhito Imai, Masanori Oouchi
- Gradius Deluxe Pack (1996) – with Miki Higashino, Kiyohiko Yamane, and Motoaki Furukawa
- Ganbare Goemon: Uchū Kaizoku Akogingu (1996) – with Michiru Yamane, Takayuki Fujii, Motoaki Furukawa, Tappi Iwase, Latino, Hiroshi Tamawari, and Shoichiro Hirata
- Speed King (1996) (PlayStation version)
- Lightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken (1996) – one song only
- International Superstar Soccer Pro (1997)
- Nagano Winter Olympics '98 (1998) – with Soshiro Hokkai and Keiko Fukami
- Poy Poy 2 (1998)
- Kensei: Sacred Fist (1998) – with Kyoran Suzuki and Norikazu Miura
- International Superstar Soccer Pro 98 (1998) – with Shinji Enomoto, Kosuke Soeda, Nobuhiko Matsufuji, and Hideki Kasai
- Silent Hill (1999)
- ISS Pro Evolution (1999) – with Shinji Enomoto, Kosuke Soeda, and Hideki Kasai
- Gradius III and IV (2000)
- ESPN MLS GameNight (2000) – with Shinji Enomoto, Kosuke Soeda, and Hideki Kasai
- Silent Hill 2 (2001)
- Contra: Shattered Soldier (2002) – with Sota Fujimori
- Silent Hill 3 (2003)
- Rumble Roses (2004) – with many others
- Silent Hill 4: The Room (2004)
- iFuturelist (2006)
- Silent Hill (2006) – executive producer
- Rumble Roses XX (2006) – with many others
- Silent Hill: Origins (2007)
- Silent Hill Homecoming (2008)
- Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (2009)
- No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (2010) – with Masafumi Takada and Jun Fukuda
- Play for Japan: The Album (2011) – with many others
- Shadows of the Damned (2011)
- Rebuild of Evangelion: Sound Impact (2011) – arrangement
- SDATCHER (2011)
- Sine Mora (2012)
- Liberation Maiden (2012) – sound producer
- Lollipop Chainsaw (2012) – music director
- Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (2012) – with Jeff Danna
- Revolución (2012)
- Black Knight Sword (2012)
- Rotolla (2013)
- Killer Is Dead (2013) – music director
- Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day (2014)
- Murasaki Baby (2014) – ending song only, "Neeko"
- Persona 4: Dancing All Night (2015) – remixes
- Rime (TBA) – with David Garcia
- "A New Silent Hill on the Way From Konami".
- "Director's Blog - Silent Hill 2 Composer".
- "Interview with Akira Yamaoka". spelmusik.net. July 2002. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
- "Akira Yamaoka - Sound Director". Anony.ws. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
- 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.
- "Silent Hill composer Yamaoka joins Suda 51's 'video game band'".
- "AKIRA YAMAOKA - Interview in Spain at Play Fest".
- "AKIRA YAMAOKA - New Single Premieres at V-CON".
- Nintendo Power, Volume 248
- "Akira Yamaoka (Person)". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2014-08-21.
- Wahlgren, Jon. "Playlist: Grasshopper Manufacture's Akira Yamaoka". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Akira Yamaoka.|
- iFUTURELIST (Japanese)
- Akira Yamaoka - Official Blog (Japanese)
- Akira Yamaoka Archives (Japanese)
- Akira Yamaoka and his Silent Hill band first US Live Show