Laura Shigihara is an American singer-songwriter, video game developer, and composer for video games, best known as the lead composer and sound designer for the tower defense game Plants vs. Zombies.
Shigihara, whose mother is French-American and father is Japanese, grew up in both the United States and Japan. She was classically trained on the piano for 11 years, and taught herself guitar and drums. During college, she was given an old version of Cakewalk which she used to start learning about mixing, arranging, and production by recreating old video game soundtracks and composing her own songs. After a friend leaked her original material to record companies in Japan, Shigihara was offered record contracts as a singer there, but ended up turning them down for personal reasons.
Shortly after returning to the US, Shigihara took a job as the sound director for a company that produced an audio talk show and English learning materials through Apple Japan. She also released a studio album and composed her first video game soundtrack for a small casual game called Wobbly Bobbly. She was so excited to be working on a video game that she told them she’d work for free. The company liked her work and paid her to create music for several subsequent projects. From there she built up her portfolio and has worked on over 25 published titles including Plants vs. Zombies, Ghost Harvest, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, and the indie RPG To the Moon. In her spare time, she has also been developing a music-based role playing game called Melolune, and has recently participated in Akira Yamaoka's charity album Play for Japan where she contributed an original song called "Jump", alongside other composers like Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda. On 16 November 2011, she released her single “Cube Land” in relation to Minecraft and Plants vs. Zombies.
Shigihara's works include:
- "Cube Land" (Minecraft)
- To the Moon original soundtrack (Freebird Games) with Kan Gao
- "From the Ground Up" (Minecraft)
- "Celestial Beings" (Celestial Mechanica)
- Plants vs. Zombies: The Soundtrack (Plants vs. Zombies)
- "Blood Elf Druids" (World of Warcraft)
- Melolune: The Original Soundtrack Part 1 (Melolune, an original game made by Shigihara using the RPG Maker XP engine)
- "My Blue Dream"
- "Everything's Alright" (To the Moon)
- Featured on C418's "Tsuki no Koibumi" (from One)
- Featured on C418's "Tsuki no Koibumi 2" (from 148)
- "First Day" (High School Story)
- "Aether C" (The Basement Collection)
- "Kami Kabuto Hero" (Rakuen Original Soundtrack)
- "Wish My Life Away" (Finding Paradise)
- "VGM « mybluedream". Shigi.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- arcticpenguin (2009-05-05). "Interview with Laura Shigihara- Composer for Plants vs. Zombies". Play as Life. Archived from the original on 2012-07-21. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- Poisso, Lisa (2010-11-10). "15 Minutes of Fame: Laura Shigihara, voice of WoW's Singing Sunflower". Wow.joystiq.com. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- "The Weblog Music: Melolune Original Soundtrack Part One (Laura Shigihara)". IndieGames.com. 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- "The Album | Artists | Play For Japan – A Game Industry Relief Effort". Play For Japan. Archived from the original on 2013-04-13. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- "News - Interview: Yamaoka, Shigihara, And Jackson Play For Japan". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- ""Cube Land" - A Minecraft Music Video - An Original Song by Laura Shigihara (PvZ Composer)". YouTube. 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- "Laura Shigihara". Laurashigihara.bandcamp.com. 2012-11-22. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- ""one" by C418".
- ""148" by C418".
- ""Kami Kabuto Hero on Rakuen OS"".