Lady Lord Naotora

It was announced on November 16, 2016 that Yoko Kanno will be in charge of the score of the NHK 2017’s 56th Taiga drama: おんな城主 直虎 / Onna Joushu Naotora / Lady Lord Naotora.

November 19 update: They finally announced a new album on November 1st! Over 73 minutes of emotions!

おんな城主 直虎 | 音楽虎の巻 | サントラ
Onna joushu Naotora | Ongaku Tora no Maki | SANTORA
Lady Lord Naotora | The Scroll of the Music Tiger | Santora
(SAN = 3, TORA = Tiger, SANTORA = Soundtrack)
Release date: 2017-11-22
Total length: 73:15
Buy on Amazon Japan
Tracklist on VGMdb

August 22 update: A new mini-soundtrack was announced 3 days before its physical release and a few hours before its digital release. It’s dedicated to Ono Masatsugu’s character and features absolutely mindblowing tracks! Naotora’s music is getting better and better with each episode, it’s like the soundtrack is growing with the main character! And there are still 16 episodes left!

おんな城主 直虎 | 緊急得盤 | 鶴のうた
Onna joushu Naotora | Kinkyū Tokuban | Tsuru no Uta
Lady Lord Naotora | Urgent Special Disc | Tsuru’s Songs

Release date: 2017-08-23 (digital release on 2017-08-21)
Total length: 46:32
Buy on Amazon Japan
Tracklist on VGMdb

March 16 update: The second O.S.T. was unveiled on several Japanese shopping websites:

おんな城主 直虎 | 音楽虎の巻 | ニィトラ
Onna joushu Naotora | Ongaku Tora no Maki | NITORA
Lady Lord Naotora | The Scroll of the Music Tiger | Nitora
(NI = 2, TORA = Tiger = “TRA”in “soundTRAck”)
Release date: 2017-04-05
Total length: 72:32
Buy on Amazon Japan
Tracklist on VGMdb

NHK Taiga Dramas are annual, year-long historical fiction television dramas comprising of 50 episodes of 45 minutes except the pilot that lasts 1 hour. It will start airing on January 8, 2017 at 8pm on NHK.

This is the first time Yoko Kanno is in charge of a NHK Taiga drama.

There’s a 3 minutes trailer on the official website.

International artists were gathered to perform the main theme, featuring an unprecedentedly exceptional collaboration between Paavo Järvi who conducted the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Lang Lang, and the violinist Midori Gotō who’s representing Japan in the “Taiga drama traveler’s journal” corner program. The song production was completed on November 16, there was a press conference with Paavo Jarvi who conducted the NHK Symphony Orchestra and Lang Lang who performed the piano. A picture with Yoko Kanno was also shared on the NHK Symphonic Orchestra Twitter account:

“The song has lyrism that reminds me of French impressionists. I hope you’ll enjoy this collaboration between Lang Lang and the NHK Symphony Orchestra” commented Paavo Järvi.

A first soundtrack will be released on January 11!
Drama music tracks are often short but this time there are only 20 tracks. Track 1 is the opening version (TV version) of the main theme while the four last tracks are a 14 minutes long symphonic piece.

おんな城主 直虎 | 音楽虎の巻 | イチトラ
Onna joushu Naotora | Ongaku Tora no Maki | ICHITORA
Lady Lord Naotora | The Scroll of the Music Tiger | Ichitora
(ICHI = 1, TORA = Tiger = “TRA”in “soundTRAck”)
Release date: 2017-01-11
Total length: 68:58
Buy on Amazon Japan
Tracklist on VGMdb

Sources

Tanasonic, Yoko Kanno biggest concert

Tanabata is the Japanese star festival happening every year on July 7. For some reason Yoko Kanno chose this date in 2009 to celebrate her anime composer 15th anniversary. All the promotion and the event itself was around the number seven: the date, the ticket price, the start hour… And now let me share with you the notes I took back then 7 years ago!

Tanasonic, aka the Super Dimensional Tanabata Sonic (超時空七夕ソニック), happened on July 7, 2009, in Saitama, 1 hour north of Tokyo. It took place in Saitama Super Arena and was a mindblowing 3 hours long concert hosted by Yoko Kanno, along with the Seatbelts, Maaya Sakamoto, Origa, Yamane Mai, Steve Conte, Scott Matthew, May’n, Megumi Nakajima, the choir Gey’s Ax and the full Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. Did you get why “Super Dimensional” now? Continue reading Tanasonic, Yoko Kanno biggest concert

Words or music is the same when expressing something

The CPRA (Center for Performers’ Rights Administration) published an interview in October 2011. I actually wrote a very incomplete translation in 2011 and I found it back recently so I thought it was time to complete it! (lol)

That was 6 months after the big earthquake that ravaged Japan’s Miyagi prefecture on March 11, and Yoko Kanno had just written Flowers Will Bloom, a song for a NHK charity project that has become very popular since then.

PLAZA INTERVIEW – vol.034
Words or music is the same when expressing something

Initially published on October 4, 2011 Continue reading Words or music is the same when expressing something

Japanese History Simulation Games

While she was still a student, and before she joined the band Tetsu 100%, Yoko Kanno happened to be in charge of several KOEI Japanese history simulation games that became pretty popular.

She was merely 20 or 21 years old back then, and that’s probably the first soundtracks she composed. She worked on 9 games from 4 game series:

  • Blue Wolves And White Does: 2nd game
  • Nobunaga’s Ambition: 2nd to 6th games (the first game didn’t have any music)
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms: 1st game
  • Uncharted Waters: 1st and 2nd games

Continue reading Japanese History Simulation Games

Origa, the Electric Diva

To us Yoko Kanno fans, Origa was an amazing singer who performed the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex openings with her stunning electro-lyrical voice. One year after her passing, I think she deserves a special post because she was way more than just a gifted singer, and of course we'll talk about her collaborations with Yoko.

Life and carreer

Origa, from her true name Olga Yakovleva,  was born on October 12, 1970, near Novosibirsk in Russia. She started studying music when she was 5 and she wrote a song she performed on TV when she was 11. Music seems to have always been a important part of her life.

Continue reading Origa, the Electric Diva

For the fans, by the fans