Acclaimed Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi, “The John Williams of Japan” (Pitchfork), will release his new album, Songs of Hope: The Essential Joe Hisaishi Vol. 2, on 20 August 2021. The first single from the album, ‘HANA-BI’ was released today.
Features Joe Hisaishi’s greatest hits from iconic films
Songs of Hope: The Essential Joe Hisaishi Vol. 2 follows the global success of Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi Vol. 1 and features more of the composer’s greatest hits from iconic award-winning films, including Spirited Away and Porco Rosso, orchestral works and solo piano recordings, plus two brand-new recordings: ‘Kids Return’ and ‘HANA-BI’. The 28 tracks were remastered by the composer himself.
Joe Hisaishi, “The most acclaimed Japanese composer to have ever worked in film” (Pitchfork), is one of Japan’s most beloved and prolific composers. He is best known for his work with Studio Ghibli animation director Hayao Miyazaki and has scored all but one of his films, including three of the top five highest-grossing anime films worldwide.
Joe Hisaishi was a student of legendary anime composer Takeo Watanabe. He has released nearly 100 film scores and solo albums during his career. His distinct sound draws influences from American minimal music compositions, experimental electronic music, and European and Japanese classical music.
Hisaishi explained that when he composes film music, “I make sure I fully understand the characters, story, and visuals before I start my work, and my writing method would change between live-action films and animations. For solo works, the themes reside in me.”
The legendary composer has won numerous awards for his achievements in composition and film scoring. He is eight-time winner of the Japanese Academy Award for Best Music; he was awarded the Japan Medal of Honour in 2009; and he has composed soundtracks for two Academy Award-winning films, Departures (2008) and Spirited Away (2002).
Songs of Hope: The Essential Joe Hisaishi Vol. 2 will be released on 20 August 2021 and can be pre-ordered here.