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Yuki Kajiura (梶浦由記 Kajiura Yuki?), born August 6, 1965 in Tokyo, Japan, is a Japanese composer and music producer. She has provided the music for several popular anime series, such as Madlax, Noir, .hack//SIGN, .hack//Roots, Aquarian Age, My-HiME, Pandora Hearts, My-Otome, Tsubasa Chronicle, and one of the Kimagure Orange Road movies (amongst others). She also assisted Toshihiko Sahashi with Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Kajiura has also composed for the Xenosaga video game series, namely the cutscene music for Xenosaga II and the entire Xenosaga III game soundtrack. She currently resides in Tokyo.

Biography

Due to her father's work, Kajiura lived in West Germany since 1972 and until her middle school years. Her first music piece, which she had written at the age of 7, was a farewell song for her grandmother.[1] After graduating from college (back in Tokyo), she began working as a systems engineering programmer, but in 1992, she turned her career around to focus on her activities on music. She admits that it was her father who greatly influenced this decision, for he was a great opera and classical music admirer.[2]

In July 1992, she made her debut in an all-female trio See-Saw, then consisting of Chiaki Ishikawa (lead vocals), herself (back-up vocals, keyboards), and Yukiko Nishioka. In the following two years, the group released six singles and two albums but in 1995 they temporarily broke up. Nishioka decided to become a writer while Kajiura carried on with her solo musician career, composing music for other artists as well as sound producing for TV, commercials, films, anime and games.

In 2001, she and Chiaki Ishikawa reunited as See-Saw. Around the same time she became involved with Koichi Mashimo's anime studio Bee Train and their first widely popular project, Noir. Despite the series' controversial status among the reviewers, all critics generally praised its OST[citation needed] as a breakthrough in the anime music scene for its risky but highly successful mix of synth, opera, and French-flaired sound.

Kajiura greatly enjoyed the degree of artistic freedom that Mashimo as the series' director offered her while collaborating on Noir, therefore their collaboration extended to many of his later projects, with the latest (as of 2007) being El Cazador de la Bruja. For example, Mashimo would never set any distinctive limitations or goals before her, allowing her to compose whatever she pleases. Afterwards, he would just take the samples he thought appropriate and insert it to whenever he wanted them to play.

In 2002, See-Saw participated in another Mashimo's project, .hack//SIGN, which became widely known for its TV and game combined development, and its soundtrack sold over 300,000 copies.[citation needed] During the production of the series, Kajiura met Emily Bindiger and impressed by her vocals, offered her to perform over 10 of the series' insert songs. She has also jokingly called Bindiger "her English teacher" on Anime Expo 2003.[3]

One of See-Saw's further major hits was the ending theme song for Mobile Suit Gundam SEED ("Anna ni Issho Datta no ni"), which sold over 200,000 copies causing a sensation in the anime world.[citation needed] Dream Field, See-Saw's first original album release in nine years, became a hit, as well, in 2003, selling over 100,000 copies.[citation needed] In the same year, Kajiura released her first solo album, Fiction, which she performed and promoted at Anime Expo 2003 in Anaheim, California.

One of Kajiura's solo projects include FictionJunction, which contrary to common belief is not an alias but the name of the project itself.[citation needed] The project involves collaboration with artists such as Yuuka Nanri, Asuka Kato, and Kaori Oda. FictionJunction Yuuka, with Nanri as the vocalist, is the most prolific of these collaborations. In 2004, the duo produced the opening and ending songs for Koichi Mashimo's MADLAX and in the next year, published their first collaborative album, Destination.

In October 2007, it was announced that Yuki Kajiura would be attending the performances of the Eminence Orchestra's concert, 'A Night In Fantasia 2007 - Symphonic Anime Edition', as a special guest.[4]

Her latest project, Kalafina is composed of Keiko Kubota (FictionJunction KEIKO), Wakana Ootaki (FictionJunction WAKANA) and two other vocalists named Hikaru and Maya. They performed the ending themes of the Kara no Kyoukai movies.

In 2009, Fiction Junction returned to perform the opening themesong to Pandora Hearts, Parallel Hearts, with the majority of the show's music composed by Yuki Kajiura.

Discography

Anime soundtracks

Anime Title Year of Release Director
Kimagure Orange Road 1996 Osamu Kobayashi
Eat-Man 1997 Koichi Mashimo
Noir 2001 Koichi Mashimo
Aquarian Age 2002 Yoshimitsu Ohashi
.hack//SIGN 2002 Koichi Mashimo
.hack//Liminality 2002 Koichi Mashimo
Le Portrait de Petit Cossette 2004 Akiyuki Shinbo
Madlax 2004 Koichi Mashimo
My-HiME 2004 Masakazu Obara
My-Otome 2005 Masakazu Obara
Tsubasa Chronicle[5] 2005 Koichi Mashimo
Elemental Gelade 2005 Shigeru Ueda
My-Otome Zwei 2006 Masakazu Obara
Fist of the North Star True Saviour Legend 2007 Toyoo Ashida
El Cazador de la Bruja 2007 Koichi Mashimo
Tsubasa TOKYO REVELATIONS 2007-2008 Shunsuke Tada
Tsubasa Shunraiki 2009 Shunsuke Tada
Pandora Hearts 2009 Takao Kato
Puella Magi Madoka Magica 2011 Akiyuki Shibo

Game soundtracks

Game Title Game Platform Year of Release Company
Double Cast
ダブルキャスト (Daburukyasuto)
PlayStation 1998 Sony Computer Entertainment
Meguri-aishite
めぐり愛して (Meguriaishite)
PlayStation 1999 SME
Blood: The Last Vampire PlayStation 2 2000 Sony Computer Entertainment
Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse (Movie scenes) PlayStation 2 2004 Namco
Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra PlayStation 2 2006 Namco

Movie soundtracks

Movie Title Year of Release Director
Tokyo-Kyodai 1995 Jun Ichikawa
RUBY FRUIT 1995 Takumi Kimiduka
Rainbow 1999 Naoto Kumazawa
Boogiepop and others 2000 Ryu Kaneda
MOON 2000 Takumi Kimiduka
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Movie: Princess in Birdcage Kingdom 2005 Itsuro Kawasaki
Kara no Kyoukai movies 2007-2009 Ei Aoki, Takuya Nonaka & Mitsuru Oburai
Achilles and the Tortoise 2008 Takeshi Kitano

Musicals

Musical Title Year of Release
Sakura-Wars 1998
Fine 1998
FUNK-a-STEP 1998
FUNK-a-STEP II 1999
Christmas Juliette 1999-2000
High-School Revolution 2000
Christmas Juliette 2000
Shooting-Star Lullaby 2001
Love's Labour's Lost/SET 2002
Angel Gate 2006

Solo albums

Album Title Year of Release
Fiction 2003

Produced albums

Album Title Artist Year of Release
I have a dream See-Saw 1993
See-Saw See-Saw 1994
Early Best See-Saw 2003
Dream Field See-Saw 2003
melody Saeko Chiba 2003
everything Saeko Chiba 2004
Destination FictionJunction YUUKA 2004
Circus FictionJunction YUUKA 2007
Re/oblivious Kalafina 2008
Everlasting Songs FictionJunction 2009
Seventh Heaven Kalafina 2009
Red Moon Kalafina 2010

Other involvements

Genre Project Involvement Year
Anime Jura Tripper Ending Theme 1995
Anime Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Closing Theme & Insert Songs 2002
Anime Chrono Crusade Closing Theme Song (Sayonara Solitaire) 2003
Game .hack//QUARANTINE Song Yasashii Yoake(also used in .hack//SIGN) 2003
Anime The World of Narue Closing Theme 2003
Anime Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny Closing Theme & Insert Songs 2004
Anime .hack//Legend of the Twilight Closing Theme 2004
Anime Loveless Theme Song 2005
Anime Shōnen Onmyōji Opening Theme Song 2006
Anime Simoun Closing Theme Song 2006
Anime .hack//Roots Opening Theme Song 2006
Anime Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto Opening Theme Song 2006
Anime My-Otome Zwei Ending Themes Songs 2-3 2007
Anime Baccano! Ending Theme Song 2007
Anime Amatsuki Ending Theme Song 2008
TV Drama Negima (Live Action) Ending Theme Song 2008
Anime Kuroshitsuji Ending Theme Song 2008
Documentary Unknown Episodes of History - Historia Soundtrack[6] 2009
Anime So Ra No Wo To Opening Theme Song 2010
Anime Ōkami Kakushi Theme Song 2010
Anime Eve no Jikan Ending Theme Song 2010
Game Nobunaga's Ambition Theme Song 2010
Anime Kuroshitsuji II Insert Theme Song 2010
TV Drama 15 Sai no Shiganhei Music 2010
Game .hack//Link Previously written songs contributed: Edge, (from .hack//Liminality Volume 1: In the Case of Mai Minase) Obsession from .hack//SIGN and Silly-Go-Round. (from .hack//Roots) 2010

Hired vocalists


Trademarks

  • Genre mixes: It is not uncommon to hear operatic style with a pop beat to it. Kajiura's greatest inspiration, her father, was a classical fan; therefore her soundtracks have both pop and classic motifs. An example of this genre mix pop beat is the song Oblivious used in Kara no Kyoukai ending 1.
  • Piano: Elaborate self-performed piano solos.
  • European themes: Some of her music has European style. Some of her songs are written in German, Spanish or Italian.
  • Chants: It is not uncommon for Kajiura's songs to have a choir performing ominous chants (either as a supporting role or as the main driving force of the song) and some have dubbed this style 'Kajiuran'.[7] The Yamanii chants in the song nowhere that is featured in MADLAX is a good example of this. Other examples of Kajiuran are from the songs A Song of Storm and Fire (from Tsubasa Chronicle) and MATERIALISE (from My-Otome).
  • Bee Train: Frequently composes for Bee Train Productions, and works with Koichi Mashimo
  • Violin Solos: Very elaborate violin solos are heard often in the middle of her songs

Trivia

  • Kajiura does not have the pleasure of seeing the rough cut of the show she writes for.[citation needed] She is usually handed sketches of the characters, and what she and Koichi Mashimo have dubbed Music Menues,[8] so she is often confused when she writes.
  • Kajiura speaks limited English. This fact was demonstrated at the Anime Expo event when she was invited to perform her music. She was able to address the audience with simple but clear English. However on one occasion she called on her interpreter to explain some ideas that she could not express at will. She also briefly addressed the crowd at Anime Boston 2009 when introducing Kalafina to their first American audience.
  • Kajiura is also a huge fan of Radiohead and Bjork.

References

  1. RocketBaby's interview with Yuki Kajiura
  2. Yuki Kajiura's biography at the Internet Movie Database
  3. Report of Yuki Kajiura's concert at Anime Expo 2003
  4. IGN AU announces the date of ANIF 07 Symphonic Anime Edition concert
  5. Katoh, Hidekazu; Ban, Yukiko; Kojima, Makiko; Kamo, Ayumi. "TSUBASA – RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE". Newtype USA. 6 (5) pp. 26–33. May 2007. ISSN 1541-4817.
  6. NHK.or.jp
  7. Labyrinthos.org's description of the Xenosaga II Movie Scene Soundtrack
  8. Wong, Amos (March 2005). "Inside Bee Train". Newtype USA: 8–15.  Check date values in: |date= (help) Archive copy at the Wayback Machine (archived May 17, 2006).

External links

Template:Kalafina Template:Noir anime

ar:يوكي كاجيوراko:가지우라 유키

it:Yuki Kajiura ms:Yuki Kajiurapl:Yuki Kajiuraru:Кадзиура, Юки fi:Yuki Kajiura sv:Yuki Kajiura tl:Yuki Kajiura th:ยูกิ คะจิอุระ tr:Yuki Kajiura vi:Kajiura Yuki zh:梶浦由記

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