Isao Tomita

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Isao Tomita

Isao Tomita (in Japanese: 冨 田 勲, Tomita Isao), (Tokyo, April 22, 1932-Ibídem, May 5, 2016) renowned Japanese keyboardist and composer of electronic music.

Isao_Tomita’s Biography

Tomita was born in Tokyo and spent her early childhood with her father in China. After returning to Japan, he took private orchestration and composition classes while studying art history at the University of Keiō, Tokyo. He graduated in 1955 and became a full-time composer for television, film and theater. He composed the music for the Japanese Olympic gymnastic team of the 1956 Olympic Games in Australia.

In the late 1960s, he turned his attention to electronic music after listening to Walter Carlos albums in which Walter played classical music with a Moog synthesizer. Isao bought a Moog III synthesizer and started to assemble his domestic studio. He started arranging pieces by Claude Debussy for synthesizer and in 1974 he published the album Snowflakes are Dancing, becoming a worldwide success. His version of Arabesque # 1 was used as the main theme for the astronomy television series Jack Horkheimer’s Star Gazer (originally titled Star Hustler) broadcast on most open channels, as well as for the Venezuelan soap opera Valentina (1975) and, in addition, in Spain it was the music of head of the infantile program of the TVE the Imaginary Planet (1983). Also in 1974, Tomita composed the music for the Japanese film Last Days of Planet Earth. He frequently uses the Klangfarbenmelodie technique, using synthesized voices.

He continued publishing albums, of which the best known are his interesting arrangements of classics, such as Igor Stravinski’s The Firebird, Pictures from an exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky, and The Planets by Gustav Holst.

At the end of the nineties he composed a hybrid symphonic fantasy for orchestra and synthesizer entitled The Tale of Genji, inspired by the homonymous Japanese story. It was performed in concert by orchestras in Tokyo, Los Angeles and London. In 1999 a live recording of the concert was published on CD, followed by a studio version in 2000.

His score for synthesizer including acoustic solos “Tasogare Seibei” (“The Samurai of the Twilight”) won the prize of the Japanese Academy of 2003 for his outstanding achievements in music.

More Facts about Isao Tomita

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