[Concert Experience] Joe Hisaishi Symphonic Concert

My thoughts on the concert presented by Mr. Joe Hisaishi. Thanks so much for all of the management that went into making this possible. It was truly an experience to remember and be inspired by!

[Concert Experience-Joe Hisaishi Symphonic Concert]

May 27th, 2018. I will fondly remember of this day from now on. I didn’t know what to expect. Even though around the same time, there was a multitude of concerts for Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, I couldn’t bring myself to buy concert tickets, even though I believe that they would have been phenomenal concerts in their own right. However, it was enticing to see Mr. Joe Hisaishi come to the United States and I decided not to miss the opportunity.

A decision that I am happy to have made.

Coming to the concert, I didn’t expect much. I expected myself to quietly enjoy the performance and reminisce the music of all the childhood movies that I have watched when I was very young. I even surprised myself for I was weeping at the end of “The Legend of Ashitaka” from the movie “Princess Mononoke”. Before coming into the concert, I watched Castle in the Sky and “Princess Mononoke” because those were the films that I have never watched before. Thus, I had not nostalgic bias for me to be emotion over the music. Driving back to my motel, I tried to formulate my thoughts to understand why.

I believe Mr. Joe Hisaishi has shown me the possibility to make music, even film music to stand on its own feet and make the audience feel emotions. For the longest time as a film and video game composer I have felt and have been told that sometimes music is only a support role as the subject material we create. But on that day I completely experienced the opposite. While I understand that “Princess Mononoke” is an outstanding masterpiece of craft, when I listened to the music none of the images of the film came to my mind. Instead I was just overwhelmed with the theme that kept coming back. In this case, that day I felt the music was on equal footing with the movie, if not greater.

Listening to Mr. Joe Hisaishi’s music is like a wheel. It starts simple and clean, but as it rolls down the road through the dirt, mud, and water, the idea becomes more complex. Each time the theme comes back, I can still see it clearly, but it has taken such an emotional journey I can’t just help but feel humble and in awe. Attending this concert was awe inspiring but also humbling. I am thoroughly encouraged to to make music that not necessarily emulates his style, but hopefully to even have on taste of emotional impact that I felt that day.

Thank you for the concert Mr. Joe Hisaishi. I wish to visit another one of your concerts and again witness the blood, sweat, and tears you have put into your works.

Side Note:

When Mai Fujisawa (his daughter) sang the music from “Spirited Away” she had a voice that was sharp and piercing, but also very motherly in delivery. This was another moment where I felt really emotional. I truly felt lucky to have heard such a unique voice live.


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