• The spirit of a composer: 
an analysis of the works of Joe Hisaishi

      Laaninen, Mark (2020-05)
      Joe Hisaishi is one of the most prominent and popular composers in modern Japan. Whether he writes European inspired Waltzes, Jazz inspired piano pieces, or airy music box pieces, Hisaishi’s music remains utterly unmistakable in all its forms. This characteristic sound inspired my research. I set out to analyse several of Joe Hisaishi’s most well known pieces to understand the building blocks of his trademark musical style. But analysis could only take me so far. I also wrote a pair of pieces drawing directly from the techniques I observed in Hisaishi’s work to have a deeper understanding of how and why he uses the techniques he does. My findings changed the way I viewed Hisaishi’s music. Hisaishi’s musical sensibility synthesizes classical tonal techniques of counterpoint and more modern techniques, particularly the superimposition of relative major and minor tonalities.