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Akira Miyagawa
J-Pop Exchange
Exclusive Radio Interview

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Conversation & Questions:

Hello Mr. Akira Miyagawa. Thank you very much for your time today. Let me start, if I may, by asking how you first became interested in music. Did your interest in music begin in your childhood?

Then, you mean your mind was already set when you were born... or the moment you had self-consciousness?

Wow. Then it was very natural for you to become a songwriter?

Your father was famous for writing songs for the legendary anime, 'Star Blazers' or “Space Battleship Yamato” (Yuchu-Senakn Yamato). Did you learn songwriting tips from him?

Then it was more like learning from his example than being taught by him directly...

Would you mind talking about your song-writing process? How do you create and write your original songs? When you compose music, how do you progress from inspiration to creation?

The Book? You mean the script?

Is the music that follows only melody or a fuller sound something like orchestration? Or maybe even both??

So you start sketching those sounds . . . ?

I see . . . Even if you can hear it, if you couldn't write it down . . .?

In contrast, are there ever cases where you write a song without any script or basic lyrics, in complete free style?

Can you tell me how you write on such an occasion? For example, while you're taking a walk…?

You mean something that contains a story?

You mean the title of the song?

Each person has their own calling...

May I ask what you mean by that?

Yes, the buildings might be different, and the people who live there might be different also…

That Samurai turned to the right, just the same as we do today!

There could have been an elephant walking too!

So, after finding a script or a keyword, you start reading the image and...

And life is HERE – a long time ago, and today.

In Japan, and in America too.

I understand that. Thank you very much. For the next question, I'd like to ask more about creating music for anime, let us hear the song writing process for the animation, 'Kirby'. As a songwriter, from which part do you start getting involved to the project? Do you watch the animation before you start writing songs? How different is it from the time when you write songs for the TV shows and Musical? For example, the song titled 'Pop Star'. This song expresses both disappointment and hope in very dynamic way. And I think it was significant that this song was used in the very first episode of the ‘Kirby ’animation. When Kirby’s world broke down, this music was expressing the serious danger drawing nearer to him in a very effective way. I think this song offered a perfect tone to this scene.

Nothing starts and nothing ends.

You told me about how you create music for a musical . . . and how the process starts between songwriter and lyricist . . .

As well as your work as a composer, you are also known for your musical performances; for example, as the music director for the Osaka Philharmonic Pops and for the Akira Miyagawa & Ensemble Vega. Please tell us more about these experiences.

Then one concert itself becomes . . .

You mean there are songs in which some particular instrument been used only for one or two bars?

Oh, I see. That’s why your career is described as both songwriter and stage songwriter. Now I understand!

It was interesting to hear how you said; instruments on stage take part as . . .

And that actor is alive from the beginning until the end of the song?

He is alive and sometimes he talks and then he goes back and waits quietly until his next scene.

No, not at all.

I believe you have also done some acting, for example in the television programs “Quintet” and “Doremifa Wonderland” (for which you also serve as the composer). How do you feel about your acting experiences? What was it like to be involved in both aspects of these productions? Do you find the roles of both composer and actor to be easily compatible?

I agree with you. It's very rare . . .

I do think so too.

Okay... then let's move on to the last question. In regards to your entire body of work, are there any particular pieces that stand out as favorites or have a particular significance for you?

Well then, how many songs have you created or arranged so far?

That's great! You just told me that you're thinking you might stop writing songs in 20 years or so. Do you have any plan or wish to work on any particular type of new project or activities? What kind of feeling or vision do you have toward your future?

After 10 years? Wow...

That's nice.

I understand. Then what about the songs you create now being accepted by the public after decades...

Thank you very much. If you have any message to the listeners in America, please...