Music for the soul

Not much to say here, other than these are perhaps two of the greatest performances of film music I’ve seen to date.

First up is the late Ryuichi Sakamoto performing the theme to
Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor (in which he also appeared). He won the Oscar (along with David Byrne and Cong Su) for best soundtrack in 1987. I love the use of traditional instruments at the start and building up to something epic before putting everything together in a powerful resolution.

The second performance is from Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke (the English edition adapted by Neil Gaiman). It’s a glorious suite featuring the main theme, a wonderfully percussive action theme (The Demon God) and the main theme reprised, but featuring a vocal performance.

What strikes me about this is how beautiful the chorus is – particularly towards the end when joining the main vocalist. To have been there and heard this live would have been wonderful. Joe Hisaishi is one my favourite composers of all time, having composed many of Studio Ghibli’s works. A true master of his craft.