Monday, July 11, 2011

源氏物語幻想交響絵巻 - Isao Tomita's Tale of Genji




I attended a small, private listening session of “the Tale of Genji, Symphonic Fantasy” with the guidance of Isao Tomita himself in Sunday afternoon. The venue was the listening room of Sona in Nakano-Shinbashi, and the air was boilingly hot on the way. Sona is a company specialized in studio designs and actually my listening room was designed and built by them. Over a dozen people gathered were those who were involved in sound production, mostly sound engineers and some composers. I have not met Mr. Tomita for many years myself.

The most interesting part of this production is the intimacy of the Tale spoken in contemporary Kyoto language that is wrapped around by the spectacular surround sound, namely “Tomita World” through the blend of synthesizer and real orchestral sound.

Mr. Tomita showed us a few episodes between the tracks to demo as well as Q & A’s, and one of interesting comments was that he treated the narration exactly as a part of music instruments. Also mentioned was that the recent release of Planets remixed version was in 96k while this Tale of Genji was 48k but they should have been opposite considering the latter contained the orchestral recording. When he expressed his plan producing the new release in Surround, most Japanese labels showed their immediate reluctance, and it was really tough for him to have his project go through.

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