Interview with Hiroki Kikuta
Note: This interview was supposed to be much longer. But, unfortunately, since Mr. Kikuta is a very busy man, he wasn’t able to answer all our questions. However, fans should know that Mr. Kikuta has assured us that he is in fact working hard on a new project as a director and music composer!
What are your earliest memories of music? Do you have any musical ”roots”?
– Of course. I have musical roots. I remember hearing a lot of different music in my childhood, like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bee Gees, CNS&Y, and more. Although these influenced me much, the most important music I remember from my childhood was movie music. The works of Akira Ifukube, Katsuhisa Hattori, Isao Tomita, Barry Gray, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, etc. If you want to hear a really emotional score, I advise you to check out the music from Godzilla.
You surely listen to a lot of music nowadays as well. What styles do you like to listen to?
– Yes, I still love to listen to music. These days I listen to a lot of ethnic music, folkloric music, fusion music, American country music, jazz music, new age music, etc. I think that the most important element in music is originality. I like listening to and studying music that is groundbreaking, it influences me.
Any favourite albums to recommend?
– Here are my favourite albums:
- YES - Close to the Edge (1972)
- Roger Eno - Voices (1985)
- Prince - Lovesexy (1988)
- Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (1975)
- Allan Holdsworth - Atavachron (1986)
All of those CDs are extremely cool. I respect them.
Do you have any kind of musical education?
– I am an entirely self-taught musician - I did not receive any musical education whatsoever. But that was never a problem. If you want to know about music composing, you can read the necessary books and catch up on it. If you want to get artistic sensitivity, you must hear such a huge variety of different music as you possibly can.
When did you start composing music?
– I still remember the first composition I made, it was back in elementary school. Today I can’t even call it music, but it’s still dear to me.
We have heard that you have studied religion and philosophy at the Kansai University in Osaka. Are you a person that thinks much?
– Yes, it’s true. I studied religion and anthropology at the university. It was a very exciting experience for me. Feel, think, and do! If you don't think, you cannot touch it. I am interested in the recognition of the human consciousness and the mechanisms of delectation. If you want to know about anthropology, I recommend the books of Gregory Bateson.
A lot of your compositions are very good at painting up scenes and emotions. Do you visualize a particular scene before composing?
– Vision, it’s very important. If you want to send a clear image to someone through music, you must hold on to your own images in your memory. Think about it - if you have no experiences in life, you will not be able to create any images. Go, see, and experience it! It’s a simple way to enrich your life. I, for example, travelled abroad to many different countries, like the UK, Hawaii, Germany, the Fiji islands, and many more.
Many of the compositions, mainly from Seiken Densetsu 2 & 3, paint a very ”natural” scenery. Did nature influence your work?
– When I went to the Fiji islands, I saw many incredible nature landscapes. Here you can see, too: http://www.qamea.com. I visited this island in 1996.
What do you think? Beautiful? Striking? [Sure! - ed.] I love the colour of the Pacific Ocean, beautiful crystalline blue. It’s a secret of mother nature. Maybe a ”Secret of Mana”?
Interview Conducted by Daniel Kalabakov
Special thanks to Datschge!