November 30, 2017

A Very Complicated Explanation as to Why Miyazaki's Films Sound Pretty

Take the deepest dive ever into the reasons why Miyazaki film scores are so beautiful to listen to.

Hayao Miyazaki's films are absolutely glorious pieces of cinematic mastery that combine stunning visuals with rhapsodic music. I could wax poetic about this man all day, but instead, I'll let Ethan from Sideways go into an exceeding amount of detail to explain one aspect of the director's work in particular: the film scores. In the video below, learn more than you ever thought possible about why the scores of composer Mamoru Fujisawa, a.k.a. Joe Hisaishi, who has collaborated with Miyazaki on Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and Princess Mononoke (among others) sound so damn amazing.

I know this is a film blog. I get it. Most of us, I assume, are not musical scholars or even know much about music theory at all, but we know what sounds good to our ear—and Hisaishi's scores definitely sound good to our ears.

I'm in that boat. I won't pretend to understand the theory explained in the video, but I do know that it's not the visuals alone that help create the gentle, thoughtful, nostalgic worlds in Miyazaki's films. The music has a delicate way of carrying the audience from one place to another—like a dandelion pappus being softly blown about by the breeze. 

It's simple and complicated and effortless and ambitious all at the same time—and I'm not sure why I think that, but something in me says that the video does a really good job of explaining it for me.      

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"Ponyo!"

"Ponyo!"

You can't get away from it.

December 8, 2017 at 4:27AM

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David Gurney
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