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Tamiya Terashima
Tamiya Terashima

The multi-talented Tamiya Terashima became interested in music at the age of four, and continued his musical ambitions through adolescence by playing trumpet in a brass band. At sixteen he began writing music for his school's brass band and his own personal band.

Mr. Terashima possesses an impressive creative range. Adept at crafting emotionally powerful scores for anime; skillful at injecting a soulful depth to arrangements for video games; always busy assisting and nurturing other musicians in their own projects. His work includes a broad array of other musical ventures, as well.

RB: How did you get the job for Key the Metal Idol?

TT: I met the director, Mr. Sato Hiroaki, through the music producer. I have found a congenial spirit in Mr. Sato.

RB: How long did you work on Key the Metal Idol?

TT: It took about three years to finish, from the 1st episode to the last one.

RB: How did you develop your themes for Key the Metal Idol?

TT: I and the staff valued each other's senses. Each time we would work without going away from the basic ideas.

RB: How much freedom did you have for Key the Metal Idol?

TT: I had quite a lot of freedom for KTMI. Usually, there are many restrictions. Although the director's expectation for music was really high, as I said before, he's a kind person who accepted what I made. There was no rejection for the music I wrote. Sometimes he remade the concepts of pictures based on the music. For example, I wrote the opening theme of story #15 double the length, and the picture was recreated based on the music. That story is now twice as long than what was originally planned.

RB: Can you share some memories (good or bad) about working on Key the Metal Idol?

TT: Thanks to the great staff, I enjoyed doing my job with a lot of creative energy. So, there's no bad memory. The Director's orders for music always surprised me, since he asked me to use various expression-techniques, which I didn't usually do. However, because of that, I believe my basic skills came out in many ways. It wasn't easy for the staff or I to answer the director's expectations, but we all deeply enjoyed to overcome each of the tasks.

RB: What is the ratio of accepted songs to rejected songs?

TT: My material usually doesn't get rejected, but it depends on the project. I recall there is 10% rejection.

RB: Please tell us about your music for the movie The Boy Who Saw the Wind.

TT: "The result of all my works"...Well, that's a little too exaggerated, but I did all I could musically, the way I wanted. Thanks to the wonderful Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, I'm satisfied with what we made. If you let me be greedy, I would say I wanted to spend more time recording. Producing film music in Japan sometimes causes stress because of "not enough time," "not enough money for music," and/or "poor recognition of film producer for music." But I was able to express my thoughts very much in this film.

RB: Who are your influences?

TT: There are many. I was touched deeply by the first Star Wars (episode IV) movie. The creativity and concepts of ILM really touched me.

RB: Who would you most like to make music with?

TT: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas. (laugh) Well, that might be impossible, but I'd like to work with a staff in Hollywood.

RB: How do you get yourself in the mood to write music?

TT: I begin with picturing my own world in my head. If I couldn't picture this world satisfactorily, it's hard to write songs. Time and place don't matter. Songs come out, for example, when I'm walking or having meals with my family. It's not surprising that something finally comes out when the music is due. (laugh)

RB: How did you get the job of arranging Y's ?

TT: It was the job when I became a professional. I felt I was being tested by my agency to see if I could be professional or not

RB: What was the hardest aspect of orchestrating electronic music?

TT: Y's was my first experience arranging game music, which at the time had limitations to create many sounds at the same time. I didn't know how free I should be with the music. I tried to be daring with my arrangements.

RB: Who picked the music that would be arranged for Y's?

TT: The game company and the record company did.

RB: How much freedom did you have for the Y's arrangements?

TT: Since I wasn't the one who wrote the music, I felt like, "Is it OK to use a lot of freedom?" I had a lot of freedom.

RB: What is your favorite Y's music?

TT: It's too hard to pick one. I like all of them.

RB: What is the difference between the Y's game music and OVA music?

TT: My working style doesn't change for different genres. Only the ways of making vary. The most different aspect is, for example, is that many descriptions won't be required in music when making OVA or films. The concept behind the game music arrangement I did was to let people visualize a new world in their minds by listening to the music.

RB: Please tell us some interesting stories about your arranging work on Wizardry and Brandish.

TT: Mr. Kentaro Hata wrote Wizardry, and I arranged it imaging how he wrote scores. When I did Brandish, I imagined scenery and feelings of people who lived in a cold country where the sky was gray, heavy looking and white snow lay all the way to horizon.

RB: Describe the other genres of music you write and arrange .

TT: Back Ground Music for parades and fire works shows at theme parks, show music, musicals, vocals, etc. I do any kind of jobs, not to be impartial, and I enjoy them.

RB: Do you perform your music live?

TT: The time doesn't allow me to think about it now, but I might positively consider it in the future.

RB: How do you think game music and animation music compares to other genres of music?

TT: Compared to other genres of music, game and animation music are doing good in Japan and expanding globally. I sometimes hear that the market is going down a little. Other genres of Japanese music are still weak internationally and it's not only because of the language differences. I'm hoping Japanese music comes out to the world and will be accepted by many kinds of people. I'm trying to make that possible.

RB: What are some positive aspects of working as a musician in Japan?

TT: It's very hard to look for positive aspects, but I have aims to grow Japanese music and film culture up to the international level. Also, there are so many great, interesting and symbolic Japanese culture and traditions, which I'm trying to express into the entertainment world. I'd like to provide such wonderful things by making music and let people feel and enjoy freedom.

RB: What are some Negatives?

TT: That's too many to list.(laugh)

RB: Do you play games? Which ones?

TT: I sometimes do. I like adventure games which make you think. Myst and Riven are great. I 'm a crazy about Tomb Raider (which contains a little action). I played all of Biohazard.

RB: Do you admire any video game composers?

TT: Unfortunately, I don't know. However, when I play the games, I hear great songs. Sorry, I've never checked to see who wrote them.

RB: Any advice for young composers?

TT: I hope them to believe in and express themselves without flattering someone or just to follow a popular style, as far as it's possible. And I want them to keep doing what they do without hurry. Never give up until the end. It takes enormous time to build your own musical world, and one might pursue it endlessly as long as ones lives.

RocketBaby would like to thank Mr. Terashima for taking time to chat with us. Special thanks to Megumi Murai for translating. Key the Metal Idol images from VIZ.

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Key the Metal Idol images from VIZ

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