Akira Ifukube

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Unlike American film score composers, Japanese film score composers are given only three or four days in which to write the music for a movie. Because of this, I have almost always been very frustrated while writing a score. I therefore can't select any of my scores as favorites.

Akira Ifukube (伊福部 昭) (31 May 1914 – 8 February 2006) was a Japanese composer of classical music and film scores, perhaps best known for his work on the soundtracks of the Godzilla movies by Toho.

Quotes[edit]

I don't know much about the score for GODZILLA 1985. However, my impression of GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE is a negative one, both in terms of the direction and the music.
At first, I didn't intend to use the [vocal] piece in the film [Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II]. I instead planned to use it only as a timing cue. So, I originally wrote it only with nonsense syllables.
  • The Ainu, with their improvisational style of both composing music and dancing, greatly influenced me. I became very different from the other music students, who had been raised with European pieces, because of this. They had been taught that composition is very difficult, but to me, it seemed relatively easy because of the freedom allowed for by the improvisational style of the Ainu.
  • Unlike American film score composers, Japanese film score composers are given only three or four days in which to write the music for a movie. Because of this, I have almost always been very frustrated while writing a score. I therefore can't select any of my scores as favorites.
  • There are two types of composers. Like Stravinsky, some always are aware of the instrument that will be playing a given melody. However, other composers do work out the orchestration only after they have finished composing. I'm like Stravinsky. I always write music with specific instruments in mind.
  • For the roar of Godzilla, I took out the lowest string of a contrabass and then ran a glove that had resin on it across the string. The different kinds of roars were created by playing the recording of the sound that I'd made at different speeds. Toho's sound engineers previously had tried to use the roars of many different animals for Godzilla's roar. They went to a zoo and recorded the roars of many different mammals, but no matter how the sounds were manipulated, they seemed too much like the roars of each of the animals. The sound engineers also tried to alter the call of a night heron bird, but that also was not successful.
  • I don't know much about the score for GODZILLA 1985. However, my impression of GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE is a negative one, both in terms of the direction and the music. For example, the music that is heard while the scenes that take place in Saradia are shown is just ridiculous. The composer used European music instead of some modern Arabic music. By the way, during the production of GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE, Toho asked for permission to use some of my music in the film. I said that I would allow its use as long as it was not turned into popular music. Toho agreed to that, but just before GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE was completed, a Toho representative came to me and said, "Well, your music was turned into popular music." By that time, it was too late to do anything about the situation. After GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE was released, my daughter came to me and said, "No matter how much you try to escape from Godzilla movies, Toho always uses your name and your melodies, so why don't you just score the next Godzilla film yourself?" That is why I agreed to work on GODZILLA VS. GHIDRAH.
  • I don't think that American audiences would accept the tonal character of my music.
  • At first, I didn't intend to use the [vocal] piece in the film [Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II]. I instead planned to use it only as a timing cue. So, I originally wrote it only with nonsense syllables. Since the piece was going to be sung by children, difficult words would not have been appropriate. Latin also wouldn't have worked. So, I decided to use Ainu. The Ainu live in Hokkaido, close to Adonoa Island.
  • More and more film scores are being recorded the way television scores are recorded. The performers are not shown any footage. I personally don't like working that way because if you do not allow the members of the orchestra to see footage on a big screen, they will tend to perform as if they are in a concert hall. They will try not to stand out. They will try to perform as members of an orchestra. What is needed when scoring a movie such as GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA is playing that is much more aggressive. No matter how much you explain the character of Godzilla to the performers and urge them to play aggressively, they still will play as if they are in a concert hall. However, if you show the performers footage of Godzilla, their playing will dramatically change. That is why I insisted on being allowed to show footage to the performers before I agreed to score GODZILLA VS. GHIDRAH.
  • Mr. Honda would always give me complete control over the score. Even though he was very knowledgeable about music, he would always say to me, "Mr. Ifukube, I know very little about music, so I'll allow you to make all of the decisions about the score." Mr. Honda was a very generous man. All of the other directors with whom I worked would stay in the control booth while the scores for their films were being recorded. Only Mr. Honda would come out of the booth and stand beside me while I was conducting. He was always very curious.
  • I decided not to score GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA (1994) when I read the script for the film. The atmosphere was very different. However, when I read the screenplay for GODZILLA VS. DESTROYER, I discovered that it was directly related to GODZILLA - KING OF THE MONSTERS. There was even going to be footage from GODZILLA - KING OF THE MONSTERS in the movie! I felt that since I'd been involved in Godzilla's birth, it was fitting for me to be involved in his death.
  • When I read the script for GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA, it reminded me of teenage idol films. In addition, the movie was going to have rap music in it. So, I thought, "Well, this is not my world, so I better not score this one."
  • I didn't use the music from the scene in which Godzilla dies in GODZILLA - KING OF THE MONSTERS for the one in which he does actually meltdown because Godzilla was not what I was trying to focus on this time. Instead, I tried to focus on the dark side of humanity, which lead to the creation of atomic weapons, and Godzilla.
  • I wasn't very happy with the way the music for Battra turned out. It was hard to tell whether it was a motif or just transitional material. So, I tried to avoid having that happen again.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about: