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Yoko Kanno

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Yoko Kanno


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Composer, musician, conductor, producer

Victor Entertainment (flying DOG)

Associated acts
Maaya Sakamoto, Nakajima Megumi, May'n TETSU100%, Seatbelts, Samply Red, ORIGA

Hajime Mizoguchi (m. ?–2007)

Macross Frontier Galaxy Tour Final in Budokan

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alo, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alo, Cowboy Bebop: Blue, Space Bio Charge, COWBOY BEBOP


Flowery wind yoko kanno

Yoko Kanno (菅野 よう子, Kanno Yōko, born March 18, 1963) is a Japanese composer, arranger and musician best known for her work on the soundtracks on anime films, television series, live-action films, video games, and advertisements. She was born in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. She has written scores for Cowboy Bebop, Darker than Black, Macross Plus, Turn A Gundam, The Vision of Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Wolf's Rain, Kids on the Slope and Zankyō no Terror, and has worked with the directors Yoshiyuki Tomino, Shinichirō Watanabe and Shōji Kawamori. Kanno has also composed music for pop artists Maaya Sakamoto and Kyōko Koizumi. She is also a keyboardist, and is the frontwoman for the Seatbelts, who perform many of Kanno's compositions and soundtracks.


Yoko Kanno Crunchyroll Anime Soundtrack Composer Yoko Kanno39s

The Seatbelts [Live Concert] - Part 5 - Yoko Kanno Piano Solo.mp4

Professional life

Yoko Kanno Yoko Kanno Composer Biography Facts and Music Compositions

Yoko Kanno's soundtrack themes include "Kiseki no Umi" (Lodoss War), "Voices" (Macross Plus), "Tank!" (Cowboy Bebop), "Yakusoku wa Iranai" (Escaflowne), "Gravity" (Wolf's Rain), "Inner Universe" (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) and Stand Alone Complex O.S.T. In regards to making the Stand Alone Complex soundtrack she said:

Yoko Kanno 7 Reasons Why Yoko Kanno is the Queen of Anime Music All

I had this image of a formal and rigid 'manly' world for the original comic. So I tried to think of ways to destroy that world. The theme I had in mind was, 'be human.' It represented the sentiment of 'why don't we take it easy and be more like a human being?'—instead of being a workaholic salaried man working for his company. Or be it Tachikoma wishing to become human. I wanted to express these 'tangible fuzziness,' sort of. For the opening theme song called 'inner universe,' I had an image of digital bits and composed a score consisting of recurrent quick beats.

Having composed in various genres, including blues, classical, jazz, techno, and J-pop, she was once asked if she favored a particular genre:

Ah ... I hear everyone talk about how many genres [I work in] like classical, jazz and others, but personally, I don't divide music by genre when creating. I don't create by saying, 'I must create a classical piece here,' or 'I must create a jazz piece here.' When I create music, I don't consider at all which genre I like best, but what the scene or the anime calls for, like a love [theme] or a mood. There isn't one genre I like more than the others. I find all of them satisfying and all inspire me in different ways.

Since she works in the animation industry, she only receives instructions and storyboards from directors which helps her with composing. However, it is uncertain if all of her works are to be included in the finished project. She once said that this is a way she likes to work, for she does not have to deal with rules during composing. In reference to this, she once stated:

In my case, the creators talk to me and ask me to do a soundtrack a year or two before the animation is finished. At that time, I think of the plot in my brain, when the characters' names—everything about the characters—has not been decided yet. This is even when the title has not be decided yet.

She was the lead member of the project band called Seatbelts, which regrouped in the year of 2004 to compose the soundtrack of the PlayStation 2 Cowboy Bebop video game, released in Japan in 2005.

She has composed for Koei games released during the late 1980s to early 1990s and for Napple Tale, a Dreamcast game. Due to her close involvement in the Cowboy Bebop anime, the game released by Bandai also features her work.

Apart from anime and games, Kanno also composes for live-action films and television commercials. Some popular brands she has composed for are Canon, DoCoMo, Fuji Xerox, Seven-Eleven, Microsoft, Nissan, Toyota, Shiseido, Avon, and MasterCard to name a few. Grand Funk Inc. is her recording studio of choice in producing for these two media. Contributions to films started in the 1990s but only since 2002 has there been a trend towards the medium. Most of the latter were shown in international film festivals.

She attended Otakon and Anime Expo in 1999, as well as Anime Expo New York in 2002. In 2010, she made a surprise appearance at Anime Expo. Yoko Kanno performed her solo PianoMe concert at Otakon 2013.

On many of Kanno's tracks, a woman named "Gabriela Robin" was credited as a lyricist and vocalist, but whenever these songs were performed in concert, either Maaya Sakamoto or Origa would perform them instead. In a 2009 written interview, Robin proclaimed that she would perform for the first time live at Kanno's 2009 Tanabata Sonic concert, but at the end of the concert, which featured Kanno directing the Warsaw Philharmonic, Kanno turned to the audience and sang "Moon", a song previously attributed to Robin from the Turn A Gundam soundtrack, revealing that "Gabriela Robin" was simply a pseudonym Kanno used to write songs mixing English and Japanese freely. In a later interview, Kanno said she had picked the name because the first orchestral recording she had heard was the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and at the time Yitzhak Rabin served as Israel's Prime Minister.

Personal life

In addition to Japanese, she speaks a little English and some French, but claims that her English is "poor" and she needs translation help to converse in French. In regards to spirituality and religion, she said:

I'm not religious at all. But Japanese don't believe in one God, but in gods everywhere in plants and animals. That's right. In Japan, Christianity has a wonderful image. People enjoy the image of Christ and Christianity in picture books, but not as a religion.

Besides music, Kanno also enjoys photography and writing. She has written a number of journals for Newtype magazine of which photos for illustrations are done by Kanno herself as well, and a selection of photos taken by Kanno of her protégé and former production partner Maaya Sakamoto were featured in the special event program for Sakamoto's 2010 thirtieth birthday concert at Nippon Budokan.

In 2011, Kanno expressed her support and wishes to the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, composing a song titled "Kimi de Ite, Buji de Ite". Later, she composed NHK's official support song on the occasion of the first anniversary of the earthquake entitled "Hana wa Saku" ("Flowers Will Bloom") featuring lyrics by Sendai film director Shunji Iwai. The song features notable natives from the affected areas of Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate.

Works for pop albums

(In Order of Starting Year of Affiliation)

Commercial music

Companies that have commissioned Kanno for commercial music.


Yoko Kanno Wikipedia