I like to refer to Toshifumi Hinata as the "Henry Mancini of Japanese drama music". He has written several OST, almost exclusively for Fuji TV. And he's the master.
Hinata studied at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin and the Berklee College of Music, Boston. He also studied classical piano, composition and musical theory on a four-year scholarship at the University of Minnesota, Duluuth.
What makes his BGMs great is that the music fits well with the series' directing and writing. My first experience with his works is his
Being a Westerner and a musician, I've noticed a distinctive difference between his works and the works of many other composers from Asia, in that the sounds are very Western-like. I figure it is from his many years of study in the United States. His music can also fit in easily with many American movie classics, such as Gone with the Wind or Cassablanca. His music is also dateless... I like comparing his works to the Sleepless in Seattle OST, in that both the Fuji TV dramas and the American movie could have taken place at any time. He's even taken several American tunes and re-worked them into BGMs for dramas. An example is Willie Nelson's On the Road Again, a tune that is played any time Imouto Yo's Yukiko and Kukuo are together in a situation.
Besides writing hundreds of scores throughout his life, he's also an established pianist, recording works under his name. He has worked with many international recording artists, including Misuno Shunsuke, Diana Ross and Bill Wray.
His personal recordings include Sarah's Crame (サラの犯罪) (ALCA-9019), Chat d'ete (夏の猫) (ALCA-9020) and Little Rascal (いたずら天使) (ALCA-9026). A favorite of mine is Sarah's Crime (32XA-58), a quiet jazz-like instrumental CD. One of his latest works is a CD containing traditional Hawaiian music called Heavenly Resort Music Series HAWAII (KSC2-376). In all, he has recorded over 20 CDs and LPs.
Toshifumi Hinata is certainly a Japanese gem! --- written by groink (last change 2005/05/22)
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