From Howl’s Moving Castle to My Neighbor Totoro, the movies produced by Studio Ghibli have been known for their stunning animation, talented voice cast, and memorable film scores. All but one of these movie soundtracks have been scored by a single man known as Joe Hisaishi, who is widely considered “the most acclaimed Japanese composer to have ever worked in film.”.
Hisaishi and Miyazaki have had a long partnership dating back to their first film project, Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind in 1984. They have kept this relationship strong, and Hisaishi will even be the composer for the upcoming Studio Ghibli film How Do You Live?, which Miyazaki left retirement to work on with his son, Goro. In the linked podcast, I discuss the relationship between Hisaishi and Miyazaki, the importance of Hisaishi’s music in Miyazaki’s films, and the ways in which the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures could have utilized their space to better incorporate Hisaishi’s music in the Hayao Miyazaki exhibit.
“Composer: Hildur Guodnadottir.” Academy Museum, http://www.academymuseum.org/en/exhibitions/stories-of-cinema/soc3/composer-hildur-guonadottir.
Dazed. “Joe Hisaishi: The Genius Composer Who Gave Studio Ghibli Its Sound.” Dazed, 21 Jan. 2020, http://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/47580/1/joe-hisaishi-composer-music-of-studio-ghibli.
Gerber, Brady. “The John Williams of Japan: Joe Hisaishi in 9 Songs.” Pitchfork, 10 Jan. 2017, pitchfork.com/thepitch/1405-the-john-williams-of-japan-joe-hisaishi-in-9-songs/.
Hara, Kunio. “Joe Hisaishi’s Soundtrack for My Neighbor Totoro.” Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.
Laaninen, Mark. “The Spirit of a Composer: An Analysis of the Works of Joe Hisaishi.” SUNY Open Access Repository (SOAR), 1 May 2020, soar.suny.edu/handle/20.500.12648/1506.
Napier, Susan. Miyazakiworld. Yale University Press, 2020.
Pappas, Anthony. “Why Joe Hisaishi’s Music for Studio Ghibli Tugs at OUR HEARTSTRINGS.” Flypaper, Soundfly, 23 Dec. 2021, flypaper.soundfly.com/discover/why-joe-hisaishis-music-for-studio-ghibli-tugs-at-our-heartstrings/.
Wyse, Alex. “10 Studio Ghibli Movies with the Greatest Scores.” ScreenRant, 14 May 2020, screenrant.com/studio-ghibli-movies-best-music-scores/#:~:text=The%20only%20score%20on%20this%20list%20not%20composed,bring%20you%20to%20tears%2C%20its%20score%20certainly%20will.