Isao TomitaArt + Culture | 11 May 2016
DIED ONE OF THE FATHERS OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC
Isao Tomita was born in Tokyo, Japan, on 22 April 1932. Pioneer of the electronic music, the Japanese composer was one of the people who have made a significant contribution to promoting understanding and friendship between Japan and the rest of the world. He died last May 5, at age 84.
After spending his early childhood with his father in China, Tomita returns to Japan where he took private lessons in music and composition.
He graduated in 1955 in art history but became a full-time composer to radio and television. In 1960, he joined the Mushi Production studio, one of the biggest animation studios in Japan.
The Japanese composer was responsible for bringing synthesizer music to Japan. This passion derived from his interest in the musical compositions of Wendy Carlos, American author of soundtracks from movies like Clockwork Orange and The Shining, and the work of Robert Moog, the inventor of the famous synthesizer.
In the beginning of the 70’s, after more than 10 years working as a composer for Japanese television, cinema, and theatre, Tomita started to work with his first Moog synthesizer. His breakthrough album was 1974’s Snowflakes Are Dancing, comprised of arrangements of Claude Debussy’s music. The album became a global success and gave him four Grammy Awards nominations. A lot of years later, in 2014, Ben and Joshua Safdie rescued Tomita’s music to the soundtrack ofHeavens Knows What.
In 2015, the composer was awarded the Japan Foundation Award for his significant contribution to promoting understanding and friendship between Japan and the rest of the world.
Isao Tomita died in the 5th of May, victim of heart failure at a hospital in Tokyo.
Text: Isadora Faustino