Masakatsu Takagi debuts new music

Masakatsu Takagi debuts new music, including score for new Mamoru Hosoda film 'Mirai.'
Mamoru Hosoda film Mirai

known for his collaborations with David Sylvain and for his debut album Pia on Carpark, Takagi relocated to a small village in Hyogo to learn how to live a more traditional Japanese life, and created these new works in a private studio surrounded by the mountains and the sounds of adjacent nature from the studio’s open windows.The recordings capture a duality of simplicity as well as a vastness that comes from the freedom from life’s distractions — a sightline into surroundings and perhaps a refreshing piece of calm for our crazy times. Good reference points would be Goldmund, Ryuichi Sakamoto’s BTTB, or Philip Glass’ Solo Piano. Additionally, his score for the animated film Mirai is his latest work for director Mamoru Hosoda (he also scored Wolf Children in 2012 and The Boy and the Beast in 2015) .

Mirai is an upcoming Japanese animated film from director Mamoru Hosoda (The Boy and the Best, Wolf Children). Following a run on the festival circuit. GKIDS will be releasing Mirai in the United States on November 30th, 2018.

Scoring duties came to Masakatsu Takagi, a frequent collaborator of Director Hosoda whom composed the unforgettable scores to Wolf Children and The Boy and the Beast. The film follows Kun, a bratty 4-year-old boy, who comes across a magical garden. There he meets his future sister, Mirai, who is now a teenage girl and has traveled back in time to see him. A favorite in Japan noted for his delicate composition style, Takagi has again crafted a must-own score featuring his signature piano work peppered with boisterous eruptions of wondrous, youthful strings. Milan Records will be releasing the soundtrack to Mirai on November 30th, the same day as the film’s release.

Born in 1979 in Kyoto, Japan, Masakatsu Takagi lives and works in Hyogo, Japan. He started his career as a visual artist, creating video art with his own music which played with his Piano and software processing. In 2001, His first album, Pia, was released by Carpark Records in the United States. Following other releases on Karaoke Kalk, he shifted his focus to playing the piano more specifically, in the form of intimate solo piano style, as well as in band settings and with larger orchestras as well.

In 2013, he moved from Kyoto to a very small village in mountains in Hyogo, Japan. With small slates of agriculture, he started to learn how to live in traditional living style of Japan. A few years later in 2017, Takagi started working on Marginalia, consisting of daily piano recordings created in his private studio surrounded by the mountains, with a heavy influence of the sound of the adjacent nature from the studio’s open windows. These recordings, which encompass a duality of simplicity as well as a vastness that comes from the freedom from life’s distractions, began to represent not just a collection of new material, but a sightline into Takagi’s life in Hyogo. Milan Records will also be releasing Marginalia on December 7th on cd/digital/vinyl.

Masakatsu Takagi Born in 1979 in Kyoto, Japan. He Lives and works in Hyogo, Japan. started his career as a visual artist, creating video art with his own music which played with his Piano and software processing. In 2001, His first album, Pia, was released by Carpark Records in the United States. Following other releases on Karaoke Kalk, he shifted his focus to playing the piano more specifically, in the form of intimate solo piano style, as well as in band settings and with larger orchestras as well.

In 2013, he moved from Kyoto to a very small village in mountains in Hyogo, Japan. With small slates of agriculture, he started to learn how to live in traditional living style of Japan. A few years later in 2017, Takagi started working on Marginalia, consisting of daily piano recordings created in his private studio surrounded by the mountains, with a heavy influence of the sound of the adjacent nature from the studio’s open windows. These recordings, which encompass a duality of simplicity as well as a vastness that comes from the freedom from life’s distractions, began to represent not just a collection of new material, but a sightline into Takagi’s life in Hyogo. Milan Records will be releasing Marginalia on December 7th on cd/digital/vinyl. Listen to “Marginalia #8” streaming on Soundcloud.

“I opened all the windows to welcome the sounds of nature and played the piano without any sort of preparation: no overdubbing, no writing, no editing or mixing, no fixing…just as it is, he describes. “What you are listening now are raw, improvised piano recording where the sounds of nature and the musical notes are recorded at the same time, in harmony without any discrimination. I love to think that nature might also listen to my piano. The nature is the melody. The piano is the harmony.”

His visual works have been exhibited at many museums and galleries as well. Some of his works are owned by contemporary art museums , have been commissioned by institutions of science and universities, while also be commissioned by companies like Audi or Nokia.

In 2003, as a visual artist, he collaborated with David Sylvian, creating visual projections for Sylvian’s concerts. Takagi has also created visuals for other musicians like Cornelius, and Sketch Show (Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi).

Starting with Wolf Children (2012), he has created scores for animation films directed by Mamoru Hosoda. These titles include The Boy and the Beast (2015), and the upcoming release of Mirai (2018). The Wolf Children score was chosen as the iTunes Best Soundtrack of 2012 in Japan. Additionally, he also composed music for The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (2013), a documentary film for Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli) directed by Mami Sunada.

As for Marginalia, the material ranks among Takagi’s most intimate compositions. The tracks stand as beautiful reflections on man’s relationship with the environment, and are a must-own for fans of neo-classical compositions, and solo piano works.

Quote by Masakatsu Takagi on “Sweet Spirit” and “Marginalia #22”

“This track was used for the scene where a 4 year old boy saw the snow fall from the sky for first time in his life. The snow seemed like a special sign from the above, bringing some kind of special message to his entire life. So, my music became like sweet echos falling from the sky.”

“It was in the beginning of summer, we spent a day in the mountains. My wife was drawing an abstract painting in the shade of trees, and all I was doing was watching small things with a micro lens and enjoying the sunlights as it came through leaves. Suddenly, a very big deer appeared in front of us before it quickly ran away. It seemed like a magical moment. This track is kind of a memory for that day.”