Week 9 + 10: Final Thoughts

As we begin to wrap up DIGC330 I now move on to completing my major essay. Though discussing the potential of presenting a digital artefact in response to the autoethnographic experience I have had in exploring the Japanese music industry I ultimately decided against it. The simple answer was that there were simply too many logistical concerns in establishing the infrastructure required to facilitate the community I was proposing.

My major essay will be investigating the long tail effect of Japanese musical influence as touched on briefly in my last post. It was this reflection on Japonism or a growing influence of Japanese cultural contents that ultimately highlighted a thread that I had been following throughout my blog posts. These influences are primarily soundtracks from games and anime that the large majority of us were exposed to as children. I was unfortunately (?) forbidden from watching TV or playing video games until I was in about 5th Grade and it is only through starting to engage with these other more less immediate permutations of Japanese music that the opportunity for reflection of these parallels with music that I was listening to were made apparent to me. It is in my separation from many of the sources of this influence that has the potential to form a strong base for my autoethnographic approach to the topic.

I will be drawing on further research that I have found on confirming this topic, most importantly a similar discussion that has been created recently by Red Bull Music a YouTube series entitled Diggin in The Carts. This series looks at the influence of Japanese video game music in an exploration of the ‘invisible’ musicians behind the music but also in having conversations with this influence with a range of western producers.

I will be attempting to host a similar discussion using musicians and producers that I listen to in order to further personalize the exploration, people such as Ryan Hemsworth, who I mentioned briefly in my last post, as he has increasingly frequently offered a bridge for engagement with the cultural content of Japan. I will also make some references to the less conspicuous connections such as PC Music, with whom I started this discussion in my very first post for the subject. It proves to have been a rewarding experience and I hope that I am able to illustrate this in some form in an essay format.

One comment

  1. hey.. I think that’s a very cool concept for a research essay. I’ve never really thought about it but of course it makes sense… the amount of time (some!) kids spend with video games and anime, these soundtracks kind of compose the soundtrack to their youth as well. And yet as you say, many of these composers are often invisible to us, while some start to acquire their own fanbases, such as Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda, Miki Higashino, and Yoko Shimomura. I’d be interested to know how much Western music, especially electronic music, samples Japanese video games and anime. I know Baths samples Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service, and I’m sure there are plenty more.


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