Akira Ifukube | Artist

Akira Ifukube | Artist

Tags: Era_1950s, Gender_Male, Genre_Modern, Genre_Soundtrack, Origin_Japan, Type_Artist

Akira Ifukube was a renowned Japanese composer born 1914 in Kushiro, Hokkaido. He is known as the Maestro of Japanese Film Music for his iconic contributions to classics such as Godzilla (Gojira). Ifukube's musical legacy is deeply rooted in his pioneering work in film scores from the late 1950's, particularly for his collaborations with legendary filmmaker Ishirō Honda. Ifukube learned to play the violin from an early age and pursued his passion for music at the Tokyo Music School (now the Tokyo University of the Arts) where he studied under influential composers Alexander Tcherepnin and Kosaku Yamada. Although his works were influenced by Western classical music, Ifukube was strongly influenced by Ainu folk music as he spent much of his childhood in Otofuke near Obihiro, with a mixed population of Ainu and Japanese. Ifukube's big break came in 1935, when his first orchestral piece Japanese Rhapsody won the first prize in an international competition for young composers. His career then took a momentous turn when he was asked to score the 1954 film "Godzilla" a landmark film that propelled him to international acclaim. His powerful, ominous, and evocative score for "Godzilla" not only enhanced the film's impact but also became an integral part of the character's enduring legacy. The deep, resonant tones of Ifukube's music perfectly captured the awe-inspiring and terrifying nature of the iconic monster, leaving an indelible mark on the world of film music. Beyond Godzilla, Ifukube's prolific career spanned over 250 film scores, including other classic Japanese monster movies like "Rodan" and "Mothra," as well as historical dramas, sci-fi, war films, and other genres. His compositions were characterized by their ability to evoke a wide range of emotions, from intense drama and suspense to poignant melancholy and profound beauty. Ifukube's music often featured powerful brass and percussion sections, reflecting his deep understanding of orchestration and his ability to create sonically rich and dynamic soundscapes. In addition to his film work, Ifukube was also a respected composer of classical music, with a significant body of symphonic, chamber, and vocal works to his name. His compositions often reflected his deep connection to nature and his reverence for Japanese folklore and mythology, incorporating elements of Japanese musical traditions into the Western classical framework. Ifukube's discography list over 150 album releases, mostly film soundtracks. A sample of standouts includes Gorija, Mothra vs Godzilla, King Kong vs Godzilla, Destroy all Monsters, Rodan!, Godzilla vs King Chidorah, Godzilla vs Destroyah, Invasion of Astro Monster, Varan the Unbelievable, Decisive Battle!, Latitude Zero Operation, Battle in Outer Space, The Mysterians, and Submarine Warship. The vast majority of these movies were made by the Toho Corp. and the stand-alone recordings were issued well after the movies were released. At the end of WWII Ifukube spent time in hospital due to the radiation exposure, and was startled one day to hear one of his own marches being played over the radio when General Douglas MacArthur arrived to formalize the Japanese surrender. In recognition of his contributions to music, Ifukube received numerous accolades, including the prestigious Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Music.

Artist Website: akiraifukube.org

Featured Albums: Akira Ifukube

Related Artists: Shiro Sagisu

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