- When did you first learn that you would obtain a chance to rescore
Castle In The Sky ?
- What was Hayao Miyazaki's initial
reaction to the idea of rescoring the film?
- How frequently do you get a chance to rescore a movie that you originally scored?
- What 'baggage' do you take into such a session - and what do you do for new
- Is the passage of time / advancing maturity / added experience enough
to get a new outlook on the film, or do you review the movie, discuss the ideas with the
creator, or do other research?
- In the diary there is a cryptic reference to "avoiding an accident like we had in
Italy". What does that refer to?
TOPIC: English vs. Japanese version of CASTLE
- Was there anything you couldn't
do when you did the original LAPUTA back in 1986, because of time, money, or your ability
(^^;), and was able to "correct" this time?
- Did you ever think "what would Miyazaki-San say?" while working on the
American version of CASTLE?
- What is it about the LAPUTA soundtrack that you thought was important to
re-do? Was it something that you personally wanted to see changed?
- Since you have been given the
chance to go back and add more music to Castle in the Sky how much did the original
score influence your musical direction?
- Do you have anything particular in mind as you create a new score for a new audience,
i.e. a world audience, now that Castle in the Sky will be marketed on a large scale
in countries other than Japan?
- How familiar will the re-done soundtrack be to people who have seen the Japanese film
and heard the old soundtrack?
- Will the new soundtrack still use electronic music as in the original, or will it be
replaced by acoustic music?
- Will there be new sound effects for LAPUTA, and are you involved in recording
- Your web diary (www.joehisaishi.com) states that the
a-cappella children's choral piece (when LAPUTA falls apart) is being replaced by an
orchestral piece. Will there still be any vocal pieces in the main soundtrack?
- How are they going to handle the final song ("Carrying You" / "Kimi
wo Nosete") in the English version? Will they redo the lyrics in English and who
will they get to sing it? Or will they replace the song with another orchestral piece?
(Personal note: "Carrying You" is my favorite piece of music of all the Miyazaki films
and I would hate to see it lost in the English version.)
- If you had to pick one or two
central concepts that the LAPUTA film soundtrack
was meant to convey, how would you describe them?
- What are the differences in emotion or style that you want to convey among the new
LAPUTA score, the original LAPUTA score, and the
PRINCESS MONONOKE score?
- Your website mentions 55 pieces of music for the English soundtrack. How many
were there in the original Japanese version?
- How much time were you given to compose and record the original Japanese soundtrack
in comparison to the English soundtrack?
TOPIC: The use of silence vs. music in Studio
- Do YOU PERSONALLY believe that it is necessary to "fill the gaps"
[gaps = silent parts of the original movie] in the soundtrack to Laputa? Why or
- I'd like to ask him if the new score will still make such dramatic use of moments
of silence. One of the most powerful aspects of the 'classic' score (to use a
STAR TREK fan term here) is that there are moments when music stops and the impact
of sudden silence is very dramatic, adding to the emotion of the moment. It's a feature
of all his soundtracks that he can use both sound and silence, and I hope he'll have continued
to do so in the 'nextgen' score.
- In the diary on his web site he talks about "Americanizing" the sound
of the music. What does he mean by that and can he give examples of
how he has adapted the music to make it "American"?
- Do you like the work of re-doing
your music for an American audience?
- How do you approach "Americanizing" the music for LAPUTA?
- Were you given any guidelines
by Disney and/or Ghibli?
- How do you determine when the music sounds too Japanese or too
American? How do you differentiate the two?
- What input if any did he have on the re-scoring of
KIKI and did he like how it came out?
- What is your opinion on the way some of the music was altered in the
dub of MAJO NO TAKYUUBIN (KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE)?
- Hypothetical question: if Miramax asked you to rescore the soundtrack
of PRINCESS MONONOKE specifically for the American market, what
changes would you make in this 2-year-old score?
- If Buena Vista asked you to rescore CASTLE IN THE SKY for the French,
German, Italian, and/or Spanish markets, what changes would you make
in those versions? Will the Italian version sound too much like
PORCO ROSSO [KURENAI NO BUTA]? ^_^
- During the past decade, has the popularity of Hollywood films in Japan
affected the way the soundtracks of Japanese domestic films are scored?
TOPIC: Release information
- Does he have any idea when BVHE plans to release LAPUTA and if so is a
theatrical release in the cards?
- Is he aware of any plans by Disney/BVHE to release any of his Ghibli
soundtrack albums domestically (i.e. KIKI, LAPUTA, MONONOKE HIME).
In other words, will any of his Ghibli soundtracks be sold in North America?
TOPIC: Other Studio Ghibli films
- Did he have to do any tweaking to the MONONOKE HIME score for the
soon-to-be-released US dubbed version?
- Does *he* know who is singing the English version of MONONOKE HIME and
could he tell us?
- Are there currently any plans to rescore NAUSICAA
OF THE VALLEY OF WIND ?
- When will work start on the English release of NAUSICAA?
- Would you be willing to oversee the music direction in the other
Ghibli films that will be released in America in the future?
- Do you plan doing any more future soundtracks for Studio Ghibli?
TOPIC: Other films
- Do you plan to score any non-Japanese movies?
- Do you have any plans to score music for Hollywood films?
- What kind/genres of films do you like to work on?
- Besides Miyazaki and Kitano, which other directors in Japan do you
like to work with the most? How about American directors?
- What are the differences between working with Kitano (on HANA-BI) and
- Which US filmmaker (if any) would you like to compose music for, and
if so, why?
- Is there any difference between scoring a live-action film and a
TOPIC: About the production of the English version of CASTLE
- Have you met Mark Hamill or any of the other English voice actors
- What is your opinion of the English voice acting for LAPUTA?
- Will Laputa be recorded for THX,
SDDS, or some other sound system?
TOPIC: About Hisaishi-san
- When and where was he born?
- Who inspires you musically?
- Which US soundtrack composers (Goldsmith, Horner, etc.) does he listen
to and/or like/admire/etc. ?
- Do you have any favourite film or
soundtrack among the Miyazaki canon?
- Do you have any overall favourite film or soundtrack among your works?
- Who are your [role-] models?
- And this is not about LAPUTA, but if there is time to ask: Is it true
that you are going to direct a movie?
- How did Takahata discover Hisaishi, and what
is his interest in continuing to be the main composer for Miyazaki's films?
- Are you hoping more people know who you are worldwide with Disney now
promoting the films in which you scored? [In other words: do you hope
to become more popular outside of Japan?]
- Is it good to know that your work and Miyazaki's stories appeal so
strongly outside of Japan?
TOPIC: Work style
- How do you work with Miyazaki when you score a film? Does he just give
you a general idea for the film ("it's going to be about a 13 year old
witch who moves to a new town and has to live on her own") and then
you go off and write sample music to see if he likes any of the
pieces? Or does he sit down with a very detailed storyboard and go
over it with you saying detailed things like "and I want a short,
light piece of music here for this scene that will express Kiki's
TOPIC: Visit to Seattle
- Are you enjoying your visit to Seattle (if the interview will be in
Seattle) / to the United States (if the interview will not be in
- How good is the working relationship between you and the
Seattle Symphony Orchestra?
- How does the Seattle Symphony
Orchestra compare to other orchestras you have worked with?
- What is your deadline for recording the new soundtrack?
- Would you permit fans to observe the recording sessions?
- Would you have any time or interest in meeting your fans in the
- Is there anything in particular you are looking forward to in Seattle?
- Do you have plans to visit Seattle (or other cities in North America)
again in the near future?
TOPIC: Exposure to overseas fandom
- Are you aware of the fan web site Nausicaa.net?
- Are you or anyone else connected with Studio Ghibli interested in
being in closer contact with fans, especially to help promote your
works to audiences outside of Japan?
- Do you have any comments for your fans about your work on the new
soundtrack for LAPUTA?