Quick Look: Laura Shigihara on Video Game Music

Here at ThaSauce, we love Laura Shigihara‘s music. No seriously, we absolutely adore her. Apart from being quite the busy lady nowadays, this acclaimed Plants vs. Zombies composer takes time out of her involved schedule to post intriguing personal vlogs on her YouTube channel, like bathing an elephant (what?!) and raving about her love for tea. This time around, Laura Shigihara comes up with a couple of reasons why she loves video game music. Highlights of this video include Ms. Shigihara’s  inspirations for choosing to create video game music as a career and her experiences with early varying genres of music within video games.

Coupled with the fact that Laura Shigihara’s voice is as endearing as a dozen fluffy kittens, this video is quite inspirational for aspiring professional VGM composers everywhere.

The ‘Quick Look’ series at ThaSauce covers quick videos and  featured songs to introduce emerging artists and musical twists within the VGM scene. Have you heard or seen any interesting VGM videos on YouTube lately? Shoot me an e-mail at [email protected]

 

Please Press Play: Akira Yamaoka’s Play for Japan Released Today

In a wonderfully heartfelt response to the devastating tragedy that tore through Japan on March 11th, Akira Yamaoka has reached out and organized a benefit album with one simple, inspiring message in mind: “Japan is not alone.” Aptly entitled Play For Japan, Yamaoka hopes to reach out to those affected by both the tsunamis and Tohoku earthquake as well as raise awareness of Japan’s invaluable contributions through technology, entertainment, and culture.

Yamaoka, known for his continued involvement within the Silent Hill series as both producer and sound director, has secured the participation of several prominent composers within the VGM scene. Koji Kondo (Mario/Zelda series), Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger series), Woody Jackson (L.A. Noire), Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy series), Inon Zur (Fallout series), Laura Shigihara (Plants vs. Zombies, see recent ThaSauce articles here and here), Hip Tanaka (Earthbound), and Jason Graves (Dead Space series) are just a few of the superb talents that have confirmed involvement with the Play For Japan project.

Yamaoka has also expressed his own concern of bringing together game and music enthusiasts alike through Play For Japan: “In the videogame industry, composers like myself are responsible for engaging the player through music. Music, too, creates bonds, inspiring listeners to share their passion with others. In this spirit, many gifted composers, musicians and artists — from East and West — have come together to record a benefit album. For creators whose role is to inspire, it’s only fitting we come together, across borderlines, for those in need.”

Out now on the iTunes Store in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, Play For Japan will become available worldwide on July 15th through iTunes and Amazon. 100% of the proceeds will go towards the relief efforts in Japan. If not for Play For Music’s inspirational message alone, we hope you take your time out to definitely press play for Japan.

Laura Shigihara Posts New Original for Upcoming Indie Game

With her recent collaboration with brilliant composers Akira Yamaoka and Woody Jackson to help create a charity album for Japanese tsunami and earthquake victims and the considerable attention being paid to her work, Laura Shigihara has been quite the busy bee lately.  Even so, this lovely lady still has time to produce soulful, enchanting tunes that are probably capable of rendering even the cruelest war-waging cyborgs useless. Written for Ken “Reives” Gao’s upcoming adventure game To The Moon, the acclaimed Plants vs. Zombies composer has delivered yet another delightful gem to add to her continued success — make sure you click the play button above to listen to Laura’s new original song, “Everything’s Alright”.

Plants Vs. Zombies Medley Recreated with Four Gu-zheng (Rad Video!)

Here’s a really cool video we recently found of Jin’ou Xia and her friend Xinxin Song who play their own adaptation to the Plants vs. Zombies soundtrack at Beijing Concert Hall in China. Using four gu-zheng, Xia and Song cleverly use trills to produce long, macabre sounds to recreate their own interesting version of Laura Shigihara’s goofy and original compositions. Jin’ou Xia is a recent graduate at the Central Conservatory of Music, one of the foremost music schools in Beijing.