I’m excited to share that my book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, was released today in Japan in its newly-published Japanese-language edition! O’Reilly Japan has published the Japanese softcover of my book in Japan under the title, “Game Sound Production Guide: Composer Techniques for Interactive Music.”
I’m very excited that the Japanese language edition of my book has already hit #1 on the “Most Wished For” list on Amazon Japan!
Coincidentally, the English-language version of A Composer’s Guide to Game Music is now #1 on the Kindle Top Rated list, too!
O’Reilly Japan is located in Tokyo, and is dedicated to translating books about technological innovation for Japanese readers. They are a division of O’Reilly Media, a California publishing company that acts as “a chronicler and catalyst of leading-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and galvanizing their adoption by amplifying “faint signals” from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. O’Reilly publishes definitive books on computer technologies for developers, administrators, and users. Bestselling series include the legendary “animal books,” Missing Manuals, Hacks, and Head First.”
From what I’ve gathered, my book – A Composer’s Guide to Game Music – is the first English language book about game music to be translated into Japanese and sold in Japan. There are a few other books available in Japan on the subject – but they were all originally written in Japanese. These include a book exploring game sound by the audio hardware designer and sound developer Shiomi Toshiyuki, a text on creating sound for games with the CRI ADX2 middleware by Uchida Tomoya, and a book on producing game music and sound design by the artist “polymoog” of the dance music duo ELEKETL (pictured below, from left to right).
I’m tremendously excited about the Japanese edition of my book, and my excitement comes in large part from the venerable tradition of outstanding music in Japanese games. From the most celebrated classic scores of such top game composers as Koji Kondo (Super Mario Bros.) and Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), to the excellent modern scores of such popular composers as Masato Kouda (Monster Hunter) and Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts), Japanese video game composers have set the creative bar very high. I’m incredibly honored that my book will be read by both established and aspiring game composers in Japan! I hope they’ll find some helpful information in my book, and I’m excited to contribute to the ongoing conversation about game music in the Japanese development community.
I’ve always loved Japanese game music. In 2008, I participated in a compilation album in which successful game composers created cover versions of celebrated video game songs from classic games. The album was called “Best of the Best: A Tribute to Game Music.” I chose the music by Koji Kondo from Super Mario Bros., and recorded an a cappella vocal version. It’s currently available for sale from the Sumthing Else Music Works record label, and can also be downloaded on iTunes. You can hear the track on YouTube here:
If you’d like to learn more about the rich legacy of game music composition in Japan, you can watch an awesome free documentary series produced by the Red Bull Music Academy, entitled “Diggin’ in the Carts: A Documentary Series About Japanese Video Game Music.” The series interviews famous game composers of Japan, which means that the interviews and narration are both in Japanese (with English subtitles). Here’s an episode that focuses on modern accomplishments by Japanese game composers:
Winifred Phillips is an award-winning video game music composer whose most recent project is the triple-A first person shooter Homefront: The Revolution. Her credits include five of the most famous and popular franchises in video gaming: Assassin’s Creed, LittleBigPlanet, Total War, God of War, and The Sims. She is the author of the award-winning bestseller A COMPOSER’S GUIDE TO GAME MUSIC, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. As a VR game music expert, she writes frequently on the future of music in virtual reality video games. Follow her on Twitter @winphillips.