Yuki Kajimura

 

(梶浦由記) Kajiura Yuki

Japanese composer

 

Born in Tokyo (Japan) in 1965

Yuki Kajiura is a Japanese composer and music producer. She has provided the music for several popular anime series, such as Madlax, Noir, .hack//SIGN, Aquarian Age, My-HiME, My-Otome, Tsubasa Chronicle, and one of the Kimagure Orange Road movies (amongst others).

She also assisted Toshihiko Sahashi with Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Kajiura has also composed for the Xenosaga video game series, namely the cutscene music for Xenosaga II and the entire Xenosaga III game soundtrack. She currently resides in Tokyo.

Due to her father's work, Kajiura lived in West Germany since 1972 and until her middle school years. Her first music piece, which she had written at the age of 7, was a farewell song for her grandmother.

After graduating from college (back in Tokyo), she began working as a systems engineering programmer, but in 1992, she turned her career around to focus on her activities on music. She admits that it was her father who greatly influenced this decision, for he was a great opera and classical music admirer.

In July of 1992, she made her debut in an all-female trio See-Saw, then consisting of Chiaki Ishikawa (lead vocals), herself (back-up vocals, keyboards), and Yukiko Nishioka. In the following two years, the group released six singles and two albums but in 1995 they temporarily broke up.

 

               

Nishioka decided to become a writer while Kajiura carried on with her solo musician career, composing music for other artists as well as sound producing for TV, commercials, films, animation and games.

In 2001, she and Chiaki Ishikawa reunited as See-Saw. Around the same time she became involved with Koichi Mashimo's animation studio Bee Train and their first widely popular project, Noir. Despite the series' controversial status among the reviewers, all critics generally praised its OST as a breakthrough in the animation music scene for its risky but highly successful mix of synth, opera, and French-flaired sound.

Kajiura greatly enjoyed the degree of artistic freedom that Mashimo as the series' director offered her while collaborating on Noir, therefore their collaboration extended to many of his later projects, with the latest (as of 2007) being El Cazador de la Bruja. For example, Mashimo would never set any distinctive limitations or goals before her, allowing her to compose whatever she pleases. Afterwards, he would just take the samples he thought appropriate and insert it to whenever he wanted them to play.

In 2002, See-Saw participated in another Mashimo's project, .hack//SIGN, which became widely known for its TV and game combined development, and its soundtrack sold over 300,000 copies. During the production of the series, Kajiura met Emily Bindiger and impressed by her vocals, offered her to perform over 10 of the series' insert songs. She has also jokingly called Bindiger "her English teacher" on Anime Expo 2003.

One of See-Saw's further major hits was the ending theme song for Mobile Suit Gundam SEED ("Anna ni Issho Datta no ni"), which sold over 200,000 copies causing a sensation in the animation world. Dream Field, See-Saw's first original album release in nine years, became a hit, as well, in 2003, selling over 100,000 copies. In the same year, Kajiura released her first solo album, Fiction, which she performed and promoted at Anime Expo 2003 in Anaheim, California.

One of Kajiura's solo projects include FictionJunction, which contrary to common belief is not an alias but the name of the project itself. The project involves collaboration with artists such as Yuuka Nanri, Asuka Kato, and Kaori Oda. FictionJunction YUUKA, with Nanri as the vocalist, is the most prolific of these collaborations. In 2004, the duo produced the opening and ending songs for Koichi Mashimo's MADLAX and in the next year, published their first collaborative album, Destination.

In October 2007, it was announced that Yuki Kajiura would be attending the performances of the Eminence Orchestra's concert, 'A Night In Fantasia 2007 - Symphonic Anime Edition', as a special guest.

Her latest project, 'Kalafina' is comprised of Keiko Kubota (FictionJunction KEIKO), Wakana Ootaki (FictionJunction WAKANA) and two other vocalists named Hikaru and Maya. They performed the ending themes of the Kara no Kyoukai movies.

 

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