Yoko Kanno composed the eclectic score for "Cowboy Bebop"

Since recording started in April, it has been a very tight time frame. We had to finish the score for an episode in two weeks. It was a...


Since recording started in April, it has been a very tight time frame. We had to finish the score for an episode in two weeks. It was a really tough sprint so I didn’t have the luxury of taking the time to go back and think about what [original] the music was. This kind of intense, time-sensitive environment was similar to where I was doing the anime. I walked through it without thinking too much, just a little “in the zone”. Not too many good things come out if you think about things too much. Spike also has this personality: “Don’t think, don’t feel.”

Have the Covid precautions had an impact on your recording sessions?

What would have happened is that I was flying to LA to attend all the recording sessions. But since the pandemic, I have had to rethink my approach. I tried a few remote recording sessions, but inevitably the time lag, even if it was only a fraction of a second, would be just unbearable. If I play something and don’t get live feedback, my motivation drops dramatically.

So I ended up doing recording sessions in Japan, where I was able to attend and see the whole thing. What turned out to be a plus for the show was that musicians who would otherwise be too busy to attend the scoring sessions were able to do so because all of their other concerts were gone due to the pandemic.

Has your creative process also been affected by the pandemic?

Yes. When creating music, I usually draw inspiration from smells, tastes or feelings, not necessarily audiovisual stimuli. If I wanted to express “the sea”, I would go to the sea, dive and feel the waves and the general atmosphere. The whole digital environment made it a challenge this time around.

So you weren’t able to come out and engage your senses like you normally would when composing?

Exactly. During four and a half months of music production, Zoom meetings, and sharing demo songs, I stayed almost entirely in a basement studio. Gradually, I started to feel frustrated and dissatisfied, and then I knew that must be how the main characters were feeling. Feeling disconnected from the Earth.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Yoko Kanno composed the eclectic score for "Cowboy Bebop"
Yoko Kanno composed the eclectic score for "Cowboy Bebop"
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