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Isao Tomita

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Tokyo, Japan (1965 – present)

Isao Tomita (冨田 勲, Tomita Isao, born April 22, 1932), often known simply as Tomita, is a Japanese music composer, regarded as one of the pioneers of electronic music and space music, and as one of the most famous producers of analog synthesizer arrangements. In addition to creating note-by-note realizations, Tomita made extensive use of the sound design capabilities of his instrument, using synthesizers to create new artificial sounds to accompany and enhance his electronic realizations of acoustic instruments. He also made effective use of analog music sequencers and featured futuristic science fiction themes, while laying the foundations for synth-pop music and trance-like rhythms. He also received four Grammy Award nominations for his album Snowflakes are Dancing in 1974.

Tomita bridged the gap between note-by-note classical/electronic LPs like Switched-On Bach and the more futuristic, user-friendly interfaces developed in the 1970s. After creating one of the first personal recording studios with an array of top synthesizer gear in the early ’70s, Tomita applied his visions for space-age synthesizer music to his favorite modern composers — Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel — though his recordings steered a course beyond the academicism of Wendy Carlos and other synthesists. Born in Tokyo in 1932, Tomita grew up in China as well as Japan, studying composition and music theory as well as art history at Keio University.

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  • myonnnnn

    his re-imaginings of debussy and ravel completely blow me away. i have no doubt that debussy at least would be extremely thrilled to hear the genius of tomita take on his own genius and equal it

    23 Jun 4:47am Reply
  • reagan0

    I have been converting my vinyl collection to digital for several months, now, and I just finished converting Tomita's Snowflakes are Dancing. I haven't listened to it in years - not since my previous record player bit the dust. I'm listening to Clair de Lune, and I swear I can't keep the tears from my eyes.

    21 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Metaknite

    lol sounds like tomato

    13 Jul 2013 Reply
  • jazzthieve

    Spotify playlist:The Berlin School of Electronic Music

    24 May 2013 Reply
  • top20fanatico

    Genius of the Universe! ♥

    20 Apr 2013 Reply
  • dada_squad

    pictures at an exhibition pictures at an exhibition pictures at an exhibition pictures at an exhibition

    7 Apr 2013 Reply
  • pikku_bagel

    Now he is on TV, NHK BS1! He's talking about importing a moog, how to make "snowflakes are dancing", the gig in Austria in '80s, etc. Very interesting!!!

    4 Feb 2013 Reply
  • filibusternut

    Headphones in the dark. Close your eyes and delve into the beauty of Tomitas' works. Debussy never sounded so good.

    9 Jan 2013 Reply
  • BJBooth

    SiXkNight look for Snowflakes Are Dancing, some great stuff, esp Golliwog's Cakewalk

    12 Nov 2012 Reply
  • sl8221958

    Jack Horkheimer's "Stargazer" tv show is forever linked with "Snowflakes Are Dancing." Great stuff. The only place I ever heard Tomita on the air.

    25 Oct 2012 Reply
  • BoothsBullet

    just came across "pictures at an exhibition" in a goodwill. got the record and was not disappointed. next stop was "snowflakes are dancing," beautiful stuff!

    16 Aug 2012 Reply
  • Fabula-Nihil

    Pure Brilliance

    8 Jun 2012 Reply
  • Vasumitra79

    genious!

    6 May 2012 Reply
  • glottis5

    Isao Tomato

    9 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Amidlo

    hm, the most similar things that i can think of would be Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Kitaro.. and you know, its always good to try out the things that last.fm suggests that are similar too.

    17 Jan 2012 Reply
  • samgil

    Can anyone recommend more amazing music extremely similar to this?

    13 Oct 2011 Reply
  • cheeze5

    Snowflakes Are Dancing is absolutely brilliant!

    3 Jul 2011 Reply
  • Lobotomy77

    This is pretty cool. Great synth sounds.

    31 May 2011 Reply
  • Lewiswontdie95

    A Bloody Genious!

    16 May 2011 Reply
  • ativke

    Live inside of Blade Runner forever.

    21 Mar 2011 Reply
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