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Biography

菅野よう子 (Yōko Kanno), born March 19, 1964 in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, is a Japanese composer, arranger and musician best known for her work on the soundtracks for many games, anime films, TV series, live-action movies, and advertisements. She has written scores for famous animated works, including "Macross Plus", "Turn A Gundam", "Cowboy Bebop", "The Vision of Escaflowne", "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex", "Wolf's Rain", and is the most trusted composer by veteran and new-wave directors such as Yoshiyuki Tomino, Shinichiro Watanabe and Shoji Kawamori. Kanno has also composed music for pop artists, the most notable being 坂本真綾 (Maaya Sakamoto) and 小泉今日子 (Kyōko Koizumi). She is also a skilled keyboardist, and is the frontwoman for シートベルツ (Seatbelts), who perform many of Kanno's compositions on the various original soundtracks for which she is responsible.

Some of her most famous soundtrack themes include "Voices" (Macross Plus), "The Real Folk Blues" (Cowboy Bebop), "Yakusoku wa Iranai" (Escaflowne), "Gravity" (Wolf's Rain), and "Inner Universe" (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex). She was the lead member of the project band called The Seatbelts, which regrouped in the year of 2004 to compose the soundtrack of the PlayStation 2 Cowboy Bebop video game, released in Japan in 2005.

Her early career includes her part in the jazz band てつ100%. She has composed for many Koei games released during the late 1980s to early 1990s and for Napple Tale, a Dreamcast game. Due to her close involvement in the Cowboy Bebop anime, the game released by Bandai also features her work.

Apart from anime and games, Kanno also composes for live-action films and television commercials. Some popular brands she has composed for are Canon, DoCoMo, Fuji Xerox, Seven-Eleven, Microsoft, Nissan, Toyota, Shiseido, Avon, and Master Card to name a few. Grand Funk Inc. is her recording studio of choice in producing for these two media. Contributions to films started in the 90s but only since 2002 has there been a trend towards the medium. Most of the latter were shown in international film festivals.

She has attended Otakon and Anime Expo in 1999, as well as Anime Expo New York in 2002. In 2010, she made a surprise appearance at Anime Expo.

Apart from anime and games, Kanno also composes for live-action films and CMs (television advertisements or commercials) for all sorts of brands. Grand Funk Inc. is her recording studio of choice in producing for these two media. Contributions to films started in the 90s but only since 2002 has there been a trend towards the medium. Most of the latter were shown in international film festivals.
In addition to Japanese, she speaks very little English and some French, but claims that her English is "poor" and she needs translation help to converse in French.

She was married to fellow composer Hajime Mizoguchi, with whom she collaborated on the soundtracks for Please Save My Earth and The Vision of Escaflowne. They divorced in 2007.

Gabriela Robin is a pseudonym that Kanno occasionally uses when she performs vocals. For a long time, the fact that Robin and Kanno were the same person was an unproven rumor. But, on July 7, 2009, Yoko Kanno performed as Gabriela Robin on her stage, proving the rumor to be true.

Besides music, Kanno also enjoys photography and writing. She has written a number of journals for Newtype magazine of which photos for illustrations are done by Kanno herself as well, and a selection of photos taken by Kanno of her protogé and former production partner Maaya Sakamoto were featured in the special event program for Sakamoto's 2010 thirtieth birthday concert at Nippon Budokan.

In 2011, Kanno expressed her support and wishes to the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, composing a song titled "Kimi de Ite, Buji de Ite".

Official website: www.kannoyoko.net

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