Jahanzeb Khan
29 Sep, 2009

Backstage at ANIF 2009: Inon Zur/Kow Otani

PALGN Interview | We interview two great legends.
Before the magical A Night in Fantasia 2009, we had unprecedented access to the stars of the show. Namely, the composers behind many of the pieces played that night. And as soon as the PALGN staff arrived backstage, the very first composer we met was none other than the legendary Kow Otani(Shadow of the Colossus). We immediately sat down with him for a quick interview before he had to go back again for rehearsals.

PALGN: First of all welcome back to Sydney! How does it feel?

Kow Otani: Thank you. I am getting used to Sydney more and more. Every time I come back I feel like I have forgotten the feel of it. So I still lose my way, like which way is Town Hall (laughs).

PALGN: The last time we saw A Night in Fantasia was back in 2007. How do you feel about the grand return of this concert series?

Kow Otani: The concert is more international this time with composers from all over the world. I think the content will be more interesting. I haven’t listened to everyone’s music yet so I am also looking forward to it.

Kow Otani.

Kow Otani.
PALGN: You will be performing with Aika Tsuneoka tonight. You have been working with her for quite sometime. Tell us about this collaboration.

Kow Otani: I have been working with Aika as a unit, as a group in Japan called ‘Hyper Little Toys’. I think Aika’s voice is one and only in this world. Tonight we will be performing and I will be playing the piano.

PALGN: Regarding that performance, we understand that it will be an arrangement from Shadow of the Colossus. What can you tell us about it?

Kow Otani: Shadow of the Colossus (SOTC) was a very beautiful game that everyone really liked. Although there was a lot of fighting in that game but at the same it was a sad love story. For this arrangement I have picked the bits I really liked from all the pieces in the SOTC soundtrack and I have combined them into one piece. It is like my memorial piece, the order is very different from what was seen in the game and so many fans might get confused (laughs).

PALGN: The developers of SOTC are working on a new Playstation 3 game called Last Guardian. Any thoughts on it?

Kow Otani: I have only heard about it (laughs).

PALGN: How do you feel about the work Eminence has done in promoting video game and anime music over the years?

Kow Otani: I am very happy. It is really good to see someone doing this type of work as more people will become fans of the music.

PALGN: We understand that you did some work with Eminence recently, can you please tell us about that?

Kow Otani: Last year I worked with them on the Diablo soundtrack. Aika recorded a vocal track for it.

PALGN: Tonight we will be seeing many guest composers from America, have you had the chance to speak to any of them yet?

Kow Otani: I have spoken to Inon Zur, I am looking forward to drinking with him after the concert tonight (laughs).

PALGN: Thank you very much for this interview! We wish you and Aika the best of luck in your performance!

Kow Otani: Thank you!

We recently conducted an in-depth interview with Inon Zur(Prince of Persia) but when we met him again backstage, we couldn’t help but speak with him once more. This time of course we focused more on A Night in Fantasia 2009 and his work that was going to be featured in it. This interview took place just when the doors opened.

PALGN: How does it feel to be a part of A Night in Fantasia 2009?

Inon Zur:It’s a great feeling and I am very happy, proud and flattered to be a part of this event. I have been waiting for a very long time for this and for me it is a great achievement to be recognized this way.

PALGN: How did the idea initially come about? How were you approached for this project?

Inon Zur: I have known Hiro for a year and a half. We were collaborating on a project and Hiro actually suggested me to present some of my pieces and I said yes right away. We worked on a suite from the Prince of Persia and Dragon Age: Origins soundtrack.

PALGN: Eminence has used Prince of Persia to promote the concert as we have seen the artwork for the game being used for promotions and media. How does it feel to see Prince of Persia being used to promote the event?

Inon Zur: It is a great feeling. I have worked very hard on the score and to be recognized in such a way is a great sense of pride for me. The Prince of Persia piece is a quite challenging and I really hope it goes well.

Inon Zur.

Inon Zur.
PALGN: Many fans are very excited about hearing the Prince of Persia arrangement. How do you personally feel about it?

Inon Zur: I think the piece has a very unique aspect to it because it puts together Middle Eastern aspects. The ethnic instruments along with the traditional orchestra, this mixture created a very unique sound.

PALGN: Is this a style you particularly enjoy?

Inon Zur: I would say I like to be challenged, I like to compose in many styles and I am able to insert my own style into any category.

PALGN: How do you feel about the work Eminence has done in promoting video game and anime music over the years?

Inon Zur: I think it is really amazing what Eminence is doing. This is such a hard and high hill to climb because music per se is something that is not widely recognized with video games. To just connect these two ends is really hard and Eminence is standing in the front when it comes to the representation of this music.

PALGN: What was it like working with the Eminence team?

Inon Zur: They are very professional, more than that they have heart. Hiro is at the beginning of his road and he is going to be a major player in the next few years. He is very ambitious and talented. He knows exactly where he is going.

PALGN: We spoke with Kow Otani earlier and he said he was looking forward to having a drink with you after the concert.

Inon Zur: Yes we will! Kow Otani is great, Go Shiina is great. It was an honour to meet them and collaborate with them.

PALGN: Thank you very much for participating in another interview for us! We will see you at the concert!

Inon Zur: Thank you!

*All photographs are courtesy of Evan Stubbs, TindrumFire Photography

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4 years ago
Inon's an awesome guy, very laid back and modest.

Kow Otani is just a God. And I'd highly suggest everyone go check out his work with Aika for Diablo. It's seriously amazing.
4 years ago
Denny wrote
Kow Otani is just a God. And I'd highly suggest everyone go check out his work with Aika for Diablo. It's seriously amazing.
Abosolutely, and his band is pretty impressive as well. That 'Hyper Little Toys' album they were selling at the concert is some of the best music ive ever heard.
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