Google Doodle celebrates the 107th birthday of Japanese classical and film music composer Akira Ifukube (伊福部 昭), most popular for his works on the Godzilla franchise, on May 31, 2021.
Who was Akira Ifukube?
Akira Ifukube (伊福部 昭) was born on 31 May 1914 in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan into a recognized family lineage that follows its origins back to at least the seventh century as the third son of a police officer Toshimitsu Ifukube. A extraordinary talent in classical music and cinematic film scores broadly known for his work on the original soundtrack for the “Godzilla” movies of the 1950s.
Akira Ifukube was strongly affected by the Ainu music as he spent his childhood (from age of 9 to 12) in Otofuke close to Obihiro, where was with a mixed populace of Ainu and Japanese. His first experience with classical music happened when going to secondary school in Sapporo city.
Akira Ifukube decided to become a composer at 14 years old in the wake of hearing a radio performance of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, likewise refered to the music of Manuel de Falla as a significant influence.
Akira Ifukube (伊福部 昭) studied forestry at Hokkaido Imperial University in Sapporo and formed in his extra time, which prefigured a line of self-educated Japanese composers. His first piece was the piano performance, Piano Suite (later the title was changed to Japan Suite, arranged for orchestra), devoted to George Copeland who was living in Spain.
Akira Ifukube’s large break came in 1935, when his first orchestral piece Japanese Rhapsody won the first prize in an international competition for young composers promoted by Alexander Tcherepnin.
On finishing University, Akira Ifukube worked as a forestry officer and lumber processor in Akkeshi, and towards the finish of the Second World War was named by the Imperial Japanese Army to study the elasticity and vibratory strength of wood.
Akira Ifukube (伊福部 昭) educated at the Tokyo University of the Arts (in the past Tokyo Music School), during which period he composed his first film score for The End of the Silver Mountains, released in 1947. Throughout the next fifty years, he would compose in excess of 250 film scores, the high point of which was his 1954 music for Ishirō Honda’s Toho film, Godzilla.
Akira Ifukube likewise made Godzilla’s trademark roar – produced by rubbing a resin-covered leather glove along the slackened strings of a double bass – and its footsteps, made by striking an amplifier box.
Regardless of his financial accomplishment as a film composer, Ifukube’s first love had consistently been his general classical work as a composer. Truth be told his compositions for the two genres cross-fertilized each other.
He trained more youthful generation composers. He likewise published Orchestration, a 1,000-page book on theory, generally used among Japanese composers.