Interview: Hiroaki Yura; Violin Virtuoso Bringing Gaming To Life
Aussie-Gamer.com was recently very lucky to acquire some some time with founder of the Eminence Symphony Orchestra, Hiroaki Yura. Eminence is, without a doubt, one of the most respected orchestras in their field and have played many wonderful shows across the globe to sellout crowds.
Their performance last year in their popular flagship theme night, A Night in Fantasia ’09 drew many international composers and special guests to the event. Known for their amazing attention to detail, faithful reproductions and inspirational original compositions, the future looks bright for Eminence and we can’t urge you enough to catch one of their shows next time you can. So without further ado, below you’ll find the results of our recent Q & A with Hiro. Enjoy!
Aussie-Gamer.com: There seems to be a resurgence in popularity with anime and video game music, in particular the orchestral parts. What part do you think Eminence has played in this?
Hiroaki Yura: I think it’s all those Youtube videos our fans have put up on the internet. This created a lot of hype and launched a massive popularity in Videogame music. We’ve been at this orchestral video game concert since 2003. We’re still the only professional orchestra to solely perform these kinds of music, so naturally, people are very interested in what we’re doing.
A-G: Your concerts always draw young people, from young teens to early 20’s, were you surprised by this or did you not know what to expect when Eminence started performing?
HY: We’re not surprised because this is exactly what we wanted to happen. We wanted young people to enjoy the music played by classical instrumentalists.
A-G: What is the process behind Eminence scoring for a game, say something recent like Xenoblade? Do you take direction from the game’s producer, for example?
HY: For Xenoblade, then Eminence Artist Sarah Alainn sung the ending song to Xenoblade. My involvement was as her producer and manager. Depending on each project, how much Eminence is involved really depends on each project.
A-G: What does a typical day for you entail? Are you always working out of the Imagine Studios in Tokyo?
HY: Typical day? Well the only thing I have in common in each day is I work work work work work. Hahaha, true story. Whether that be in a cafe in New York City, at the Blizzard cafe at Blizzard HQ in Irvine, at Fox Studios in Sydney or with my clients at Bandai Namco Games.
A-G: Where would you like to see Eminence in 5 years time? Touring the world for example, scoring more anime’s/video games?
HY: Yes. Exactly. Oh, we just recently started a band.
A-G: After each concert, you always make time for the fans and sign autographs? Was this something you came up with and how important is it for you to touch base with your fans?
HY: Spending time with fans are so important. We have a lot to say during the concert through our music, but I really believe the audience has too! We love spending time with them after the concert to complete the circle so to speak. We also receive valuable feedback to our performance after the concert.
A-G: You’ve been playing the violin since you were a young boy and played for many important people in your impressive career. Any particular highlights?
HY: There are highlights everywhere! From performing with Alexander Gavriluk, performing for Pinchas Zukermann to ex-PM of Japan – Junichi Koizumi. I just don’t think about it, there are many things coming up in my life as I live.
A-G: You’ve established an impressive network of Eminence friends such as Yasunori Mitsuda, Go Shiina and Ko Otani, to name a few, what are some other people you want to work with in the future?
HY: I’d like to work with Steve Jablonsky, Coldplay (the band) and great funny and eccentric people who is not as famous!
A-G: What is the rapport within the Eminence Orchestra? Do you get a chance to just all hang out when not performing or everyone busy with side projects?
HY: We go out drinking in Roppongi.
A-G: What future projects do you have lined up? You’ve impressed and wowed audiences with the series of a night in fantasia and passions concert, just 2 examples of your theme nights, what are some other theme concerts currently being planned?
HY: Nothing announced yet, you’ll have to check out our website soon!
Thanks to Hiro once again for his time, a warm, talented musician and performer.
Note: This interview was originally published on September 2, 2010.