Kitaro Biography

Masanori Takahashi, 4 February 1953, Toyohashi, Japan. Soon after graduating from high school, Takahashi formed a rock band, the Far East Family Band, who released two albums and toured around the world. He was converted to synthesizer music after meeting Klaus Schulze of Tangerine Dream in 1972. The inspiration for Kitaro’s new music came from visits to Asian countries including, in particular, India and the remoter reaches of his Japanese homeland. His 1978 debut, Tenkai, a suite for synthesizer, prompted NHK (the Japanese broadcasting company) to commission Kitaro to write a score for the lengthy television documentary, Silk Road. This atmospheric, meditative piece full of simple melodies and unhurried tempos earned the composer national and international recognition. As a resident of a small village in the Nagano prefecture in central Japan, Kitaro was able to pursue his work in contemplative surroundings, as reflected in his music.

For much of the 80s Kitaro’s distribution outlet in the west was handled by Polydor Records and the Kuckuck (Line) labels. However, in 1986 he signed a major contract with Geffen Records confirming his status as one of the world’s leading new age artists. The following year’s The Light Of The Spirit was produced by Mickey Hart and earned a nomination for a Grammy Award. Kitaro relocated to Boulder, Colorado, USA in 1989 where he established his own Mochi House studio. In 1993, his score for Oliver Stone’s Heaven & Earth earned a Golden Globe for the Best Original Soundtrack. In the mid-90s Kitaro signed a new recording contract with the Domo label. His releases for the label have included the seasonal Peace On Earth, the score for the Broadway production Cirque Ingenieux, and the award-winning soundtrack to The Soong Sisters.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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