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Noriyuki Iwadare Discusses Phoenix Wright Concerts and the Prototype Kanadeon

June 30, 2009 | | 4 Comments Share thison Facebook Noriyuki Iwadare Discusses Phoenix Wright Concerts and the Prototype Kanadeonon Twitter

Game music fans were the first group of people to get to hear the sounds of an upcoming music box called the Kanadeon, a product which is still under development and not yet available on the retail market. Thanks to Noriyuki Iwadare getting an exclusive opportunity to use a prototype model of the device on-stage during the Ace Attorney Orchestra Concert, he’s been able to provide valuable feedback to the SRIC Corporation about the product’s abilities and development.

Iwadare-san agreed to answer some questions about the planning of the 2008 orchestral concert, the alterations which needed to be made to the arrangements, and his overall experience working together with the Tokyo Philharmonic. He also reveals more details behind the upcoming Kanadeon, which has also made an appearance on the bonus disc of the Gyakuten Kenji DS Limited Edition game package bundle.

Find out all the details in our full interview after the jump.

OSV: At the time of the first studio recorded orchestra CD in 2006, were there any plans for a live performance back then?

Iwadare: The Phoenix Wright series’ founder, Mr. Shu Takumi, and myself had in fact been enthusiastically talking about doing a concert after the studio recording was finished, but I never dreamed it would become a reality. Holding a concert requires many factors to properly come together before it can materialize, such as securing the orchestra and an orchestra hall, so thanks goes to the patience and hard work of the Capcom staff. I am extremely grateful that it became a reality.

OSV: There seems to be quite a few changes made to the arrangements when comparing the earlier studio-recorded orchestra CD to the 2008 live performance CD. Were those updates due to some feedback or opinions after the first CD was released, or simply to align the arrangements to more accurately utilize the Tokyo Philharmonic’s capabilities?

Iwadare: There were several reasons for the changes in arrangements. Firstly, were unable to use a piano in the concert. This was concerning a problem with the size of the stage, which wasn’t very large to begin with. Incidentally, I had requested the orchestra to expand the string and percussion sections, so there wasn’t really any space to fit a piano on stage. Therefore, we had no choice but to completely change the songs that incorporated piano. The formation of the orchestra was also slightly different from the studio recording, so that became a factor as well. In addition, there were a number of songs, such as the courtroom themes, that I condensed into one. I decided to do this, with the progression of the of the concert in mind, upon discussing it with the staff. When compiling these themes, I placed importance on linking themes together, which required a lot of additional arrangement as well.

OSV: The conductor seemed to really get into the music’s energy during the concert. Did any of the Tokyo Philharmonic musicians express their feelings about the music after the show?

Iwadare: When the concert was over, we all had separate interviews and various things to do so I wasn’t able to speak with the ladies and gentlemen of the orchestra directly. However the conductor, Mr. Kurita, came to me and told me how he would love to do a tour of the concert sometime. During the encore performance in the fall, I had a chance to speak with the ladies and gentlemen of the orchestra and they said they were inspired by the music and that they really enjoyed the performance.

OSV: The commemorative CD (a special present given out to the audience) contains 2 vocal performances, but during the concert only the female vocalist performed her “Loving Guitar’s Serenade” song live. During the planning phase, were there any intentions to have a male vocalist on stage sing his “Oo-edo Soldier Tonosaman’s Theme” live during the concert as well?

Iwadare: There were no plans to have “Tonosaman’s Theme” sung on stage. The inclusion of “Tonosaman’s Theme” on the commemorative album was, itself, something that was decided at the last minute. This commemorative album is very extravagant. Those songs were later included in the fall concert, performed on the Kanadeon.

OSV: Can you tell us some details about the unique music-box connected to the output of your keyboard controller? Is it really a one-of-a-kind custom unit?

Iwadare: It’s an product co-developed by SRIC Corporation and Sankyo Orgel Corporation called the “Kanadeon“, which is a music box that can be physically played through MIDI interface. Currently it is still in development, however, I was able to have the development accelerated to meet the time of the concert and actually use it. It is scheduled to go on the market sometime in 2009. It’s probably not the first playable orgel in the world. To tell you the truth, I’ve had the pleasure of being acquainted with the president of SRIC Corporation, Mr. Furiwara, for quite some time now, who played a role in me receiving the opportunity to work on the Phoenix Wright series. I was surprised when I saw this “Kanadeon” mentioned in my local newspaper and gave Mr. Fujiwara a call. As we were talking, I had a premonition that I could perhaps use this instrument in the concert, so I had him show me a prototype model, and I’ve been able to give feedback and requests about the instrument such as, “I’d like it to be able to do this.” It’s currently in the middle of refinement.

OSV: Right after you finished this successful orchestral concert for Phoenix Wright, what did you feel and what was on your mind?

Iwadare: I had turned down other jobs and devoted several months specifically to this concert, so when it was over I felt perhaps relieved? It was definitely a weight lifted. I was truly pleased that such a great number of people came to the show and that the staff was satisfied. Even now, I can’t forget the smiling faces of the staff when we launched the concert.

OSV: By the way, you really did well conducting on stage and looked very professional. How did you feel when you were on stage as the conductor?

Iwadare: Being able to conduct a professional orchestra is a very rare opportunity. It was a fantastic experience that I truly enjoyed. It was, of course, an intense feeling. I’d love to do it again.

OSV: Now that your personal dream of a having your compositions performed by a famous orchestra has come true, what do you think your next dream will be?

Iwadare: How about a world tour!

OSV: Finally, please give any comments for the players of the Phoenix Wright series, and for all who love your work!

Iwadare: Thank you all for your ongoing support for Phoenix Wright! There was a Phoenix Wright theatrical performance by the Takarazuka Revue troupe in February of 2009, and Gyakuten Kenji (Ace Attorney: Perfect Prosecutor) is set to be released in the spring. I will be handling the music yet again so I hope you’re looking forward to it. I myself hope to do more and more challenging music projects so please cheer me on! THANK YOU ALL!

[Interview conducted by OSV contributor and Moonraiser Media LLC owner Carl Larson in conjunction with Cocoebiz LLC owner Kahori Ezaki.  Translation by Justin Pfeiffer.]

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