In the final weekend of January, a team of producers and composers travelled from Tokyo to Dublin. It was a bitterly cold weekend and fierce winds whipped the Ringsend Road on Dublin’s southside. On Saturday morning, Windmill Lane Recording Studios heats up as the staff sets up equipment for a session on the top floor. The Japanese crew prepares to record the soundtrack of Nintendo’s Xenogears. One by one, singers from ANÚNA arrive.
ANÚNA performed in Tokyo in February 2017. It was a collaborative production between Noh theatre artists and ANÚNA’s musical director Michael McGlynn. Based on a W.B. Yeats play published in 1918 entitled “The Hawk’s Well”, the 2017 Tokyo production was a Japanese adaptation entitled Takahime (The Hawk Princess). Featuring twelve singers and three Noh instrumental players, the production’s soundtrack was created as an interactive composition by Michael McGlynn, using the individual voices of ANÚNA, traditional Noh percussionists, a Noh flautist, and a cast of Noh actors.
I was one of those twelve ANÚNA voices, and Takahime was the most amazing artistic experience of my life.
In the afterglow of this hugely successful show, we went into Sony Studios in Tokyo to record for Nintendo’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The game was released on the new Nintendo Switch device in November 2018 and the track on which my voice was featured – “Shadow of the Lowlands” – already has over 100,000 views.
Last weekend, ANÚNA went back into studio for more soundtrack work – this time for Xenogears 20th anniversary. It was a privilege to record again as a soloist on some Xenogears classics. ANÚNA will perform a series of Japanese concerts in April 2018 for Nintendo, and I cannot wait to sing with the orchestral arrangements.
The music of composer Yasunori Mitsuda is really beautiful, and Michael McGlynn’s ANÚNA is a unique instrument. It’s been a really great project for us and I look forward to seeing what develops along the path.