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Junko Tamiya
民谷淳子
BVP Junko Tamiya 2014
Junko Tamiya, circa 2014

Occupation:

Music composer, arranger and producer

Active years:

1987 - 1990

Junko Tamiya (民谷淳子) is a music composer who formerly worked for Capcom in a number of games, being best rememebered for her work in the Arcade Strider and the NES Bionic Commando. She's also known by the aliases "Gon"[1][2], "Gonzou"[3] and "Gondamin"[4] .

Early LifeEdit

Junko Tamiya found out she enjoyed performing music ever since her childhood[5]. She attended the Osaka College of Music, where she met and became friends with fellow composers Miki Higashino, Soyo Oka and Yosuke Inoue[6]. She first discovered the potential careers in video game music at this time, having learned of openings at Capcom's sound team from the university.[5]

CareerEdit

CapcomEdit

Tamiya joined Capcom around 1987, and became part of their in-house sound team "Alph Lyla"[1]. Her first works were single track contributions for the Arcade games Tiger Road and 1943 Kai, after which she composed the soundtrack for the NES port of Gun.Smoke. At the time she was nicknamed "Tami-chan" (民ちゃん) by the other team members.[5]

Around 1988 Tamiya was chosen as the main composer of the Arcade version in the three-way Strider project. Before starting work, she was given two instructions by the game's main planner Kouichi Yotsui: to compose the tracks with an emphasis on emotions and feelings[1][5] and to study Igor Stravinski's "The Rite of Spring"[1][7]. Creating the music turned out to be an arduous task as Isuke demanded a lot from the sound staff and rejected Tamiya's initial works because he wanted the music to be perfect[7]. Eventually, however, Tamiya understood what Isuke wanted and made music he had no problems with[7]. Once this framework was firmly in place, Tamiya started composing themes as she saw fit. She worked using an MSX computer with a keyboard for input, and relied on FM sound sources.[5]

Junko Tamiya also worked in the game's soundtrack release, Strider Hiryu -G.S.M. Capcom 2-, making two original arrangements titled "Snow in Savanna" and "Moon of St. Petersburg". The first is a medley of arranged themes made together with fellow Alph Lyla members Harumi Fujita, Tamayo Kawamoto and Manami Matsumae, although Tamiya herself had a small part in its making[1]. The second is a solo arrange of the first stage theme "Raid!" inspired by the moon as seen during the latter half of the stage and the sense of loneliness and silence displayed in that sequence.[1]

Later YearsEdit

Following her work for the 1990 NES games Street Fighter 2010 and Little Nemo: The Dream Master, Tamiya left Capcom. She didn't return to video game composing afterwards, instead working primarily arranging music for live performances and stage music, as well as producing Japanese classical music and working on other stage productions[5]. In 2014, Tamiya reunited with other former Capcom composers during the BitSummit convention and later joined them as composer in Brave Wave Production's "Project Light" album.[5]

GameographyEdit

Year Title Developer Publisher System Role
1987 Tiger Road
虎への道
Capcom Capcom Arcade Assist. Composer
1987 1943 Kai
1943改 ミッドウェイ海戦
Capcom Capcom Arcade Composer
1988 Gun.Smoke
ガンスモーク
Capcom Capcom NES Composer
1988 Bionic Commando
ヒットラーの復活 TOP SECRET
Capcom Capcom NES Composer
1989 Strider
ストライダー飛竜
Capcom Capcom Arcade Composer
1989 Dokaben 2
ドカベン2
Capcom Capcom NES Composer
1989 Final Fight
ファイナルファイト
Capcom Capcom Arcade Composer
1989 Sweet Home
スウィートホーム
Capcom Capcom NES Composer
1990 Code Name: Viper
人間兵器デッドフォックス
Arc System Works
Capcom
Capcom NES Assist. Composer
1990 Adventure Quiz 2: Hatena? no Daibōken
アドベンチャークイズ2 ハテナ?の大冒険
Capcom Capcom Arcade Composer
1990 Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight
2010 ストリートファイター
Capcom Capcom NES Music Director
1990 Little Nemo: The Dream Master
パジャマヒーロー NEMO
Capcom Capcom NES Composer

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Alph Lyla wa Lyla (May 21, 1989). Strider Hiryû -G.S.M. CAPCOM 2-. [CD]. Pony Canyon, D25B-1001. Liner Notes, pg. 1-2.
  2. Capcom (December 1985, NES). Sweet Home (Japanese). Ending, Staff Roll
  3. Capcom (December 1990, NES). Little Nemo: The Dream Master (English). Ending, Staff Roll
  4. Capcom (December 1988, NES). Bionic Commando (English). Ending, Staff Roll
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Brandon, Alexander; Greening, Chris (May 19, 2014). "Junko Tamiya Interview: Creating Capcom's Incredible NES Scores". vgmonline.net. Translated by Mohammed Taher. Accessed May 26, 2016.
  6. Greening, Chris; Harris, Dave (March 28, 2011). "Soyo Oka Interview: The Comeback of Super Mario Kart’s Composer" (English). vgmonline.net. Translated by Ben Schweitzer and Shota Nakama. Accessed May 26, 2016
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Jones, Darran (24 Apr 2010). "The Making of... Strider". Retro Gamer (76). pp. 48-53.

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