Album Review - My Road - Songs from Guin Saga

When it was first announced that Satelight would be animating Guin Saga, the fantasy novel series by the late Kaoru Kurimoto, anime discussion forums on sites such as Animesuki and the Final Fantasy Shrine buzzed with excitement over two names involved with the project: director Atsushi Wakabayashi (Ghost in the Shell, Naruto) and composer Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger). After the first episode of Guin Saga aired, otaku were singing the praises of Kanon's This is My Road, comparing her voice to Enya and Sarah Brightman.

My Road - Songs from Guin Saga Album Details

  • Artist: Kanon
  • Supervisor: Nobuo Uematsu
  • Recording Producers: Masa Sakuma & Kensuke Matsushita
  • Label: Sony Music Japan International Inc.
  • Released: August 26, 2009

My Road - Songs from Guin Saga Tracks

Kanon's affinity for classical music is evident in the opening chords of This is My Road. The opening sounds rather similar to George Fredrick Handel's haunting Sarabande & Variations in d minor. This is hardly surprising considering that Handel is one of her favourite composers

Kanon incorporates some Gregorian Chant ("Benedictus") to her musical quote of Handel before launching into the bridge by the piano. The drums and strings swell gently, leading up to Kanon's sweeping melodic line of the main theme.

Marius' Song is a haunting track with a Medieval/early Renaissance flavor. The juxtaposition of the lute against gentle modern percussion, choir and strings may seem strange; but it works. The weaving vocal lines near the end are stunning. Throughout, Kanon's tone remains clear and pure.

Track 3 is a music box instrumental version of This is My Road.

Where-er you go - Cavalleria Rusticana, shows off Kanon's classical training. The form is very much like a operatic aria. The song showcases Kanon's wide vocal range. The tempo is slow, testing her breath control.

Moonlight (or "Unfulfilled Wish - Moonlight) opens with a melancholic melody sung by Kanon, underscored by soft chords in the organ. Then it switches to a contemporary ballad with acoustic piano (performed by Kanon herself) and electronica accompaniment. The piano bridge and comping nod to jazz harmonies and comping style.

The sixth track is an instrumental music box version of Where-er you go - Cavalleria Rusticana.

Rounding out the CD is an English version of This is My Road.

Kanon

 

 

Kanon - A Classical Contemporary Artist Making Waves in Japan's New Age Music Scene

Kanon was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1980. Her musical studies took her abroad, which greatly influence her compositional style and musical tastes. She made her debut in 2002, shortly after graduating from the College of Music in Queensland, Australia. In her 2004 album release, Hymn of Grace, Kanon's compositions were featured for the first time.

In 2004, Sony Music Japan International signed her onto the Sony Music label. In 2006, Kanon was asked to perform at the FIFA World Cup Germany-Asia event and Marché International du Disque et de l'Edition Musicale 2007 (MIDEM) as Japan's elite musical ambassador.

Kanon caught the attention of gamers with her music in the Tales of Legendia series.

With her Western influenced music, Kanon is considered a New Age artist in Japan although she staunchly defines style as "classical contemporary".

About Guin Saga

The anime adaptation of Guin Saga focuses on Rinda and Remus, the "twin pearls" of the kingdom of Parros. Their parents, the king and queen, were slain when the Mongaul army invaded their country. The twins escape via an ancient device and are tranported into enemy territory. They meet Guin, a man with superhuman strength and amnesia. Guin wears a leopard mask that cannot be removed. Guin, Rinda and Remus meet allies and fight Monguls in their journey to Parros and their quest to recover Guin's memories.

A Beautiful Voice But Album Lacks Variety

My Road - Songs from Guin Saga contains beautiful, lilting and haunting melodies that showcase Kanon's angelic tone and technique. However, the songs all sound similar in style, melodies, form and tempo.

For more information about Kanon, visit the Channel-Ai Community Blog and Kanon's Official Website.

Originally published December 21, 2009 on Suite101.com . All rights are reserved by Rhona-Mae Arca.