Last year, before deciding to work with Keiji Yamagishi on World 1-2, I interviewed him. He's among my favorite artists and I wanted to extract more information about his inspiring past.
When I asked him why he quit composing music 10 years ago, he told me the following:
“In the PS2 era, the game industry was moving away from traditional game music and was incorporating orchestra-like sounds into their games. I don't know how to conduct an orchestra, so I felt as if my music was no longer needed.”
The actual quote might differ slightly because I wrote this from memory. I read it over and over, and was confronted with profound sadness to know that this amazing artist had quit doing his favorite thing in the world because he thought no one cared anymore. This upset me, so I then immediately proposed to him that he make one track for my World 1-2 project. He agreed, with some reluctance — he was excited, but he thought he might not do a good job because of the prior abandonment of his skills.
The end result was Memories of T. He made it and refused to take money for it, dedicating it to me and to our newly formed friendship. After hearing it, I couldn't help myself: I told him that we should work together on a solo album. It would bear his real name (not his famous monicker, More Yamasan), and be made with the utmost of care and engineering from my side. We're 8 months into it and what we've nailed down so far is really exciting.
In one year, we went from making Keiji feel that his music is worthless to connecting him through his work with all kinds of people (including collaborations with Manami Matsumae, Eirik Suhrke, and Stemage). He's so fueled and energized that not only is he doing all of these inspiring collaborations, but also running Brave Wave together with me and and the rest of my team.
We were able to change his worldview. Not me, but you: folks who care about him and support everything he's doing now. Thank you. Let's change more worldviews and make people feel appreciated for their beautiful, life-changing art.
To quote something I read and can't find now: let's try to raise the stock of harmful, cheerful, inspiring creations.