An Hour at The Butterfly
Body and soul
Composition Credits (DVD)
Mission: Impossible 3
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
War of the Worlds
The Fantastic Four
Parent Trap 2
Composition Credits (Television)
Starting Over (NBC)
Crash Test (SpikeTV)
Iraq Front Line (NBC)
The Henry the VIII ( History)
The Search for John the Baptist (SpikeTV)
Date Patrol (TLC)
Composition Credits (Commercials)
Miller Brewing Co.
"For documentaries we're always dealing with true stories, with
facts. This allows me to express more of what I and the director feel
through the music. Short films are a little different because there is
the concept behind the film that affects everything. There is less
room for me to express what I personally feel about the scene or film
in this case."
Between long-distance jaunts across
the Pacific Ocean, Tracksounds is able to catch up with
composer/producer Miho Nomura and discuss her journey into new media
music, the state of the music-business in Asia, her production of
Stevie Wonder's 2007 tour in Japan, and the scarcity of Asians in
the music-side of Hollywood.
Music from X-Men 2.5 DVD,
Prison Break DVD
was the executive producer of Stevie Wonder's 2007 Japan Tour.
has composed music for dvd documentaries for THE SEARCHERS and X-MEN
CC: Now you started
playing the organ at
very early age. How
did that come about?
Miho Nomura: I don't remember exactly, but
according to my mother, we had an organ at home and I just started playing
with it everyday.
CC: What sort of organ was it?
Miho Nomura: It was an Electone by Yamaha. I
continued to play it, doing performances, until I was about 20.
CC: And then you moved to piano?
Miho Nomura: Yes. I started playing piano when I
went to Berklee, because they didn't have this type of organ. So I was
forced to change to piano.
CC: So how difficult was that?
Miho Nomura: Oh well...it's not the same. It was
a little difficult, but not too bad.
CC: What lead to you writing film music?
Miho Nomura: Even before I went to Berklee, I
was interested in scoring for television or film. Then, while I was at
UCLA, I studied with Jerry Goldsmith. I never thought that I'd really seek
after it, but the opportunities came my way.
CC: What was your first scoring assignment?
Miho Nomura: It was for a student film, "One
Hour as a Butterfly." It was actually a musical, so it was quite fun
working on that project.
CC: How did you come to write music for DVD
documentaries for classic film releases like THE SEARCHERS or CAT ON A HOT
TIN ROOF and then music for DVD menus?
Miho Nomura: I guess I was just lucky! (laughs).
I was working with some very talented directors and producers at AFI and
they have continued to ask me to write music for their projects. I am very
comfortable working with them, so it is a good fit. Also, I have a diverse
skill set in writing music since I am classical trained at UCLA and
studied Jazz at Berklee. So my unique background become my strength so I
could be able to write music for DVD documentaries like X-Men 2.5, Alien
Quadrilogy, Fantastic Four and Prison Break as well.
CC: When writing the music for DVD bonus
features attached to these classic films, did the original scores from the
film's themselves have much influence on what you wrote or were purely
concerned with what the director of the feature wanted?
Miho Nomura: A little bit of both. I would
generally have the main theme of the film in mind while writing, but a
documentary doesn't require such dramatic music. I had to be careful not
to disturb the dialogue.
CC: Is it easier or more difficult to write
music for documentary of this nature versus one for a short film?
Miho Nomura: I actually like writing music for
documentaries more than for short films.
CC: Why is that?
Miho Nomura: For documentaries we're always
dealing with true stories, with facts. This allows me to express more of
what I and the director feel through the music. Short films are a little
different because there is the concept behind the film that affects
everything. There is less room for me to express what I personally feel
about the scene or film in this case.
CC: Alongside of your composing, you've become
very active in the promotional side of the music business in both Asia and
Los Angeles. Did you always have that as a goal?
Miho Nomura: That was by accident, but some
would say there are no accidents! I had an opportunity come my way and I
just took it. I always wanted to take advantage of being Japanese -
connecting my Japanese heritage with the entertainment industry in L.A. I
wanted to integrate my roots into my career so I could contribute to a
wide variety of capacities in different music projects.
CC: Being a composer/producer in L.A., do you
find many other Asians in the business?
Miho Nomura: No. Actually not. I wish there
were. We could do a lot of projects together if there were. I met a few
people but they eventually returned to their base in Asia. Whenever I go
to any entertainment function, I'm usually the only Asian.
CC: You work a lot in China, Japan and Korean.
What is the music industry like there in Asia? Is it similar to the West
of very different?
Miho Nomura: It's very different. They have
their own music scene, but they are adopting things from Western music all
the time. They are appreciative of Western music more than ever, yet at
the same time, they still have a conservative way of doing business and in
how they produce and handle the projects.
CC: What was your first gig as an executive
Miho Nomura: I was the executive producer for
the Stevie Wonder Japan Tour in 2007. I actually started working on it in
2004. It was a long project! It really allowed me to use a different part
of my creative abilities. Yet, there were some similarities to the work I
had been doing for years.
CC: So do you want to continue to both composing
Miho Nomura: Yes. I'd like to do both.
CC: Sounds like that will be a great challenge.
Miho Nomura: For me, it's not that difficult,
because, as I mentioned, there are some similarities between the two:
composing and producing. For me, they are both creative activities where
you have to direct a lot of different elements to get a very specific
CC: Do you feel the same sort of fulfillment
when completing a score or completing a successful business venture like
the Stevie Wonder tour?
Miho Nomura: Yes. I do.
CC: What do you have coming up for the composing
side of your career?
Miho Nomura: Well, I just got a new
administrator, Jay Warner, so I have some new Anime composing projects
CC: So are these projects for this year?
Miho Nomura: Yes and I'm very excited about it.
CC: Well, thank you so much for taking time from
your double-busy schedule today!