Susumu Hirasawa: Musical Mastermind


Jayden Selin, Reporter

The time has come for the almighty musical mastermind known as Susumu Hirasawa to be known throughout Farmington High School. Who is Susumu Hirasawa, you ask? He is only one of the greatest musicians to ever exist He specializes in electronic music, which is music that makes use of sound or voice samples as well as digital instruments. Susumu Hirasawa was born during the year 1954 in Tokyo, Japan.  When Hirasawa was only in the fifth grade he began practicing electric guitar, and that would be his introduction to music development. Hirasawa’s official music career began in 1972 with the progressive rock band called Mandrake, however the music from Mandrake wouldn’t officially be released until the mid 90s. In 1979 the band would reform into P-Model. During the 90s however he would become a solo artist because all the original members of P-Model had all left and new ones would come and leave after every album.

Hirasawa is an experimenter when it comes to his music, indeed there is nothing quite like it, and each song he makes is completely different from the last. Part of how he makes all his songs sound so different might be because of the variety of instruments and samples he uses for each of his songs, among the instruments he uses include a zeusaphone (A zeusaphone is a tesla coil that rhythmically discharges electricity), guitar, keyboard, and a laser harp. 

In the early 90s is when he started composing music for video media, the first being Detonator Orgun. Most people who live in the west and are familiar with Hirasawa would probably recognize his voice from the thought-provoking animated series none as Berserk (1997).  Hirasawa composed many songs for Berserk but his most well-known song is Forces.

“Forces is likely one of his best known songs outside of Japan,” an article on Hirasawa said.

He has also made multiple versions of that song. Other soundtracks he is known for are Paprika and Millennium Actress, he has also composed music for Sword of the Berserk for the Sega Dreamcast and Berserk Millennium Falcon Arc for the PlayStation 2. In recent years he has composed music for the new Berserk Movies and 2016 animated series, and even more recently he has returned to do vocals for P-model after they disbanded in 2000. He has also made tons of albums outside of films and television such as Philosopher’s Propeller, The Climbing Man, Phonon Vision, and many more.

One of the few things that is known about his private life is that he is a cat lover; once a pregnant stray cat was found around his studio and he took care of it and made a website to set the kittens up for adoption because he couldn’t take care of them at the time. However, his public persona is known for having consistently stoic expression and not showing much emotion even during his live performances.

Everyone should listen to Susumu Hirasawa’s music, his diverse selection of music could allow almost anyone to have at least one favorite song from his works. To readers of this article, his soundtrack for Millennium Actress is  worth checking out (Rotation (Lotus-2), from Millennium Actress, is a personal favorite). His Berserk Soundtracks are also good starting points to get into his music.