Artist Focus: Akira Yamaoka

Some artists leave a legacy that stretches far beyond a great single or a number 1 album. 

Artist Focus is a new series hosted by the extended Melodic Distraction family that deep dives into the life and times of the musicians that have defined the sound of modern music. From the stone cold classics to the unearthed gems and forgotten B-sides, our community tribute an hour of music by a single artist that has had a notable impact on their life.

As the first part in a Halloween double bill, SPINE & QUARRY team member Christopher Connor pays tribute to the music of Japanese composer Akira Yamaoka – in particular, his work on the Silent Hill videogame series (1999-2004). Renowned for its distinct brand of psychological horror, Silent Hill’s sonic landscape is as haunting and alluring as its visual and/or participatory accompaniment. Drawing from the full spectrum of ambient music, harsh noise, and aspects of late 90s trip-hop, Yamaoka’s compositions place atmosphere & uncertainty front and centre as players traverse often-threatening and mysterious ingame environments. For an hour, Christopher invites listeners to immerse themselves in the aural landscape of Silent Hill, forgoing the traditional Artist Focus format in favour of atmosphere and immersion.