Mamoru Samuragoch* has been called “Japan’s Beethoven”. Even as he went deaf, Samuragoch continued to compose scores for video games like Resident Evil and Onimusha. This week, he revealed that he used a ghost composer.
A gifted musician, Samuragoch had a degenerative hearing condition that left him completely deaf by age 35. However, as AFP points out, he continued to release work, such as “Symphony No.1 Hiroshima“, a tribute to those killed in the atomic bombing. His scores for the DualShock version of Resident Evil Director’s Cut, released in 1998, and Onimusha, released in 2001, were popular among gamers.
“I listen to myself,” Samuragoch told Time Magazine in 2001. “If you trust your inner sense of sound, you create something that is truer. It is like communicating from the heart. Losing my hearing was a gift from God.” In that same interview, he said he lost his hearing completely while composing the Onimusha score.
Earlier today, respected news broadcaster NHK reported that Samuragoch confessed to hiring another composer in writing his most iconic works. “NHK has reported on him in news and features programmes but failed to realise that he had not composed the works himself, despite our research and checking,” the NHK news anchor is quoted as saying by AFP.
“I started hiring the person to compose music for me around 1996, when I was asked to make movie music for the first time,” said Samuragoch. “I had to ask the person to help me for more than half of my work because my ear condition got worse.”
It’s still unclear how involved Samuragoch was in the compositions from this point.
A statement from Samuragoch’s lawyers said he was “deeply sorry,” adding, “He knows he could not possibly make any excuse for what he has done.” His record company stated Samuragoch had previously assured them that he composed his works and is “flabbergasted and deeply infuriated” by all this.
The real composer, who earned a commission from Samuragoch, has not yet been identified.
‘Japan’s Beethoven’ admits using ghost composer [Digital Journal]
*Birth name Mamoru Samuragochi