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Welcome to the Paradise Parade!: A Beginner's Guide to Sound Horizon
 

Welcome to the Paradise Parade!: A Beginner's Guide to Sound Horizon

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    Welcome to the Paradise Parade!: A Beginner's Guide to Sound Horizon Welcome to the Paradise Parade!: A Beginner's Guide to Sound Horizon Presentation Transcript

    • Welcome to the Paradise Parade!
      A beginner’s course in Sound Horizon
      Art by
      Yokoyan
    • The Fantasy Band: What is Sound Horizon?
      Sound Horizon is, in essence, a fantasy band. Under their leader and composer, Revo, members form a cohesive cast and perform full stories every album. Sound Horizon, often abbreviated by fans to “Sanhora” or simply “SH”, was one of the pioneers of an emerging Japanese musical genre known as “fantasy music”.
      Albums are arranged much like suites and are heavily influenced by classical music while still retaining roots in rock music. Music is performed by making use of narration, sound effects, and cryptic lyrics in order to create a fully immersive experience for the listener. Vocalists of all different ranges and styles are present, from operatic to popish, and the style of the music can change drastically from release to release in accordance with the story presented.
      Each musical release features its own story, characters,
      conflict and themes, and they often intertwine with one
      another. Heavy themes such as life, death, revenge,
      religion and other moral conflicts are discussed in full in
      order to express Sound Horizon’s “worldview”.
      The band draws heavily on a sense of unity among its
      fans. With the release of the album “Roman”,
      Revo instilled the concept of the Sound Horizon Kingdom –
      that is, an imaginary nation encompassing not only every
      character and story presented by Sound Horizon’s music,
      but also all of the fans from all over the world for the
      cause of uniting all fans under one patriotic banner.
      Fans are referred to as and call themselves “Laurants”,
      drawn from the last name prevalent in “Roman”.
    • Members
      Outside of Revo, the leader and creator of Sound Horizon, the band has no completely concrete members. Singers and musicians alike have been known to participate in one album and be absent the next.
      A few groups of
      consistently active
      members can be
      categorized into the
      first, second and
      third generations of
      Sound Horizon.
    • First Generation: 2001-2005
      Begins with the release of the first Story CD, “Chronicle”, and ends with the release of the fifth Story CD, “Elysion ~Paradise Fantasy Story Suite~”.
      Composed of three main
      members: Revo, Aramary
      and JIMANG. Haruka
      Shimotsuki collaborates.
      Also known as the
      “doujin era” or “Aramary era”.
    • Revo
      The original creator of Sound Horizon and the only member present through each release.
      Writes, composes, arranges and
      produces every musical release.
      Creates every original story.
      Plays the role of the “king”
      in the “Sound Horizon Kingdom”
      and is affectionately
      referred to as “heika” or
      “his majesty” by fans.
    • Aramary
      Joined SH for “Thanatos”, the 2nd story CD, in 2002.
      Known for her abilities as a seiyuu and played many different roles without regard to gender or age.
      Left SH in 2005 after
      the release of “Elysion”
      for unknown reasons.
      Now does work with the
      band Rain Note and
      participates as a seiyuu
      on the doujin circuit and
      in TV spots.
    • JIMANG
      Joined SH for “Lost”, the
      3rd story CD, in 2003.
      Sound Horizon’s first
      male vocalist.
      Known for his unique voice and
      eccentric, energetic performances.
      Mostly plays the roles of older men.
      Known for singing the
      ending song of the anime
      adaptation of “Umineko no Naku
      Koroni”.
      His latest solo album, “BEST ALBUM BUST”, was released in early 2011.
      Has participated consistently in the band to this day.
    • HarukaShimotsuki
      Collaborated in select songs from “Chronicle 2nd” and “Lost”, rejoining the band in 2008 for the release of “Moira”, the 6thStory CD.
      In 2006, she collaborated with Revo to release “Kiri no Mukou ni Tsunagaru Sekai”.
      She is a well-known
      musician on the doujin
      circuit, composing her own
      music and lyrics.
      She frequently works as a
      solo artist for both doujin
      and major releases.
    • Second Generation: 2006-2007
      Begins with the release of the first maxi-single, “ShounenwaTsurugiwo…”, and ends with the second maxi-single, “Seisen no Iberia”.
      Characterized by the creation of the “Sound Horizon Kingdom” and Revo’s inception as king.
      Everything from here
      to the present is also
      referred to as the
      “major era” or
      “post-Aramary era”.
    • YUUKI (Yuuki Yoshida)
      Joined in 2006 for the release of the maxi-single “ShounenwaTsurugiwo…”
      Was in idol in the pop group
      “SpringS” in 2003
      Known for her childish, popish voice.
      Has not participated in the most
      recent releases, but has returned for
      the live tours.
      Took center stage in the role of Layla
      in the 2007 maxi-single
      “Seisen no Iberia”
    • KAORI (Kaori Oda)
      Joined in 2006 for the release of “ShounenwaTsurugiwo…”
      Former member of the vocal group CHIX CHICKS.
      Current member of
      Yuki Kajiura’sFictionJunction
      project, singing themes for
      Baccano!, Tsubasa Chronicle
      and Pandora Hearts.
      Known for her powerful,
      deep voice as well as her ability
      to hit high notes.
      Has not participated in the most
      recent releases, but has returned
      for the live tours.
    • REMI (Remi Tanaka)
      Joined in 2006 for the release of
      “ShounenwaTsurugiwo…”
      Known for her powerful
      operatic voice, which is similar
      to a mezzo-soprano.
      Has participated in SH up to the
      most recent release.
      Took a main role in “Roman” as
      the character Michele Malebranche as well as in “Märchen” as ‘Buranko’*.
      *fan nickname
    • RIKKI (Ritsuki Nakano)
      First collaboration with SH was 2005 for the Leviathan Image Album, but she returned in 2006 for “ShounenwaTsurugiwo…”
      Known for her high-pitched voice,
      heavily influenced by
      traditional Japanese singing.
      Left the band in 2008 to
      give birth to twins, but
      returned in 2009
      for the live tour.
      Famous for singing the
      Final Fantasy X ending
      theme, “Sutekida ne?”.
    • Akio Ohtsuka
      A well-known voice actor in the
      anime and movie dubbing circuit.
      First narrator for the
      second generation.
      Known for his commanding,
      steady voice.
      Took center stage in his first SH
      role as Bluebeard in “Märchen”.
    • Third Generation: 2008-Present
      Begins with the release of “Moira” and continues into the present day.
      Characterized by a grander scale of
      storytelling,
      expanded cast
      and a more
      orchestra-
      influenced
      soundtrack.
    • MIKI
      Joined the band in 2008 for
      “Moira” as a replacement
      for RIKKI.
      Known for her low voice.
      Took her first major roles in SH’s
      two most recent releases as
      Therese von Ludowing in
      “Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido”
      and as several villains in “Märchen”.
    • Minami Kuribayashi
      Joined in 2008 for “Moira” as a ‘guest singer’ in the role of Artemisia, a major character.
      Renowned for her voice
      acting and singing skills.
      Appeared again in the
      most recent release,
      “Märchen”, as one of
      Bluebeard’s dead wives
      (‘Aohigeko’*).
      *fan nickname
    • JOELLE
      Born in the USA to an American father and Japanese mother before moving to Japan.
      Fluent in both English and Japanese.
      Part of the musical duo
      Joelle & Clinton.
      Joined the band in 2010 to
      participate in “Ido e Itaru
      Mori e Itaru Ido” and “Märchen”,
      in both of which
      she took the role of the
      main heroine,
      Elisabeth von Wettin.
      Memorial booklet scan by Murkki
    • Other Members/Musicians
      Azumi Inoue
      AyakaNaitou
      Mari Endo
      Takashi Ustsunomiya
      Ceui
      KanamiAyano
      Mikuni Shimokawa
      Tomoyo Kurosawa
      Yume Suzuki
      Yokoyan (jacket illustration)
      Rica Fukami (narrator)
      Ike Nelson (narrator)
      Norio Wakamoto
      Jake, guitar
      EijiKawai, keyboard
      Shigeru Tamura, bass
      Atsuji Hasegawa, bass
      KenKen, drums
      Kyoko Ishigame, violin
      Naomi Ishikawa, violin
      JUN-JI, drums
      Marty Friedman, guitar
      Motoi Sakuraba, keyboard
      TomotakaSaka, manipulator
    • Discography
      Story Albums:
      Chronicle (2001)
      Thanatos (2002)
      Lost (2002)
      Elysion ~Paradise Fantasy Story Suite~ (2005)
      Roman (2006)
      Moira (2008)
      Märchen (2010)
      Singles:
      ShounenwaTsurugiwo… (2006)
      Seisen no Iberia (2007)
      Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido (2010)
      Other Releases:
      1st Pleasure CD “Pico Magic” (2003)
      2nd Pleasure CD “Pico Magic Reloaded” (2003”
      1st Story Renewal CD “Chronicle 2nd” (2004)
      1st Major Album “Elysion ~Prelude to Paradise~”
    • Chronicle
      Released by Revo at Comiket 61.
      Only 1200 copies were produced.
      It sold out.
      Hazeri and the MAIDLOID “Acme Iku”
      provide limited narration/voice acting.
      Devoid of singing; “lyrics” accompanied the
      songs in the form of several poems packaged
      with the CD.
      Tells several fragmented stories, each
      connected to one another in minute
      ways. The frame story tells of a cult
      which worships a series of books called
      the “Black Chronicle”. The books are said
      to contain all of history: past, present and
      future.
      Themes: War, loss, beauty of the world,
      love, regret, conflict.
    • Thanatos
      Released by Revo at Comiket 62
      First album to feature Aramary as a vocalist
      Centers around a girl (‘Thanako’) who is
      unable to sleep for fear that Thanatos,
      the Greek god of death, is constantly
      watching her, waiting to take her away
      once she falls asleep.
      Individual songs tell of the fantasies the
      girl weaves in her mind to keep herself
      from falling asleep.
      Themes: death and acceptance of it,
      fate, impulse vs. reason, eternity.
    • Lost
      Released by Revo at Comiket 63
      First to feature JIMANG and
      HarukaShimotsuki as vocalists
      Centers around a girl (‘Lost-ko’) trapped in
      the “watery bottom of memories”, where
      she watches several people’s memories
      unfold. She resists the wiles of the
      “Eternal Boy”, who causes all souls who
      fall into the bottom to forget their memories
      of their lives. The key phrase repeated
      throughout the album is “Have you
      forgotten anything?”. Each track exhibits
      a different memory the girl observes.
      Themes: Futility of life and faith, hypocrisy and naivete of man, revenge, acceptance of death, pessimism.
    • Chronicle 2nd
      1st Renewal CD
      ‘Remake’ of “Chronicle” featuring
      additional instrumentation,
      vocals, and additional tracks.
      Like “Chronicle”, it contains several
      interconnected stories circling around
      conflict and loss. The tales are framed
      by the larger conflict between Lucia
      (or “Rukia”), who wishes to overturn
      fate, and the cult of the Black Chronicle,
      which seeks to fulfill the books’ prophecy.
      She is overseen by Chronica, the personification of the Black Chronicle.
      Themes: sorrow, loss, struggle against fate, loyalty, love, political strife, war, conflict, betrayal.
    • Elysion ~Paradise Fantasy Story Suite~
      First Sound Horizon Story CD released
      under their major record label, King
      Records. Its songs can be divided
      into two parts: ELYSION and ABYSS.
      Tells the story of a man named Abyss
      who searches out young girls in hopes
      of finding his “Elyse”, or ideal. He adopts
      a sickly girl named El. The songs tell
      the stories of the individual girls Abyss
      seeks out as well as his and El’s own story.
      Each revolves around a doomed or taboo
      romance.
      Themes: consequences of lust, impulse vs. rationality, paradise and hell, redemption, societal taboos, fate.
    • ShounenwaTsurugiwo…
      Maxi-single released in 2006. It
      contains three songs, two of which were
      used for the themes of the Japanese
      MMORPG “Belle Isle”. The last was a
      preview of a song from the upcoming
      release “Roman”.
      Despite the songs being intended for
      commercial use, the stories they tell
      still connect to Chronicle 2nd and can
      be considered something of a
      continuation of the album.
      Themes: fate, revolution of time, hope, war.
    • Seisen no Iberia
      Maxi-single released in 2007.
      Contains Spanish and Arabic lyrics, as
      well as English narration.
      Set in the Iberian peninsula during
      the Reconquista, it tells the story of
      Layla, a girl torn between the
      Christian and Muslim sides of the
      conflict. Upon her death,
      she makes a pact with Shaytān, a
      demon, who promises to destroy
      whichever side she chooses.
      Themes: religion, conflict, human
      weakness, corruption and
      hypocrisy of religion, war.
    • Roman
      5th Story CD.
      Contains French lyrics.
      A two-volume manga adaptation was penned
      by YukimaruKatsura.
      Set in France, the frame story revolves
      around a man named Hiver Laurant, the
      embodiment of the soul of an unborn child.
      The living incarnations of two dolls he was buried
      with, Hortense and Violette, representing life and
      death respectively, are tasked with observing the
      human world in search of the story which leads to
      Hiver’s birth. The individual songs each tell a
      different ‘roman’, or story, that Hortense and Violette
      find while searching for Hiver’s story.
      Themes: the cycle of life and death, war, mourning,
      futility of revenge, greed, optimism in the face of
      adversity, regret, motherly love.
    • Moira
      6th Story CD.
      The first Sound Horizon release to attempt a
      complete epic tale. Contains Greek lyrics as
      well as English narration.
      A tale set in Greece in the vein of traditional
      Greek mythology. The story centers around
      a pair of twins, Elefseus (Elef) and Artemisia
      (Misia), who become pawns in a game
      between Thanatos and Moira, the Greek
      goddess of destiny. As expected of a typical
      Greek drama, it does not end well.
      Themes: destiny, fate, war, conflict, futility of
      mankind, loyalty to country vs. family,
      struggle against fate.
    • Ido e Itaru Mori e Itaru Ido
      Prologue Single released in 2010.
      It chronologically precedes the following release,
      “Märchen”.
      Abbreviated by fans as “IdoIdo”.
      Contains German lyrics and narration. The
      VOCALOID “HatsuneMiku” was utilized as the
      singing voice of a living doll, Elise, and a beta
      voicebank for VOCALOID called “Junger März
      PROTOTYPE β” provided the singing voice of März.
      Like “Märchen”, IdoIdo is set in the Thuringia Forest
      of Germany during the time of the Black Plague. It
      revolves around the von Ludowing and von Wettin
      families, telling the story of the young love between
      März von Ludowing and Elisabeth von Wettin. März’s
      death, which involves falling into a well, the doll which he receives from Elisabeth as a parting gift, and Therese von Ludowing’s eventual burning at the stake set the stage for the events of “Märchen”. The ending of this single flows into the beginning of the album.
      Themes: the Freudian id and ego, revenge, impulse vs. rationality, lust, corruption of religion, conflict, greed, politics, motherly love.
    • Märchen
      7th Story CD released in 2010 following “IdoIdo”.
      Contains German lyrics and narration.
      All but two of the nine tracks revolve around one
      of the seven deadly sins and are loose adaptations
      of traditional Grimm Brothers fairy tales.
      The VOCALOID “HatsuneMiku” returns as the
      singing voice of Elise. Marty Friedman of
      MEGADETH participates on guitar.
      The frame story follows the character Märchen
      von Friedhof and his living doll companion, Elise,
      both of whom are vengeful spirits bound to a well.
      Märchen acts as both a musical conductor and a
      conductor of revenge, aiding the girls of each fairy
      tale in their revenges against those who have
      wronged them. The story of März von Ludowing and
      Elisabeth von Wettin from “IdoIdo” is continued.
      Themes: Freudian id and ego, revenge, redemption, corruption of religion, lust, price of sin, war, conflict, impulse vs. rationality, salvation, independence, loyalty.
    • Other Releases
      1st and 2nd Pleasure CD’s: Pico Magic &
      Pico Magic Reloaded
      Compiled of remixes of songs from various
      albums as well as a few new songs. Pico
      Magic is lighthearted and humorous.
      Elysion ~Prelude to Paradise~
      Compiled of several songs from the doujin
      era as well as two slightly altered songs
      from the subsequent release, “Elysion
      ~Paradise Fantasy Story Suite~”. It was released as a
      transition between Sound Horizon’s days as a doujin
      band and its new role as a major label band.
    • Related/Collaboration CD’s
      “Leviathan” Image Album
      Released in 2005. Music composed by Revo as
      inspired by the manga “Leviathan”. RIKKI and
      Aramary participated as vocalists.
      • “PocaFelicita”, Gunslinger Girl Image Album
      • Released in 2005. Character songs for the
      anime/manga “Gunslinger Girl”, composed
      by Revo.
      • “Kiri no Mukou ni Tsunagaru Sekai”
      • Released in 2006. Collaboration between Revo
      and Haruka Shimotsuki.
      • Contains the opening theme for the video game
      ”Atelier Iris Grand Phantasm”.
      • “Dream Port”
      • Released in 2008. Collaboration between
      Revo and famed composer Yuki Kajiura.
    • LIVE TOURS
      Live tours of Sound Horizon can
      be divided into two types: story concerts
      and lives.
      Story concerts typically begin the same year
      a new Story CD is released. During a story
      concert, the cast of the newest Story CD
      performs the album top to bottom. Although
      the musicians are still in sight, the performance
      carries out more like a typical musical, relying
      heavily on costumes and genuine acting ability
      without MC breaks between songs. Songs from
      other albums may be performed at the end, but not before the entire story album is over.
      Lives take a form more similar to a normal concert and are typically conducted over the summer. Old and new members perform on the same stage, and songs originally sung by one vocalist may be sung by another. Depending on the song being sung, members may or may not also be in costume. These performances are more lighthearted and casual than those conducted at story concerts and feature emceeing.
    • Welcome to the Kingdom!
      And thank you for making it this far! I hope you’ve found this presentation to be informative and enlightening on your road to becoming a Sound Horizon fan. At times during your journey the numerous theories and storylines may seem overwhelming, but please remember to have fun. This is the fantasy band, after all, and all interpretations of Sound Horizon stories are valid if there is evidence to support them!
      In the following slide I’ve listed a few online resources which may further aid you in your quest for Sanhora knowledge. Rest assured that a majority of the members are very kind people who will be more than willing to answer any questions you may have about Sound Horizon. Much of my information and photos have come from these resources as well as my own experience with the band. So without further ado, go on and open your ears to the wonderful world of Sound Horizon!
      Gloria Sound Horizon Kingdom!
    • Resources/Credits
      White Crow: Sound Horizon International Fansite: www.sh-whitecrow.net
      Sound Horizon International Forum: www.sh-kingdom.net
      SH White Crow on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SHWhitecrow
      Flandre (Sound Horizon image/discussion board): http://flandre.us/sh/wakaba.html