About Akiko Shikata

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About Akiko Shikata

Post by phio_chan on 2010-06-17, 22:16

never heard of this name before? check this thread to find out things about Akiko Shikata, the lady of our forum!
all information in this thread is taken from Wikipedia.

Akiko Shikata

Akiko Shikata (志方あきこ, Shikata Akiko, born January 7) is a Japanese singer-songwriter and composer, who is known for writing music for games and anime. She is most well known for her contributions to the Ar tonelico, Shadow Hearts and Umineko no Naku Koro ni games, as well as anime adaptations of Umineko no Naku Koro ni and Tales of Symphonia.

Shikata's music is known for its ethnic feel and complex vocal chorus work. In a single Shikata song, there may be as many as 200 separate vocal tracks recorded for it.

Biography

Shikata was born in Tokyo. She first developed an interest in music when she was very little, after constantly singing with her mother. She was first interested in songs from Minna no Uta, and later when she learned the piano classical music.

In 2001, she formed the independent label Vagrancy, associated with the dōjin music scene that makes independent music game releases. She originally had no intention of singing, but felt dissatisfied with creating songs just from synthesiser sounds.

Later in the year, she released her debut EP, Midori no Mori de Nemuru Tori, through her site. In the next few years, she releases many works through her site, mostly instrumental albums performed with a music box. Her first full-length album Haikyo to Rakuen (2003) topped the charts at Japanese independent music download site Muzie for 24 months. In the same year, she worked on the soundtrack for the independent game "Hanakisō," her first major game-related work.

In 2004, she held her first ever live tour. In 2005, she debuted as a major label artist under the Hats Unlimited label run by violinist Taro Hakase. Her association with the label led to Shikata working on many game soundtracks, such as Shadow Hearts: From the New World and Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia. Shikata continues to work with the Ar tonelico franchise today, releasing music for both the second and third games.

Her second major-label album, Raka, was released in 2006. It featured several songs from games (two songs used in Hanakisō, as well as a rearrangement of the opening theme song from Ar tonelico, "Utau Oka (Exec_Harvestasya/.) (謳う丘~EXEC_HARVESTASYA/.~, Singing Hill)). It was her first top 40 album, ranking at #34 on the Oricon albums chart.

In 2007, Shikata became associated with the dōjin soft game Umineko no Naku Koro ni, releasing an EP featuring music from the game (including the eponymous theme song). This was her first top 30 release. In 2009, her third album Harmonia broke the top 20.

In 2009, Shikata made her first moves into singing for anime, with her first single "Katayoku no Tori" being used as the opening theme song for the anime adaptation of Umineko no Naku Koro ni. In 2010, her second single "Inori no Kanata" was used as the ending theme song for Tales of Symphonia (Tethe'alla Version).

Discography

Studio albums

2001: Midori no Mori de Nemuru Tori (EP)
2003: Haikyo to Rakuen
2005: Navigatoria
2006: RAKA
2009: Harmonia

Soundtrack albums

2003: Hanakisō Sound Tracks
2008: Umineko no Naku Koro ni (EP)

Compilation albums

2007: Istoria: Musa
2008: Kara*Cola: Hymmnos Orgel Collection

Instrumental albums

2002: Petit Fours (music box)
2003: Horizon Blue (music box)
2003: Kurenai (music box)
2004: Viridian (music box)
2005: Wisteria (music box)
2007: Kalliope: Piano Concert (piano)
2007: Hanakisō Koukyoukyoku (orchestra)
2009: Fluff: Orgel Arrange Mini Album (EP) (music box)

Singles

2009: Katayoku no Tori
2010: Inori no Kanata


Last edited by phio69 on 2010-12-26, 02:02; edited 1 time in total
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Kyoki on 2010-06-18, 05:37

Oh wow! She is a really interesting person! And she's so talented too!
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Vinery on 2010-07-07, 02:29

She creates unique music with synthethized unique and beautiful voice :bounce: she can speak Italian, an amazing lady
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Artesox on 2010-07-20, 08:35

phio69 wrote:
2006 It was her first top 40 album, ranking at #34 on the Oricon albums chart.

2008 This was her first top 30 release.

In 2009 her third album Harmonia broke the top 20.


And keep going in that rhythm akiko adore
I'm waiting to see she get in the top 10 ^^
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by phio_chan on 2010-07-20, 15:31

Artesox wrote:And keep going in that rhythm akiko adore
I'm waiting to see she get in the top 10 ^^

you're not alone there in that case!! if you read the summary of her latest blog provided in Chit-Chat Area, I kinda hope that her new songs will strike top 10 positions, if not top 5!

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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Higatsu Reiru on 2010-09-07, 18:21

Vinery wrote:She creates unique music with synthethized unique and beautiful voice :bounce: she can speak Italian, an amazing lady

Italian is not the only foreign language Shikata is capable of. Being a Shikata fan, I have researched the linguistic side of her lyrics, and has come to the conclusion that she can, at the minimum, sing in the following languages:

- Italian
- Ainu (spoken by an ethnic group in Hokkaido, Japan)
- English
- Latin
- French
- Amharic (spoken in Ethiopia, Africa)
- Greek
- Swahili (spoken in central and southern Africa)
- Tibetan (spoken in western China)
- Hymmnos (constructed language for the Ar tonelico video game series)
- Uighur (spoken in western China)
- Turkish
- German
- And, of course, Japanese

And, did you know that during some of her songs, she had to record up to 200 different vocal layers before mixing them altogether?

She really is talented. Unfortunately she is not very well known even in Japan, because she does not actively participate in advertisement campaigns like other famous Japanese singers do.
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Maruko on 2010-09-07, 21:53

Yeah, Higatsu's right again xD
She's very shy, that's why she doesn't partecipate in music campaings...
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by phio_chan on 2010-09-08, 00:22

Higatsu Reiru wrote:And, did you know that during some of her songs, she had to record up to 200 different vocal layers before mixing them altogether?

She really is talented. Unfortunately she is not very well known even in Japan, because she does not actively participate in advertisement campaigns like other famous Japanese singers do.

awesome! ah, well, that explains few things. she's indeed a shy person, but she's more like the person behind the scenes. she designs everything and lets someone else do the rest (campaign or advertising things, I mean). she's just, wow. I respect her even more now. :P

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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Kyoki on 2010-09-15, 03:19

Oh wow that is awesome that she knows so many languages.
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by kazaki03 on 2010-09-15, 13:42

Higatsu Reiru wrote:
Vinery wrote:She creates unique music with synthethized unique and beautiful voice :bounce: she can speak Italian, an amazing lady

Italian is not the only foreign language Shikata is capable of. Being a Shikata fan, I have researched the linguistic side of her lyrics, and has come to the conclusion that she can, at the minimum, sing in the following languages:

- Italian
- Ainu (spoken by an ethnic group in Hokkaido, Japan)
- English
- Latin
- French
- Amharic (spoken in Ethiopia, Africa)
- Greek
- Swahili (spoken in central and southern Africa)
- Tibetan (spoken in western China)
- Hymmnos (constructed language for the Ar tonelico video game series)
- Uighur (spoken in western China)
- Turkish
- German
- And, of course, Japanese

And, did you know that during some of her songs, she had to record up to 200 different vocal layers before mixing them altogether?

She really is talented. Unfortunately she is not very well known even in Japan, because she does not actively participate in advertisement campaigns like other famous Japanese singers do.

WHOA. That's scary. xD
And can anyone here post her vocal mixing techniques in specific? Because all that's credited in all of her song's vocals is AKIKO SHIKATA only. So how about the lower voices and the choirs? (If you listen to Uta Oka~Salaver Rhaplanca~ or VII - you'll understand, those are my favorites) xD.
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Higatsu Reiru on 2010-09-15, 14:16

kazaki03 wrote:And can anyone here post her vocal mixing techniques in specific? Because all that's credited in all of her song's vocals is AKIKO SHIKATA only. So how about the lower voices and the choirs? (If you listen to Uta Oka~Salaver Rhaplanca~ or VII - you'll understand, those are my favorites) xD.

She is usually the only one credited in all of her songs because she is the only one who records all of her vocal layers and mix them together (unless credited otherwise). In other words, she sings the same part again and again, often up to hundreds of times, then mix and arrange them, resulting in such magnificent choruses.
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by kazaki03 on 2010-09-15, 14:42

Voice Pitching? Kind of sounds like it. I did an experiment one time and downsampled "Amnesia" from the album Harmonia. The result was: it sounded like her low voice on "Waterway~MIO". ^^;
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by phio_chan on 2010-09-15, 15:04

Higatsu Reiru wrote:She is usually the only one credited in all of her songs because she is the only one who records all of her vocal layers and mix them together (unless credited otherwise). In other words, she sings the same part again and again, often up to hundreds of times, then mix and arrange them, resulting in such magnificent choruses.

whoa, I didn't know about that. I honestly thought she was singing with a choir or something, but it's a group she create on her own, so maybe it didn't need a credit. amazing.

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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by kazaki03 on 2010-09-15, 22:57

phio69 wrote:
Higatsu Reiru wrote:She is usually the only one credited in all of her songs because she is the only one who records all of her vocal layers and mix them together (unless credited otherwise). In other words, she sings the same part again and again, often up to hundreds of times, then mix and arrange them, resulting in such magnificent choruses.

whoa, I didn't know about that. I honestly thought she was singing with a choir or something, but it's a group she create on her own, so maybe it didn't need a credit. amazing.

Why don't you try opening one of her natural voice songs (such as Amnesia, Navigatoria and Aoiro Kandzume), then change the pitch to lower. Now compare the voice you got with some of Akiko's songs with lower pitches. xD
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Maruko on 2010-09-15, 22:59

Well I hope she doesn't pitch her voice =/ It would be a very delusion to me.
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by kazaki03 on 2010-09-16, 01:06

Maruko wrote:Well I hope she doesn't pitch her voice =/ It would be a very delusion to me.

Delusion? LOL.
But anyways, it's just that when it comes to the lower pitch parts of her songs, my mind just blows off in excitement and fandom. xDD

But overall, her voice is simply angelic. =)
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Maruko on 2010-09-16, 02:13

Well... wait... with "pitch" I meant "artificially changed". It would be a delusion because we could find out that is a computer who sings, and not she herself. I can't explain very well... ><
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by kazaki03 on 2010-09-16, 22:45

Maruko wrote:Well... wait... with "pitch" I meant "artificially changed". It would be a delusion because we could find out that is a computer who sings, and not she herself. I can't explain very well... ><

I think a good example is the part of Umineko~Rengoku~ where she sings in a sort of operatic voice (after the guitar breakdowns). I hear that kind of voice when I change the pitch of Akiko's normal voiced-songs such as Navigatoria and Amnesia. But the male-sounding voices are really a mystery, because the accent and the singing style exactly matches (as far as from what I've listened to) Akiko-san.

But pitched or not, Catholic or not, I still love her songs and that's that. xD
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Trunks on 2010-11-29, 04:14

I don't think that pitching her voice in some parts is a bad thing. I mean, it's part of the work, i think that her talent is not just her voice alone, but all the things that she mix and made up together, the whole is important i think. And we can comfirm that she do a GREAT job just by listening her musics ^^
(sorry for not being clear in my words >_<)
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by kazaki03 on 2010-11-29, 14:56

Yup, she's a master arranger for me. smile
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by phio_chan on 2010-11-29, 21:09

Trunks, that's correct. it's very amazing that she can produce so many kind of voices, and it's even more amazing that she knows how to mix them all together to create a unique aura on her songs. that is her greatest talent, in my opinion.

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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by tiredEyes on 2010-11-29, 23:54

Hello? "Pitching"? "Down sampling"? I do wonder how she performs LIVE then -.-

Obviously she does not use any artificial means of changing her voice! In her profile, she is marketed with the description 七色の歌声 (Nana-iro no Utagoe), meaning multi-coloured voice. If her voice changing is her selling point, how can she use synthesizers?

Besides, artificially generated voices sound artificial, as the adjective suggests -.-
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Trunks on 2010-11-30, 00:11

Yeah, in really we can't have the truth unless we ask to her xD
So i can't deny anything, but talking about if's, i would not be disappointed if it happens, it's not like i understand about music to jugde it... xD
But,
Don't know, i'm happy when listening her musics, so to me doesnt metter exactly how she do it, just that she do xD

About sound artificialy, well, Miku is famous, no? big smile joking
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by tiredEyes on 2010-11-30, 00:24

Who is Miku? No seriously. I really don't know. Is it from vocaloid?

As a side note I really can't stand vocaloid. Absolutely. Makes me cringe.

If Shikata does use synthesizers, I would be upset, because she has always been selling herself as one who does not use it. Even in the Guinness article thingie, she also said that she did not use any.
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Maruko on 2010-11-30, 00:33

I love her, that's all ç___ç
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Trunks on 2010-11-30, 00:40

Yes, Miku is that vocaloid thing xD I do not like it either (In fact, i like just one music, the Alice Human Sacrifice, or something)

Oh, I do not know that, if she says that she do not use it, then i believe. My lack of japanese(and english too) dont let me search out much things, >_<

I love her, that's all ç___ç[2]
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by tiredEyes on 2010-11-30, 00:45

Yes I love her too, but lying to fans is a very severe...breach of trust. That's just what I feel.

However, Shikata has proven herself to be very...erm...sincere? Ah yes that's the word. Sincere and humble. big smile
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Re: About Akiko Shikata

Post by Wasabi on 2010-11-30, 01:25

i would still love her even if she uses synthesizers cos this prove that she have the brains to use it and uses it even better than those who created Miku. This is real music!

This is Miku smile & yes, this is a real concert in Japan!
Apparently she performed sold out concerts nationwide~

The voice is sampled from voice actress Saki Fujita.