The Japanese synth pioneer passed away last week in Tokyo, aged 84.
The Tokyo-born composer, AKA Tomita, passed away in hospital on the afternoon of Thursday, May 5th from chronic heart failure, according to this report on Japan Columbia's website. His funeral took place over the weekend in the company of close family and friends.
Tomita's career in electronic music stretches back to the late 1960s. Inspired by the work of Wendy Carlos and Robert Moog, he was one of the first in Japan to import and own a Moog III P synthesiser, bringing analogue synthesis to a wider audience. He produced more than 20 studio albums, as well as soundtracks for manga TV series Kimba The White Lion and 1996 feature film Gakko II among others. His best-known LP, 1974's Snowflakes Are Dancing, earned him a Grammy nomination, the first for a Japanese artist. At the time of his death, Tomita was working on a musical called Dr. Coppelius.
RA sat down with Tomita and one of his pupils, Yellow Magic Orchestra's Hideki Matsutake, in 2012. Read that interview here. You can also watch Tomita's lecture at the 2014 edition of Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo below.
Photo credit / Kohei Matsuda