Award-winning Japanese composer, arranger and saxophonist Norihiko Hibino is among the newest additions to Scarlet Moon Productions’ roster. Best known for his work on the Metal Gear Solid series, Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2, Hibino has his own sound production studio, GEM Impact, and also does work outside of games––he founded the therapeutic facility Hibino Sound Therapy Lab.
“It was actually mostly by chance that I ended up in the videogame industry,” Hibino says. “Upon graduating from Berklee College of Music, I didn’t have the resources to build my own personal studio with all the gear and software I wanted, so I was looking for a company to join where I could have access to it. It just so happened that KONAMI was the first company I joined, and I’ve been involved ever since.”
Hibino says the same engineering and production skills are invaluable for both, but writing for games is purely for entertainment, while the Hibino Sound Therapy Lab is for the “physical, mental and spiritual well-being” of patients.
“In the beginning, working with KONAMI and GEM Impact, it was about making a living writing music. Hibino Sound Therapy Lab, on the other hand, is what’s really in my soul. I believe exploring and creating therapeutic applications of music is my life’s work,” Hibino says.
He advises newcomers to hone their production skills and not necessarily adhere to their personal tastes––sort of. “I’d really like to see aspiring composers and newcomers focusing on mixing and mastering techniques to allow their music to stand out from a production standpoint,” he says. “I don’t recommend narrowing your path according to your personal desire. Be open-minded and challenge yourself with different kinds of projects to expand your horizon.”