Haruomi Hosono (細野 晴臣 Hosono Haruomi?, born July 9, 1947 in Minato, Tokyo), also known as Harry Hosono, is a renowned Japanese musician. He is best known internationally as a member of the rock band Happy End and the pioneering electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra with Yukihiro Takahashi and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Hosono has also released many solo albums covering a variety of styles, including film soundtracks and a variety of electronic ambient albums. As well as recording his own music, Hosono has done considerable production work for other artists such as Miharu Koshi, Sheena and the Roketts, Sandii and the Sunsetz, Chisato Moritaka and Seiko Matsuda. In 2003, Hosono was ranked by HMV Japan at number 44 on their list of the 100 most important Japanese pop acts.
Hosono is the grandson of Masabumi Hosono the only Japanese passenger and survivor of the sinking of RMS Titanic. Hosono first came to attention in Japan as the bass player of thepsychedelic rock band Apryl Fool, alongside drummer Takashi Matsumoto, who released the album The Apryl Fool in 1969. Hosono and Matsumoto then formed the influential folk rockgroup Happy End with Eiichi Ohtaki and Shigeru Suzuki. One of the songs he composed for Happy End, "Kaze wo Atsumete" (1971), later appeared in the American film Lost in Translation and on its soundtrack in 2003. After Happy End disbanded around 1974, Hosono worked with Suzuki and a loose association of artists making "exotica"-style music under the title Tin Pan Alley.
His involvement in electronic music also dates back to the early 1970s, when he performed theelectric bass for Inoue Yousui's folk pop rock album Ice World (1973) and Osamu Kitajima'sprogressive/psychedelic rock album Benzaiten (1974), both of which were electronic rock records utilizing synthesizers, electric guitars, and in the latter, electronic drums and rhythm machines.
In 1977, Hosono invited Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi to work on his exotica-flavoured album Paraiso, which included electronic music produced using the Yamaha CS-80 polyphonic synthesizer and ARP Odyssey synthesizer. The band was named "Harry Hosono and the Yellow Magic Band" and, having been recorded in late 1977, Paraiso was released in early 1978. The three worked together again for the 1978 electronic album Pacific, which included an early version of the song "Cosmic Surfin".
In 1978, he released an innovative electronic soundtrack for a fictional Bollywood film Cochin Moon, together with artist Tadanori Yokoo and future YMO band members Ryuichi Sakamoto and Hideki Matsutake. Inspired by a trip to India and "the exotic, luxurious, and seemingly wonder-filled scenarios played out in Indian cinemas," it was an experimental "electro-exotica" album fusing exotic Indian music (reminiscent of Ravi Shankar and Bollywood music) with electronic music, including an early "synth raga" song entitled "Hum Ghar Sajan" (from a Guru Granth Sahib phrase). The same year, he contributed to Sakamoto's song "1000 Knives" for his solo album, The Thousand Knives of Ryuichi Sakamoto, which experimented with fusing electronic music with traditional Japanese music in early 1978.
He was one of the first producers to recognize the appeal of video game sounds and music. YMO's self-titled debut in 1978 contained substantial video game sounds and after YMO disbanded an early project was an album simply titled Video Game Music containing mixed and edited Namco arcade game music and sounds. Video Game Music was released in 1984 as an early example of a chiptune recordand the first video game music album. That same year, he also produced the theme song for Hayao Miyazaki's popular anime filmNausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, "Kaze no Tani no Naushika", with vocals by actress-singer Narumi Yasuda. In the late 80s and early 90s, the influence of world music on his music deepened, and he worked with international singers and musicians such as Amina Annabi.
He has produced a number of short term band projects as a band member. His first post-YMO band was Friends of Earth. As with most of his projects he combines musical styles he's interested in. F.O.E. seemed to be a combination of Funk and Techno and included a collaboration with James Brown and Maceo Parker for a remake of the song "Sex Machine". Another notable band project was 1995's Love, Peace & Trance. Members were Mimori Yusa ("Love"), Miyako Koda ("Peace"), Haruomi Hosono ("&") and Mishio Ogawa ("Trance").
In the 1990s he started the Daisyworld label to release a wide range of experimental artists from Japan and the rest of the world. Hosono collaborated on many of the releases, such as World Standard, a trip into Americana; HAT, a supergroup (the acronym stands for Hosono,Atom Heart, Tetsu Inoue),and "Quiet Logic", by Mixmaster Morris and Jonah Sharp. The Orb also paid tribute with a series of remixes including the notorious "Hope You Choke on Your Whalemeat".
In 2002 Haruomi formed the duo Sketch Show with his YMO band-mate Yukihiro Takahashi. They have released two albums, one of which,Loophole, has received a UK release. When the third former YMO member, Ryuichi Sakamoto deepened his involvement it was decided to bill those collaborations as Human Audio Sponge.
In the spring of 2007, his fellow YMO members and other artist paid tribute to Haruomi with a 2-disc album titled "Tribute to Haruomi". That same year, the animated film Appleseed Ex Machina was released featuring a soundtrack performed and supervised by Hosono.
In September 2010 he performed at the De La Fantasia festival and played songs from his upcoming album.
In February 2011 it was announced that his new album, entitled "HoSoNoVa" was to be released on April 20. He also performed a special concert to celebrate its release.