Kinuyo Yamashita (山下 絹代, Yamashita Kinuyo) (born December 31) is a Japanese video game music composer and sound producer born in Amagasaki, Hyōgo. Her most famous work is Konami's Castlevania, which she composed shortly after graduating from college, for the Nintendo Entertainment System (Famicom Disk System in Japan). All of the credits for the Western versions were fictional, and notably included misspellings of Bela Lugosi and Bram Stoker, the original author of Dracula. She was credited as James Banana. The game was called Akumajou Dracula (Demon Castle Dracula) in Japan, and is by far her most critically acclaimed musical work. As of 2006, she primarily works with Game Boy Advance titles. Yamashita produces music on a hybrid Macintosh/Roland keyboard system and uses a technique called "ramming" to squeeze the music into cart specs, which is described on her site. She left Konami and became independent, and the "Medabots" series (titled "Medarot" in Japan) is famous in recent years.
Interestingly enough, Yamashita also worked in a cover band. She has played American pop covers on the piano and also sings for the duet “Honey Honey” formed with her friend, Yoshiko. The name on the album cover is not the last name she’s presently using on the site, so we can assume this was an old project she’s since left behind.
Video game soundtracks
- Knightmare III: Shalom
- The Maze of Galious
- Mega Man X3
- KiKi KaiKai
- Monsters, Inc.
- Buffy The Vampire Killer
- Official Site (Japanese language)
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