|Capcom||Game Developer||1995 - 2008||Composer|
|B.P.M. Studio||Music Studio||2008 -||Founder, President, Composer|
|GE-ON-DAN||Artist Collective||2010 - 2011||Member|
Shusaku Uchiyama is a freelance composer formerly employed by Capcom, best known for his works on the Resident Evil and Mega Man series. Born on January 2, 1971 in Osaka, Uchiyama took piano lessons during his youth. He became more passionate about music in high school and learned about the fundamentals of music theory. When he entered college, he started composing music for his friend’s independent movies and gained understanding about producing music for visuals. Simultaneously he played piano in an R&B band at various popular clubs. After leaving college, he sought full-time work as a musician and was recruited to the sound team of Capcom in Osaka during 1995. Debuting as the arranger of the Saturn port of Mega Man X3, he considerably fleshed out the musical content of the original.
During his early years at Capcom, Shusaku Uchiyama had roles in two major projects. He single-handedly scored Mega Man 8 for the PlayStation and Saturn, offering a mostly light-hearted soundtrack filled with pop and jazz influences. Even today, the composer continues to feel a deep emotional connection to the project given it featured the first soundtrack he led. In 1998, he participated in the much darker orchestral soundtrack to the survival horror title Resident Evil 2. Under the guidance of director Hideki Kamiya and lead composer Masami Ueda, Uchiyama scored the investigation themes and cinematic cues featured throughout the game. His numerous contributions significantly enhanced the immersive and filmic quality of the title.
Uchiyama produced a number of other cutting-edge scores during his subsequent years at Capcom. Following his work on Resident Evil 2, he was assigned to work on the score for the GameCube remake of the originalResident Evil. He helped to completely rebuild and modernise the score for the title with a mixture of original compositions and abstract arrangements, leading to a more psychologically affecting accompaniment to the game. He elaborated upon many of these stylistic elements on Resident Evil 4 alongside Misao Senbongi. As the title was approached as a complete rebuild of the franchise, Uchiyama incorporated plenty of experimental ambient soundscapes and action-packed underscore to the release. The final score greatly enhanced the atmosphere of the well-received game.
Between these projects, Uchiyama worked on a range of other projects at Capcom. He developed his capacity as a techno composer and expanded his workstation while producing the lively rhythmically compelling accompaniment to the shooter P.N.03.In addition, he helped to conceive the musical approaches of Under the Skin and Lost Planet: Extreme Condition; on both projects, he served as both a supervisor to external contractors and a composer of additional music. In 2008, Uchiyama concluded his time at Capcom by contributing a large number of action and setting themes to Devil May Cry 4. His contributions intentionally followed the precedent set by other music in the series, particularly Tetsuya Shibata’s work, but were nevertheless spectacularly diverse in approach.
After completing work on Devil May Cry 4, Uchiyama left Capcom to set up his personal music studio B.P.M. Studio. Uchiyama has nevertheless been given opportunities to revisit the franchises most important to him. At request from Ippo Yamada, he served as a guest contributor to the arranged albums of the commemorative titles Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10, and also created the Chillman stage theme on the latter. Having impressed Masachika Kawata on Resident Evil 4, he was asked back to score 2009’s Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. Responsible for all the music featured in the Resident Evil 2 and South America chapters, Uchiyama combined edgy new compositions with modernist orchestrations of series’ favourites. He was given the exuberance to record with a full orchestra on this title, yielding spectacular results.
Uchiyama has flirted with several other projects. For instance, he worked as a guest composer and vocal arranger on the light-hearted shooter GalGun, between writing music for plays such as Maoutensyou on behalf of drama company R-Mix. But Uchiyama continues to primarily focus on the Resident Evil franchise, now its longest-standing and most accomplished composer. He handled the entire score for the Western-developed shooter Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, blending the series’ horror elements with Hollywood-influenced electro-orchestral action tracks. Many of the tracks were composed in three tiers that adaptively alternated depending on the intensity on the gameplay. The artist also embraced new experiences while co-composing the animated movie Resident Evil: Damnation. In this role, he preserved the familiar sound of the series, while offering a more cinematic scope to his music.
- Various Game & Album Credits
- Interview with Game-OST (English, March 2011)
© Biography by Chris Greening (September 2010). Last updated on June 6, 2011. Do not republish without formal permission.