“KYOKO” Original Soundtrack

1- ESPERANZA | Javier Olmo & Orquesta Aragón
composer: Ramón Cabrera/ director : Rafael Lay Jr.

composer & director : José Luis Cortés

3- PORTAL (KYOKO version)| NG La Banda
composer & director : José Luis Cortés

4- LA COMPARSA | NG La Banda
composer: Ernest Lecuona / director José Luis Cortés

5- CAMARERA DEL AMOR | Tony Calá & NG La Banda
composer: José D.Guiñones/ director : José Luis Cortés

6- LAS CUATRO PALOMAS | Zenaida Armenteros & Septet Nacional
composer: Ignacio Piñeiro / director : Francisco Amat

7- Lagrimas Negras LAGRIMAS NEGRAS | Zenaida Armenteros & Septet Nacional
composer : Miguel Matamoros / director FFrancisco Amat

8- NOSOTROS | Javier Olmo & Orquesta Aragón
composer : Pedro Juncos Jr. / director : Rafael Lay Jr.

9- BONITO Y SABROSO | Tony Calá & NG La Banda
composer: Benny Moré / director : José Luis Cortés

10- ME VOY PAL PUEBLO | Tony Calá & NG La Banda
composer: G.Mercedés Valdès/director , José Luis Cortés

11- SIBONEY | Javier Olmo & Orquesta Aragón
sax alto : Herman Belasco
composer: Ernest Lecuona / director José Luis Cortés

12- LA BRUJA (KYOKO version) | NG La Banda
composer & director : José Luis Cortés

The concept of the music for the movie KYOKO changed rapidly as the script progressed and changed. In Cuba, there are countless beautiful songs, countless bands, both old and new, and a variety of music that is difficult to understand.

First, I had to choose one song that would be “KYOKO’s theme”. The most famous of Cuban music is Ernenuto Lecuona’s “Siboney.” To express the mood of the film, the theme must be so familiar, poignant, and beautiful that you can hum it as you leave the theater, and it must also have a Cuban sense of elation.

In February 1995、 during a break from Saki Takaoka’s dance lessons, we began recording “Siboney” with the members of NG La Banda. The image of the singer was Alberto Rabagliati, the wonderful vocalist of the Lecuona Cuban Boys, a very popular band of the 1930s and 1940s.

The singers originally planned were an elderly duo called Rolito and Armandito from the group Roberto Fass. Fass is a bolero singer representing Cuba, and Rolito has been singing duets with Fass himself in a band called Conjunto Casino for a long time. Even after Fass himself died, the band Conjunto Roberto Fass remained, and Armandeito joined because he had a voice very similar to Fass.

I liked the beautiful voices of the two old men, so I used them in Murakami’s Cuban Canzone. However, their voices were unsuitable for “Siboney”. Ernesto Lecuona was originally a classical composer. “Siboney” has a particularly strict melodic line.

I called several singers to the studio late at night and had them sing, but none sang like Rabagliati.

I was in despair, but I believed that “We can find a singer because here is Cuba”. I had all kinds of videos shown on TV stations.

The thirteenth singer who arrived at the studio was Favier Olmo.

Favier is the son of José “Pepe” Olmo、 who was a side vocalist with Orquesta Aragón and was a member of the National Choir.

We waited at the exit of the venue until the choir’s performance was over, then I put him in the car and had him come to the studio. I had no choice but to do it because the phone wasn’t working and I had a reservation time at the studio.

Without much rehearsal, Favier perfectly sang “Siboney,” which other singers had struggled with for two or three hours and failed to sing, in just five minutes.

I was so happy and excited that I said, “Your voice will be featured in a movie and will be heard all over the world,” but Faviel looked stunned and said, “What do you mean?” was. This was how I met Fabiel.

Favier’s voice was so amazing. In the movie, we were supposed to use the originals for “Esperanza” and “Nosotros,” but I decided to re-record them with his voice. To record these two songs, I went to see Orquesta Aragón, where they were performing in a rural town, two hours from Havana. Orquesta Aragón is a legendary orchestra、 celebrating its 50th anniversary. Two geniuses, Richard Egues and Raphael Lay, created Aragón, and the repertoire is said to exceed 800 recorded songs.

Currently, Rafael Lay’s son is the leader of the orchestra. The group is playing mainly in Central and South America. However、 at that time、 the Orquesta Aragón was in Cuba. At a restaurant in a rural town that was pitch black due to a power outage, I asked Rafael Lay Jr., “Please record for a movie.”

“Oh, you’re Murakami, aren’t you? You’re younger than I thought,” said Junior, and accepted the job. And so “Esperanza” was born. It was a quick recording. When it was over, I paid everyone in cash. I heard someone yelling, “Okay, now I’m going to buy some booze and go see the girl.”

The new recording of “Esperanza” turned out so well that I decided to record the other songs as well. Septet Nacional、 directed by Pancho Amat、 and sung by Zenaida Armenteros. Septet Nacional is another legendary band created by the great Ignacio Piñeiro. Pancho was a talented tres guitar player who was formerly in Adalberto Alvarez’s band, and Zenaida was the exclusive singer for the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional, where Saki Takaoka gave dance lessons. With that combination, I recorded “Las Cuatro Palomas” and “Lagrimas Negras.”

In the end, it was decided that the movie would use songs that represent Cuba, old and new.

Orquesta Aragón, Ignacio Piñeiro, Benny Moré, Trio Matamores, Lecuona, NG La Banda and José Luis Cortés.

This music supported and saved the movie KYOKO.

In particular, I believe “Esperanza” will probably become one of the most important songs in my life.

Ryu Murakami
5. Dec.1995

Produced By : Ryu Murakami
Directed By : José Luis Cortés (M2,3,4,5.9,10,11,12), Rafael Lay Jr. (M1,8), Franclsco Amat (M6,7)
Recorded & Mixed By : Rolando Santos(M1,4,6,7,8,11), Sinpachirou Kawade(Music lnn)(M2,3)
Recorded By : Rolando Santos, Ramón Alom Suarez(M5,9,10)
Mixed By : Shinji Nishikubo(M5,9), Shinpachirou Kawade(M10)
Mastering Engineer: Thoshiya Horiuchi