The classic anime series K-On! built its reputation on its music which could have resulted in a passable if pedestrian series of insert songs. Thankfully, this task was placed in the right hands from the start courtesy of musician and composer Tom H@ck.
This Tokyo-based artist (real name Tomohiro Oshima) managed to capture the energy and enthusiasm of being in a band – and a band that produced great tunes.
The young Tomohiro Oshima developed an interest in music from the age of 9 when a cousin taught him how to play drums – prompting the young Oshima to pester his parents for his own set of drums! “My cousin taught me 8-beat as a beginning” Oshima has stated, “Since then, the sticks and 8-beat became my toys. I guess this was the first music instrument for me”.
At school, he began to learn guitar and spent a lot of time practising and composing music. Following graduation he attended a music school in Tokyo to develop his skills at composing and performing adopting the name Tom H@ck along the way. “The most precious thing for me was that I could meet friends who were ambitious and studied together. I was still just a student, but I composed music and played guitar with some bands as a professional”.
Tom H@ck also became part of the Far East Peach label which is a collaboration of several musicians producing music projects in a variety of genres, including traditional Japanese styles, ambient, New Age and acoustic. The label issued several releases from 2006 onwards with the last being in 2008.
H@ck’s involvement in the K-On! soundtrack is also something that’s been largely kept hidden away, thus preserving the legend of Ho-kago Tea Time. And as one particular philosopher once commented: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”.
Text by Paul Browne
25th April 2012