'Japan's Beethoven' admits using ghost composer
By Harumi Ozawa, AFP
February 6, 2014, 12:04 am TWN
TOKYO--A deaf composer dubbed Japan's Beethoven confessed Wednesday to hiring someone to write his most iconic works, leaving duped broadcaster NHK red-faced, and casting a cloud over a figure skater set to dance to his music in Sochi.
Mamoru Samuragochi, 50, shot to fame in the mid-1990s with classical compositions that provided the soundtrack to video games including Resident Evil, despite having had a degenerative condition that affected his hearing.
Samuragochi, who has also spells his name Samuragoch, became completely deaf at the age of 35 but continued to work, notably producing "Symphony No.1, Hiroshima," a tribute to those killed in the 1945 atomic bombing of the city.
In 2001 Time magazine published an interview with him, calling him a "digital-age Beethoven."
"I listen to myself," Samuragochi told the magazine. "If you trust your inner sense of sound, you create something that is truer. It is like communicating from the heart. Losing my hearing was a gift from God."
His reputation grew when public broadcaster NHK aired a documentary in March last year entitled "Melody of the Soul," in which it showed the musician touring the tsunami-battered Tohoku region to meet survivors and those who lost relatives in the 2011 catastrophe.