YUJI SATO

Composer and Sound Designer

 
 

Projects

Click on an image to go to the project

These are some of the projects I've worked on recently.

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See Through Me

An Interactive 2D Animated Story

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Scrapbook

A narrative VR experience for PC

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Pac-Whale

An open-world 'eating' game using webcam and mic as input devices for PC

Gnomes in a Robe

A cute 3-player co-op experience for AirConsole

Beloved Flower

A cute, melancholic story for PC

CloudWorks 

A virtual platform for hosting the ETC Festival

CloudWorks (Sound Committee)

Sound Designer

Description:

CloudWorks is the name of the project team that worked on recreating the ETC Festival in a virtual space in order to accommodate for the remote environment the semester took place in. Since the project team lacked sound designers, they asked for some volunteers to help set up a Sound Committee to sound design for the experience.

Description:

I worked on the Sound Committee with two other sound designers, Noah Kankanala and Tianyi Cao, to compose BGMs and create sound effects for the experience. I helped coordinate between the committee and the main project team in order to ensure that our sound design matched with the creative vision for the festival, and also took on the scheduling and task management for the large amount of work that needed to be done for this undertaking. 

 

See Through Me 

Sound Designer, Story Writer

Description:

See Through Me is a 2D point and click adventure developed by a team of 5 in 3 weeks. I helped create the story and storyboards, then composed the soundtrack and sound designed for the experience. 

The story is about a youthful romance, and I tried to capture the innocence and beauty of that by using shifting between A major and minor to create a bittersweet atmosphere.
Here is the link to the game:

https://rinder5.github.io/WebGLBuild/index.html

 

Gnomes in a Robe

Sound Designer, Co-Producer, Level Designer

Description:

Gnomes in a Robe a 3 player co-op game for AirConsole developed by a team of 5 in 3 weeks. I was the sound designer for this project, and also dabbled in a bit of level design as well. 

I tried to capture the magical, yet whimsical and silly nature of this game by using a instruments such as the accordion and bassoon to create a fun atmosphere. I also tried to shift between major and minor often to introduce a magical feel to my music.

 

Scrapbook

Sound Designer, Story Writer, Co-Producer

Description:

Scrapbook is a single-player VR experience that depicts the struggles of a young film maker. I was in charge of sound design as well as some parts of production for this project. 

I tried to capture the melancholic yet hopeful atmosphere of this work by having the music be predominantly in a minor, but having the melody always end on a ascending note. I also designed the BGM so additional instruments would be layered on based on how the game was progressing. The BGM would evolve from the bell solo version to the full orchestral version as the game's narrative progressed.

 

Pac-Whale

Sound Designer, Co-Producer

Description:

Pac-Whale is a single-player experience for PC where you control a genetically modified Shark, Whale, Eel hybrid using webcam and mic, and your goal is to devour everything in your path. I was the sound designer and assistant producer for this project. 

To capture the watery/ocean feel of the world, I got a lot of inspiration from classical pieces such as Frederic Chopin's Ballade in A flat major as well as Maurice Ravel's Barque sur le Mer, and translated it into a form that would be more 'game-friendly'.

 

Beloved Flower

Sound Designer, Producer

Description:

Beloved Flower is a single-player experience for PC, where you play as a ghost trying to help a little bunny find flowers for her grandma. 

For this work, I created a musical leitmotif that appeared throughout the whole game, and made variations of it. When the bunny is in a relatively safe situation, the waltz version would play. When the bunny is in a dangerous situation, the march version would play, allowing the soundtrack to enhance the immersion a player would feel at any given moment.

The Starry Sea

Description:

For this assignment, prospective sound designers were given a few videos with no audio to choose from, and our task was to create a immersive audio track for it. 

I chose this particular video because I enjoyed how it conveyed the beauty and wonder of space, while also introducing cuteness and fun through the character designs, so I tried to build upon that with my sound effects, ambience, and music.

Compositions

These are some of the pieces I've composed over the last few years.

Description:

There were three things I wanted to try with this composition. First, I wished to incorporate Japanese instruments and sounds. Second, I explored ways in which I could combine vastly different sections of music in a coherent manner to create a sense of narrative. Lastly, I tried to infuse more energy and power into my music which tends to be rather delicate and sensitive. I found the Japanese instruments such as the Shakuhachi, Shamisen, and Taiko to be surprisingly comfortable to work with, and combining them with voice and European instruments was quite enjoyable. I decided to reuse the theme from Song of the Vale because I thought up of a fun variation that I really wanted to include.

Description:

I decided to write this piece after listening to a woodwind ensemble. I was fascinated by how woodwind instruments could create depth and distance in music through minute adjustments in volume and resonance. Using this characteristic, I tried creating a piece that would create different atmospheres through the same melody. For example, the middle and lower family of woodwinds such as the clarinet and bassoon give the melody an earthly, pastoral feel while the upper family like the flute and oboe create a more austere, serene mood. That, combined with changes in accompaniment and phrasing, allowed me to explore ways of expressing different ideas through the same melody. The combination of pastoral and ethereal elements evoked an image of a valley, hence the title of the piece.

Description:

There are few things I dread more than the sound of my morning alarm. This piece was an attempt by me to make my mornings slightly more bearable, by designing an alarm song that was annoying enough to wake me up, but endearing enough to soothe any ill will. The upper electronic melody infuses energy into the piece, while the two middle tones provide a fuller sound pallet. Finally, the woodblock emulates the ticking of a clock, while the drums imitate what I sound like when I fall out of bed realizing I hit snooze one too many times.

Description:

I was inspired to write this piece after working with some violinists and vocalists. Aside from including multiple active melodies that one can often find in chamber music, I also tried to emulate the fluidity that my fellow musicians had displayed during our performances. The tenor provides weight to the piece, which is counter-balanced by the ocarina's light, flowing melody. All the while, the harp provides a steady forward momentum.

Description:

This is the very first BGM I composed back in 2017 inspired by the student project Aer. I tried to capture the cuteness of the game's visual style as well as the challenges that would be faced by the players. The three parts of the piece each represent a different aspect of the game. The bass notes represent the player's foot steps as they make their way to the finish line, and remains steady and solid. The accordion like melody fluctuates to represent the player's emotions as they play. It begins in major, and evokes a positive mood. However, as the game becomes more difficult and the obstacles more frequent, the melody shifts to minor. However, in the end the player overcomes the challenges to finally make it to the end. The upper bell notes are meant to express curiosity, the ever forward moving aspect that drives both the music and the player forward.

Performances

Ravel Prelude and Toccata

Chopin Etude Op.10 No.1

Scarlatti Sonata in B minor

Scarlatti Sonata in G Major

Brahms Violin Sonata No.3

 

ARTIST INFO

Yuji Sato

I am a composer and sound designer based in Pittsburgh. I have composed in a variety of styles ranging from electronic to video game music, and what I enjoy most about composing is incorporating the bits of music I come across everyday into my own style, and broadening the scope and possibilities of my music.

I studied Economics and Music Performance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and participated in music festivals at Brevard and Bowdoin. Currently I am pursuing a Masters of Entertainment Technology at the Entertainment Technology Center of Carnegie Mellon University.

 

CONTACT

 

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