Soundings: Season 5 Episode 6

Aska Matsumiya

On the parallels between surfing and musical composition, collaborating with her heroes, authenticity, self-expression, the power of simplicity, piano, the value of improvisation, and taking a year off to chase surf.

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Born in Japan to a mother with a profound passion for classical music and a father whose singing and guitar resounded throughout her early childhood, Aska Matsumiya was playing music before she could talk. Allured by her family’s player piano as a child, she became a proficient classical pianist by age 3. But after a move to Orange County, California, at 12, Matsuyima was introduced to the haywire world of punk rock. Matsumiya played in punk bands until her early twenties, when she began experimenting with writing her own songs and scoring clips for friends in the fashion industry. Since then, she’s composed over 20 films and television soundtracks for directors like Julia Hart and Spike Jonze, networks like HBO, major brands like Audi, as well as collaborated with prolific composers such as Ryuichi Sakamoto. In this episode, Matsumiya and show host Jamie Brisick discuss her creative process, composing for film and television versus the self, her proudest pieces, working with others, her musical inspirations, and the similarities between surfing and making music.  

Produced by Jonathan Shifflett.
Music by PazKa (Aska Matsumiya & Paz Lenchantin).

Feature image by Max Farago.