|"Tori no Uta"|
|Song by Lia|
|from the album Ornithopter|
|Released||September 8, 2000|
|Recorded||May 3–5, 2000|
|Studio||Paramount Studio, Los Angeles|
|Label||Key Sounds Label|
"Tori no Uta"
"Tori no Uta" (鳥の詩, lit. "Bird's Poem") is a Japanese trance song sung by Lia, written by Jun Maeda, composed by Shinji Orito, and arranged by Kazuya Takase. The song was recorded at Paramount Studio in Los Angeles by the visual novel studio Key through their record label Key Sounds Label for use as the opening theme of Key's 2000 visual novel Air . A short version of the song was first released on I've Sound's July 2000 compilation album Verge . The full version of "Tori no Uta" first appeared on the limited edition remix album Ornithopter (September 2000) originally bundled with the first printing release of the Air game, though "Tori no Uta" was not remixed on the album. The song was later widely distributed on the Air Original Soundtrack (2002), the soundtrack of the visual novel. The song was later featured as the opening theme to the Air anime series in 2005. The Japanese variety radio show Moteken used "Tori no Uta" as the ending theme to their October 15, 2007 broadcast.
Shinji Orito commented on the song in the Air Original Soundtrack booklet where he remarked, "Even though I have made up my mind that the song "Tori no Uta" best captures the themes of Air, arriving at this was extremely difficult. Besides being under a lot of pressure, I'm still quite inexperienced in the field of music; this is the area I want to become stronger in most of all."
"Tori no Uta" is the longest track featured in Air , spanning 6:08 minutes. "Tori no Uta" is a trance song in common time which begins in the B minor key and waits until the eighth measure for Lia to begin singing. The song is kept in B minor for the first verse, shifts to G-sharp minor for the second, and again shifts to the previous key's supertonic, A-sharp minor (or enharmonically B-flat minor) for the third, then after a brief modulation to C-sharp minor, continues into the first measure of the fourth verse where it shifts back to B minor for the rest of the verse. After a short break, the key goes back to G-sharp minor and continues the same pattern as before. At the end of this sequence in verse seven, the first verse is repeated as the sole chorus in B minor. An instrumental coda is used to close the song which lasts for about one-sixth of the entire piece's length. The song's instrumentation primarily uses a synthesizer as a base, but does include a short piano sequence lasting for the first eight measures, along with piano accompaniment throughout the song. The song moves at 122 beats per minute, and Lia's vocal range spans almost two octaves from F-sharp4 to D6.
"Tori no Uta" has been released many times in original and remix versions. The song was first released as a shortened version spanning 3:09 minutes on I've Sound's July 2000 compilation album Verge . The first release of the song on Key Sounds Label, the record label affiliated with Key, was on the 2001 album Humanity... as a remix version subtitled "Bossanova version" and was sung by Mina Minomo. The full-length original version of the song was first released on the limited edition remix album Ornithopter (September 2000) originally bundled with the first printing release of the Air game.The song was later widely distributed on the Air Original Soundtrack (2002), the soundtrack of the visual novel, in original, short, and instrumental versions.
An instrumental piano version of "Tori no Uta" was released on the album Re-feel (2003) by Key Sounds Label.A remixed version arranged by Cosmic Seekers was included on the albums Air Analog Collector's Edition , and OTSU Club Music Compilation Vol.1, both released by Key Sounds Label in 2006. Another instrumental piano version was released on the album Key 10th Memorial Score , and a remixed version arranged by Blasterhead was included on the album OTSU:Blasterhead, both released by Key Sounds Label in 2009. The song was included on two remix albums released by Key Sounds Label in July 2012: Keynote remixed by Sōshi Hosoi, VisualArt's 20th Anniversary Remixes remixed by PandaBoY. A re-arranged version of the song was released on Shinji Orito's album Circle of Fifth in October 2012. A classical music version was released on the remix album Key Classic in December 2012 by Key Sounds Label.
The song also appeared on several albums released by Lia. The first was a remix on her first independent album Prismatic (2004); the song carried the subtitle "2004 summer version: Relaxin' with lovers mix", and later appeared on Lia's best of album Crystal Voice (2007). The original version appeared on Lia's best of album Diamond Days (2007), and a remix version by StripE subtitled "StripE REMIX" was included on her best of album Spectrum Rays (2007). A new vocal recording of "Tori no Uta" was released on Lia's Enigmatic LIA 2 album in early 2007, and another remix by DJ Sharpnel subtitled "[the speed freak's noise rave remix]" was released on Lia's Enigmatic LIA 3 album in early 2009.
Live versions of the song have appeared on two live albums by Lia. The first was the June 2005 DVD album Prologue featuring tracks performed at Lia's concert of the same name in Shibuya, Japan in January 2005.The second was the June 2008 DVD album The Limited featuring tracks performed at Lia's concert at Zepp Tokyo in September 2007; this album also contained a bonus track of "Tori no Uta" subtitled "[Double Encore]". Another live version appeared on Key Sound Label's KSL Live World 2008: Way to the Little Busters! EX live album featuring tracks performed at the second KSL Live World 2008 concert held in Osaka, Japan in May 2008. Later, a live version appeared on Key Sound Label's KSL Live World 2010: Way to the Kud Wafter live album featuring tracks performed at one of the May 22, 2010 KSL Live World 2010 concerts held in Tokyo.
"Tori no Uta" was sampled for the second movement of a symphony on the bonus CD Shinwa e no Izanai released with the special edition DVD version of the Air film in August 2005. A cover version of the song, sung by Asami Imai, was released on a two-disc music album and audio drama entitled Your Song.The album was released in January 2007 by Namco Bandai Games for their video game The Idolmaster ; Imai is the voice of Chihaya Kisaragi from The Idolmaster. The cover version was re-released in August 2007 on an image song and audio drama CD entitled The Idolmaster Master Artist 05 Chihaya Kisaragi featuring songs sung by Imai. Another cover version, sung by Masaaki Endoh, was released on Endoh's anime song cover album Enson2: Cover Songs Collection Vol.2 sold in December 2008. A cover version of "Tori no Uta" appeared in the sequel of Front Wing's visual novel Time Leap titled Time Leap Paradise released in July 2009. Another cover version by Chihiro Yonekura appeared on her 2011 cover album Nakeru Anison. A cover version was released in January 2012 as an official demo for the Vocaloid 3 product IA: Aria on the Planetes; Lia is the voice provider of IA. "Tori no Uta"'s melody has also appeared in two of the medleys in Kumikyoku Nico Nico Douga. A portion of "Tori no Uta," sung by Nikki, is present in the Chinese hip-hop song "Looking Back" by Yin Ts'ang.
On August 27, 2005, Anime News Network reported that Singaporean musician Shaun Yu may have plagiarized "Tori no Uta". Yu's current album, The Best of Shaun Yu, features a track called "Melody" which sounds like the Air theme. Though Key made no official statement at the time, an investigation was initiated.
On September 21, 2005, it was reported that a second song on The Best of Shaun Yu may have been plagiarized from a song composed by Hiroyuki Tōshima, "Tenshi no Kyujitsu".Yu had stated that his producers, YesMusic, had arranged both tracks, and that he was unaware of the situation. YesMusic, in turn, had stated that it licensed the rights to the song from Key/VisualArt's for mainland China distribution, but that the album came out in Taiwan before licensing could be arranged for that territory. However, Key/VisualArt's denied this, as per a statement on Key's website:
On September 29, 2005, Sony BMG Taiwan posted a statement of apology in both Chinese and Japanese on their official website. CD shipments were cancelled and recalled.
Key is a Japanese visual novel studio known for making dramatic and plot-oriented titles. It was formed on July 21, 1998, as a brand under the publisher Visual Arts, and is located in Kita, Osaka.
Key Sounds Label is a Japanese independent record label formed in 2001 as a brand of the publishing company VisualArt's. Key Sounds Label was formed to catalog and release music related to visual novels produced by the brand Key, also under VisualArt's, known for developing titles such as Kanon and Air. Excluding two albums and one single that were released by Key and VisualArt's before the label's formation, the majority of releases on the label all have a basis from one of Key's titles. There are other albums and singles on the label not directly related to the visual novels, such as two singles by Lia and one album by Riya. Unlike typical record labels, Key Sounds Label does not license any of the artists featured on albums and singles released on the label.
Air is a visual novel developed by Key and published by VisualArt's in 2000. The story follows Yukito Kunisaki, a traveler who arrives in a quiet seaside town during summer who is on a search for the "girl in the sky" that his now-deceased mother told him about and was searching for too. In town, Yukito meets three strange girls and Yukito begins to suspect that one of them may in fact be the girl he has been searching for. It was adapted by Toei Animation into an animated film in 2005 directed by Osamu Dezaki with music direction by Yoshikazu Suo. Kyoto Animation also adapted it into a 13-episode anime television series broadcast in 2005, along with an additional two episodes also broadcast in 2005, directed by Tatsuya Ishihara with music direction by Shinji Orito. The discography of Air and its anime adaptations consists of one EP, one single, two soundtracks, and three remix albums.
Clannad is a visual novel developed by Key and published by VisualArt's in 2004. The story follows Tomoya Okazaki, a discontented high school student whose life changes when he meets a girl one year older than him named Nagisa Furukawa. It was adapted by Toei Animation into an animated film in 2007 directed by Osamu Dezaki with music direction by Yoshichika Inomata. Kyoto Animation also adapted it into two anime television series consisting of 49 episodes broadcast between 2007 and 2009, including two original video animation episodes released in 2008 and 2009, directed by Tatsuya Ishihara with music direction by Shinji Orito. The discography of Clannad and its anime adaptations consists of two studio albums, four singles, two soundtracks, and four remix albums.
Kanon is a visual novel developed by Key and published by VisualArt's in 1999. The story follows Yuichi Aizawa, who has returned to the town where seven years ago he would spend his school vacations, but has forgotten many of the details regarding his previous visits. Over the course of the series, Yuichi slowly regains these memories as he meets new friends and is reacquainted with others from his past. It was adapted by Toei Animation into a 13-episode anime television series broadcast in 2002 along with an accompanying original video animation episode released in 2003, both directed by Takamichi Itō with music direction by Hiroyuki Kōzu. Kyoto Animation also adapted it into a 24-episode anime television series broadcast between 2006 and 2007 directed by Tatsuya Ishihara with music direction by Shinji Orito. The discography of Kanon and its anime adaptations consists of one compilation album, three singles, three soundtracks, and three remix albums.
Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet is a visual novel developed by Key and published by VisualArt's and KineticNovel in 2004. The story centers around a middle-aged man who comes across a malfunctioning robot in a dead city. The man, known simply as "the junker", stays with this robot for a time and attempts to fix the projector of the planetarium where the story takes place. It was adapted by David Production into an original net animation series and an animated film titled Planetarian: Storyteller of the Stars in 2016. The core of the discography is the original soundtrack album produced by Key Sounds Label in 2006 for the visual novel. The music on the soundtrack was mainly composed and arranged by Magome Togoshi. A second soundtrack and two singles for the anime adaptations were released in 2016. An EP for Planetarian will be released in 2017 featuring music from the visual novel and anime adaptations.
Jun Maeda is a Japanese writer and co-founder of the visual novel brand Key under Visual Arts. He is considered a pioneer of nakige visual novels, and has mainly contributed as a scenario writer, lyricist, and musical composer for the games the company produces. His style was originally inspired by James Herbert Brennan, and is influenced by Haruki Murakami's novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
Shinji Orito is a Japanese musical composer originally from Hyōgo, Japan working for the visual novel brand Key under VisualArt's. Before forming Key, Orito worked for another software company named Leaf where he contributed to four games. After leaving Leaf, Orito transferred to another company named Tactics where he had a hand in the creation of three games for that company: Dōsei, Moon, and One: Kagayaku Kisetsu e. After forming Key, Orito has put much work into such famous titles as Kanon, Air and Clannad. Orito has been influenced by the famous Japanese composers Joe Hisaishi and Yuzo Koshiro.
Lia is a Japanese singer-songwriter. She has performed various video game and anime theme songs, such as for Key's visual novels, Air, Clannad, and Tomoyo After: It's a Wonderful Life, the opening theme for Angel Beats!, as well as theme songs for RF Online and Initial D Fourth Stage under Avex Trax. The Vocaloid IA was recorded with Lia's voice, and was released on January 27, 2012.
Little Busters! and Little Busters! Ecstasy are visual novels developed by Key and published by VisualArt's in 2007 and 2008. The story follows Riki Naoe, a high school student and member of a close-knit group of friends who call themselves the Little Busters. It was adapted by J.C.Staff into two anime television series broadcast between 2012 and 2013, and an original video animation series to be released in 2014, directed by Yoshiki Yamakawa with music direction by Shinji Orito. The discography of Little Busters!, Ecstasy, and the anime adaptations consists of one compilation album, one EP, eight singles, three soundtracks, and five remix albums.
Love Song is an album containing songs sung by Riya from Eufonius first released on August 31, 2005 in Japan by Key Sounds Label bearing the catalog number KSLA-0019. The album contains one disc with thirteen tracks composed and produced by Jun Maeda of Key. Additional participating musicians include Kendi Sato on electric guitar for tracks two and twelve, AchillesKEN on percussion for track seven, and Weisswurst on violin for tracks seven and thirteen. Cover art for the album was provided by Yoshitoshi ABe who also provided illustrations inside the album's booklet. Love Song is a concept album which tells the narrative of love as it heads toward ruin.
Humanity... is an album featuring songs composed by Shinji Orito, Magome Togoshi, Mitsuru Sekiyama, Yasushi Tanno, and Shigeru Kiyokawa. The album was first released on August 10, 2001 at Comiket 60 in Japan by Key Sounds Label bearing the catalog number KSLA-0001. The album contains one disc with ten tracks; eight of the ten are sung by Hidetsuna Fujita, and Mina Minomo, and the lyrics for the songs were written by Jun Maeda, Tanno, Fujita, and Kazumi Ōtsuka. Excluding the last track, "Tori no Uta ", which is a remix of a song originally featured in Key's visual novel Air, none of the other tracks are related to visual novels by Key.
Key 10th Memorial Fes Anniversary CD is remix album released on February 28, 2009 in Japan by Key Sounds Label bearing the catalog numbers KSLC-0004—0005. It was released at Key 10th Memorial Fes, an event hosted by the visual novel development brand Key under VisualArt's and held during February 28 and March 1, 2009 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the game brand's establishment. The album contains two discs with sixteen tracks, though only the music on the first disc is of new remixes of music from Key's visual novels. The second disc re-uses older remixes previously released by Key Sounds Label on the albums Recollections and Ornithopter; tracks one through six are from the former, and the remaining tracks are from the latter. The tracks on the album were composed, arranged, and produced by Jun Maeda, Shinji Orito, Magome Togoshi, Takumaru, Manack, Manyo, and PMMK.
Key Sounds Label is a Japanese independent record label based in Osaka, Japan, that specializes in trance music. The label formed in 2001 as a brand of the publishing company VisualArt's and was established to catalog and release music related to visual novels produced by the brand Key, also under VisualArt's. When Key Sounds Label formed, Jun Maeda, Shinji Orito, and Magome Togoshi were Key's signature composers and have continued to produce the majority of the music on the label, though Togoshi resigned in October 2006 and is no longer affiliated with Key or VisualArt's. Key and VisualArt's released one single and two remix albums between 1999 and 2000, leading to the formation of Key Sounds Label the following year. The first official releases on the label were Work-S' debut studio album Humanity... and Lia's debut single "Natsukage / Nostalgia" at the convention Comiket 60 in 2001. The first release to chart on Japan's Oricon charts was the Clannad Original Soundtrack released in 2004. Between 2006 and 2008, eight more releases—five singles and three albums—also charted on Oricon. The six singles and two albums released for the anime series Angel Beats! charted on Oricon in 2010.
Kud Wafter is a visual novel developed by Key and published by VisualArt's in 2010. The story follows the lives of Riki Naoe and his close friend Kudryavka as they start to see more of each other in a romantic relationship. The discography of Kud Wafter consists of one single, one soundtrack, and three remix album. The core of the discography is the original soundtrack album produced by Key Sounds Label in 2010. The music on the soundtrack was composed and arranged by Jun'ichi Shimizu, Manack, and Donmaru. Three remix albums were released between 2010 and 2013.
Rewrite is a visual novel developed by Key and published by VisualArt's in 2011. A fan disc for Rewrite titled Rewrite Harvest festa! was released in 2012. The discography of Rewrite and Harvest festa! consists of one studio album, five singles, three soundtracks and five remix albums. The core of the discography consists of two original soundtrack albums for the visual novels, one for Rewrite and the other for Harvest festa!. The soundtracks were produced by Key Sounds Label and released in 2011 and 2012. The music on the soundtracks was composed and arranged by Jun Maeda, Shinji Orito, Maiko Iuchi, Sōshi Hosoi, and Ryō Mizutsuki. An image song album was released in 2016. Seven singles were released between 2011 and 2017: two theme song singles for the visual novel, and five singles for the anime adaptation. A third soundtrack for the anime adaptation was released in 2017. The remix albums contains tracks from the games remixed by various artists and were released between 2011 and 2017.
Angel Beats! is a 13-episode 2010 anime television series produced by P.A. Works and Aniplex and directed by Seiji Kishi. The story was originally conceived by Jun Maeda, who also wrote the screenplay and composed the music with the group Anant-Garde Eyes, with original character design by Na-Ga; both Maeda and Na-Ga are from the visual novel brand Key. The first volume in a six-part episodic visual novel adaptation produced by Key was released in 2015. The discography of Angel Beats! consists of two studio albums, one compilation album, eight singles, one soundtrack and one remix album.
Ayaka Kitazawa is a Japanese singer from Saitama who has released music under Key Sounds Label since 2012. In 2013, she sang the ending theme song to the anime series Little Busters! Refrain.
Harmonia is a visual novel developed by Key and published by VisualArt's in 2016. The story is set in a world where artificially intelligent, emotional androids called Phiroids were developed before a rapid decline in human civilization. An emotionless young man named Rei with a mechanical right hand is cared for by a girl in a small town as he gradually learns how to express emotions. The discography of Harmonia consists of one single, one soundtrack and one remix album. The core of the discography is the original soundtrack album produced by Key Sounds Label in 2017. The music on the soundtrack was composed and arranged by Shinji Orito, Ryō Mizutsuki, Tomohiro Takeshita, Yūichirō Tsukagoshi and Meeon.