June Chikuma’s Multiple Faucets

Chikuma’s figure within the music industry is not only a humbling story but one that has been curdled within the depths of time.

June Chikuma is a multi-instrumentalist and a regal lecturer at Kokushikan University. Her work stretches back to the early 1980s, demonstrating her ability to adapt to the contemporary world of sound.

Chikuma has proven she has an ear for various sounds. Along with the number of harmonic works, she is best known for developing the music for the Bomberman video game series. The series itself has been an ongoing phase within video game culture since its initial release in the NES system in 1987.


Image from mspoweruser.com

Along with her works in the series, she’s also a maestro of Arabic music. With her hand mastering the ney (Middle Eastern end-blown flute) and the riq (Arabian tambourine), Chikuma has traversed the late twentieth and early twenty-first century swaying between styles of digital aesthetic to live, harmonic play.

Her most infamous work within the gaming realm is her composition for the game Bomberman Hero for Nintendo 64. The composition holds the contemporary aesthetic of lively, jovial instruments digitized to fit within the artificial world. With a game involving space travel and obscure, alien sentient beings, her spacious fill of eerie and bubbly chords fits in perfectly.


Image from ign.com

The soundtrack has been heralded for being an atmospheric and appropriate supplement to the game, leading her image to momentarily stand under the starlight. Her musical touch has been vital throughout the timeline until her conclusion for the series with Bomberman Ultra in 2009.

Throughout the peak era of her career, she also introduced her capability in tackling international sound. These involve her live sessions held throughout Japan and Tunisia. Her most viewed work involves her tour demonstrating her work with the ney, alongside Yoshiko Matsuda, playing the Oud (Middle Eastern 11-string lute).

Video uploaded by June Chikuma (YouTube)

Her transitivity between various genres exposes the multitudinous fashion of her capabilities for over three decades. Chikuma has been steadily but elusively active within the music scene, which includes the recently released rendition of her 1986 album Divertimento, entitled Les Archives.

Chikuma has been keeping quiet. Her infamy does not include any glimmering outline of her figure or any star-studded glory, but her ongoing discipline and passion for her extraneous art. For that, I commend June Chikuma and hope that she keeps her pursuit strong.

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