Studio Ghibli’s beloved animated films wouldn’t be the same without Joe Hisaishi’s swooping and slightly melancholy soundtracks. The composer has worked closely with animator Hayao Miyazaki since 1984, and has been a central part of the Studio Ghibli family since its founding a year later. His compositions have helped underline the sense of adventure and the experiences of childhood that are central to the studio’s works. Horns and string arrangements raise the stakes for stories built around fantastical elements; Hisaishi also understands how to conjure the particular innocent joy that has attracted so many viewers to the world of Ghibli. And his fragile piano melodies add emotional depth to these songs, bringing a sense of longing and wonder that has helped power some of the most famous moments in Japanese cinema history. Even on their own, Hisaishi’s works stir feelings of awe and anticipation.