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Japanese synth pioneer Isao Tomita pushed electronic music to new heights

Isao Tomita performs at a concert at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, near Tokyo, in 2013.

TOKYO Over the years, relatively few Japanese musicians have found global fame. One might argue that this is because Japanese sensibilities toward sound and music are unique, but the ones who embrace this uniqueness and pursue their craft with a limitless curiosity can make the leap from the domestic to the world stage.

Isao Tomita, who died on May 5 at the age of 84, was one such musician. Unrivaled as a composer, synthesizer player and acoustic engineer, he spent his life as a "seeker of sound," crossing boundaries with ease.

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