• 2016-08-03 00:33:11 -0300 Thumb picture
  • dantares Pedro
    2015-02-16 23:25:03 -0200 Thumb picture

    Square Enix entrevista Yoko Shimoura e Kenji Ito

    A SQEX europeia publicou a primeira parte de duas da entrevista feita com duas lendas da game music, Yoko Shimomura (Street Fighter II, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy XV) e Kenji Ito (SaGa e Seiken Densetsu). Nessa primeira parte Ito e Shimomura falam sobre suas inspirações, como começaram a carreira e o caminho que percorreram até chegar onde estão.

    Abaixo segue a entrevista na íntegra, divirtam-se!

    Q: Who is your favourite video game music composer and why?

    Kenji Ito: Ok, you go first! [laughs]

    Yoko Shimomura: Eh? That’s a tricky one… Well he might not be my absolute favourite but it was Kondo Koji, the composer for Super Mario, who was the inspiration for me to get into this industry in the first place.

    It might be going a bit far to say that his music is in another dimension, but I think it was Kondo who brought game music this far so I have a huge amount of respect for him. There are many game music composers who I like though…

    Ito: There are many great game music guys but one who had a great impact on me was Hirasawa Hajime who did Starfox. I was really struck by his tracks.

    Q: Looking back at all these years composing music, how do you keep the inspiration flowing? Do you have some sort of ritual/routine or particular place/object… that helps you gather your thoughts?

    Shimomura: I really like travelling and although I can’t say there is anywhere in particular, I often find inspiration when I am away from my everyday routine. I do get moved in small ways by everyday things, but I would say that the secret to how I can keep going if you will, or what I need to keep motivated, is to be removed from that everyday reality by being away travelling, or even just through reading a novel.

    Ito: I get a lot of inspiration from comics. I really like the work of Hojo Tsukasa, such as “The Rose of Versailles” or more recently “Angel Heart”. Comics don’t have any sound at all so when I am reading I often wonder what kind of music should be playing in the background of a scene and try to visualise it, and I often put those kinds of ideas together to create my work.

    Q: What is your proudest accomplishment to-date as a composer?

    Ito: There are a lot of those. If you mean the very first one I was proud of then probably Seiken Densetsu (“Legend of the Holy Sword”, first game in the Mana series, never released in Europe). I was around 22 at the time and it was the first time I had been put in charge of creating all the tracks for a game on my own. Having created the theme song and then proceeded to compose all of the tracks based on the story, and even produce them was great experience for my future career.

    Shimomura: Whenever I finish something I always feel relieved and think “Aah, that’s over with now”. Street Fighter 2 was pretty hard, but once a game is completed you have to quickly move on to the next thing… After I finished work on Mario RPG I took a vacation of about three months off. I had been doing projects back-to-back for quite a while then, with Live A Live (never released in Europe), Front Mission and Mario RPG, and because it was the last ever Super Nintendo title I worked on, I remember there was a massive feeling of things finishing and coming to an end. So I decided to have a big holiday and started my time off in the winter, but when I returned to the office it was already cherry blossom season. [laughs]

    I had travelled quite a lot during that vacation and I think it helped to keep my motivation up.

    Q: Can you tell us about a song you wish you had never composed? / What do you consider your worst work so far and why?

    Ito: You don’t mean a specific game here right? I think that the pieces we make are what they are. Even if there were hypothetically some tracks that I was not happy with, the fans love the games as a whole, including having those in there, so I don’t feel there is a need to go and tweak them again now.

    On the other hand, when I release re-arrangements and re-workings of older music on CD, I am aware of trying to refine and perfect the songs.

    Shimomura: Ah, he said something wonderful there… I don’t think I can say anything more after that, can I?! [laughs]

    The songs that I have already finished are complete in and of themselves and so I do not have any regrets about them. If there is something I regret then it is often more along the lines of wishing that I had tried harder from earlier on. [laughs]

    Q: A genie grants you the ability to completely change life for a month and do any job you’d like, what would you pick and who would you be?

    Shimomura:I have never thought about that. I really don’t like working you see… [laughs]. So I really think that the reason I can carry on working is because I have managed to do something I enjoy for a job. One month eh...? I think I would like to just play around for a month!.

    Ito: I think I would like to try going on a world tour playing acoustic music. I would take a small group with myself on the piano and three to four members on violin and guitar etc, and we would mainly play ballads, starting in Japan and then heading off around the world. Thinking of the piano, I would really like to make music like that of Andre Gagnon.

    Q: When in the process of composing a soundtrack, what type of song do you have the most fun working with? (Villages, Battle, Main Themes, Events…)?

    Shimomura:What type would that be…? I think it differs depending on the kind of game I am working on at the time, but I do like making the music for field and exploration sections. It looks like the fans prefer battle music though. [laughs]

    Ito: I love making event music, especially for tear-jerking scenes. I really like doing emotional pieces. Obviously for sad scenes but also for tears of joy when characters meet with people they love and things like that too.

    Q: Is there something you have not managed to achieve yet and that is still in a corner of your head?

    Ito: I really like things to do with healing and personal wellbeing, not just limited to bringing out that kind of emotion in music. So I would really like to be able to give people that kind of holistic wellbeing package, including not just music but also food and exercise of some sort perhaps, maybe some kind of personal enrichment programme or rehabilitation for the elderly etc.

    Shimomura: It might be impossible to arrange but I would really like to put together a greatest hits type game music CD involving my games from all different developers and publishers and bringing together the whole body of my work. Something that brings together everything, from the songs I made a long time ago that I am a bit embarrassed about now, right through to some original pieces from new titles.

    Q: Do you always see technical limitations as a hindrance to your work or do you think they can be beneficial at times? Do you sometimes miss the early days when the sounds and midi banks were more straightforward?

    Ito: Those kinds of limits have really had a big effect on me. I have been making game music since the GameBoy era when you could only make three-layer sounds with a melody, bass and backing. Although I could play the piano when I started out, and had thus learned some classical stuff, I had not really studied any specific musical theory or techniques such as harmonics etc. Having to learn and master these kinds of musical techniques as I went along while composing for games was pretty brutal, but I think it was very good for me too. It was good experience but I don’t think I would like to go back and do it again!

    Shimomura: I have also been composing for games since the three-layer sound era and I can remember that the Super Nintendo was really unique in its sound capabilities and really left a strong impression on me. The original NES sound hardware (called a PSG) has been used to create chip tunes and there are a number of people out there who specifically try to create music reminiscent of the NES, but I don’t think there are many who try to imitate the Super Nintendo though. So the Super NES had its own unique setup with 8 sound layers, using 2 for effects layers and having the other 6 to work with, and it brought game sound from the 3 layer era slightly closer to real music, although obviously it still sounded a bit mechanical. I really loved that era… And I really learned a lot at that time. It was an education. But I don’t think I would want to go back either! [laughs]

    The current environment we have to work with is just great but I do get nostalgic and have lots of good memories about the simpler times.

    Q: Can you briefly describe your composition process from the first notes to the end result in game?

    Shimomura: It varies depending on the song. Sometimes I will start from scratch by sitting and brainstorming at the piano until something comes up where I think “Yes, this phrase could work”, and at other times I don’t play the piano at all and it just comes to me complete, with all the sounds right through to the end. So it really is different each time. I don’t have one fixed process that I always have to use.

    Ito: I always start by asking the client what kind of image and feeling they want to project in the song. It can be something from other games, films or even vocal pieces but I always ask then to give me an Idea of what kind of music they are looking for. A lot of the time they just ask for something “that is in my style” but when I go away and write something like that they often come back telling me that it is too heavy and serious (Laughs)!! That actually happens a lot, so I always start by asking for an image of what kind of music people want.


    A segunda parte da entrevista será publicada na semana que vem!

    Fonte: Square Enix Europe

    É quase certo que a maioria esmagadora aqui conhece a Yoko Shimomura, porém o Kenji Ito não é uma figura tão difundida. Tendo isso em mente, para quem nunca ouviu o trabalho dele, recomendo as seguintes músicas.

    Kingdom Hearts

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  • dantares Pedro
    2015-02-16 01:47:37 -0200 Thumb picture

    Drammatica: The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura

    Arranjo das músicas Take the Offensive e Manifold Irons, do álbum Drammatica The Very Best Of Yoko Shimomura.

    Pura qualidade!

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  • 2014-01-15 13:23:45 -0200 Thumb picture

    Yuzo Koshiro remixador?

    Yuzo Koshiro além de remixar suas próprias músicas, fez uma participação em um álbum de tributo as músicas do Street Fighter 2, remixando o tema do Balrog. O álbum foi lançado em 17 de dezembro de 2003. Deixo o link para download do álbum, mas se possível, comprem: https://mega.co.nz/#!xV0FTJAa!dmZyUAjeFRAkOqfWX9M4...

    Jogo: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
    Música: Balrog (Tema)
    Plataforma: Arcade
    Compositor: Yoko Shimomura, Isao Abe
    Remix Por: Yuzo Koshiro




    Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

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  • 2013-12-29 17:26:16 -0200 Thumb picture

    Bison, eu vou chutar o seu traseiro!

    Jogo: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
    Música: Abertura
    Plataforma: Arcade
    Compositor: Yoko Shimomura, Isao Abe
    Cover Por: Fabio Lima




    Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

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