Uematsu at a Play! A Video Game Symphony in 2006
|Born||March 21, 1959|
Kōchi, Kōchi, Japan
|Alma mater||Kanagawa University|
|Labels||Square Enix Music|
Dog Ear Records
|Associated acts|| The Black Mages |
Nobuo Uematsu(植松 伸夫Uematsu Nobuo, born March 21, 1959) is a Japanese video game composer, best known for scoring most of the titles in the Final Fantasy series by Square Enix. He is considered to be one of the most well known composers in the video game industry. Sometimes referred to as the "Beethoven of video games music", he has appeared five times in the top 20 of the annual Classic FM Hall of Fame.
Video game music is the soundtrack that accompanies video games. Early video game music was once limited to simple melodies of early sound synthesizer technology. These limitations inspired the style of music known as chiptunes, which combines simple melodic styles with more complex patterns or traditional music styles, and became the most popular sound of the first video games.
Final Fantasy is a Japanese science fantasy media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and developed and owned by Square Enix. The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games (RPGs/JRPGs). The first game in the series was released in 1987, with 14 other main-numbered entries being released since then. The franchise has since branched into other video game genres such as tactical role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, racing, third-person shooter, fighting, and rhythm, as well as branching into other media, including CGI films, anime, manga, and novels.
Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling 144 million, the Dragon Quest franchise selling 78 million and the Kingdom Hearts franchise selling 30 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.
Uematsu, a self-taught musician, began playing the piano at the age of twelve, with English singer-songwriter Elton John as his biggest influence. Uematsu joined Square in 1986, where he first met Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. The two later worked together on many titles at the company, most notably in the Final Fantasy series. After nearly two decades with Square, Uematsu left in 2004 to create his own production company, which included the Dog Ear Records music label. He has since composed music as a freelancer for other games, including ones developed by Square Enix and Sakaguchi's development studio, Mistwalker.
Sir Elton Hercules John is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums. John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the world's best-selling music artists. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits, as well as seven consecutive number-one albums in the United States, 58 Billboard Top 40 singles, 27 Top 10 singles, four of which reached number two and nine of which reached number one. His tribute single "Candle in the Wind 1997", rewritten in dedication to Diana, Princess of Wales, sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the history of the UK and US singles charts. He has also produced records and occasionally acted in films. John owned Watford F.C. from 1976 to 1987 and from 1997 to 2002, and is an honorary Life President of the club.
Hironobu Sakaguchi is a Japanese video game designer, director, producer, writer, and film director. He is best known as creator of the Final Fantasy series, which he conceived the original concept for the first title Final Fantasy and also directed several later entries in the franchise, and has had a long career in gaming with over 100 million units of video games sold worldwide. He left Square Enix and founded the studio Mistwalker in 2004.
Dog Ear Records (ドッグイヤーレコーズ) is a music production company founded by video game composer Nobuo Uematsu in November 2006. The company publishes video game soundtracks and original albums on disc and digitally through iTunes. The website includes community features including a bilingual blog, YouTube channel, radio program and information related to live performances taking place in the Tokyo area.
Many soundtracks and arranged albums of Uematsu's game scores have been released. Pieces from his video game works have been performed in various Final Fantasy concerts,where he has worked with Grammy Award–winning conductor Arnie Roth on several of these performances. From 2002 to 2010, he was in a hard rock band with Square Enix colleagues Kenichiro Fukui and Tsuyoshi Sekito called The Black Mages, in which he played electronic organ and other keyboards. The band played various arranged rock versions of Uematsu's Final Fantasy compositions. He has since performed with Earthbound Papas, which he formed as the successor to The Black Mages in 2011.
In music, an arrangement is a musical reconceptualization of a previously composed work. It may differ from the original work by means of reharmonization, melodic paraphrasing, orchestration, or development of the formal structure. Arranging differs from orchestration in that the latter process is limited to the assignment of notes to instruments for performance by an orchestra, concert band, or other musical ensemble. Arranging "involves adding compositional techniques, such as new thematic material for introductions, transitions, or modulations, and endings... Arranging is the art of giving an existing melody musical variety".
Final Fantasy is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi and owned by Square Enix that includes video games, motion pictures, and other merchandise. The original Final Fantasy video game, published in 1987, is a role-playing video game developed by Square, spawning a video game series that became the central focus of the franchise. The primary composer of music for the main series was Nobuo Uematsu, who single-handedly composed the soundtracks for the first nine games, as well as directing the production of many of the soundtrack albums. Music for the spin-off series and main series games beginning with Final Fantasy X was created by a variety of composers including Masashi Hamauzu, Naoshi Mizuta, Hitoshi Sakimoto, and Kumi Tanioka, as well as many others.
A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The trophy depicts a gilded gramophone. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually.
Uematsu was born in Kōchi, Kōchi Prefecture, Japan.A self-taught musician, he began to play the piano when he was between the ages of eleven and twelve years old, and he did not take any formal piano lessons. He has an older sister who also played the piano. After graduating from Kanagawa University with a degree in English, Uematsu played the keyboard in several amateur bands and composed music for television commercials. When Uematsu was working at a music rental shop in Tokyo, a Square employee asked if he would be interested in creating music for some of the titles they were working on. Although he agreed, Uematsu at the time considered it a side job, and he did not think it would become a full-time career. He said it was a way to make some money on the side, while also keeping his part-time job at the music rental shop.
Kōchi is the capital city of Kōchi Prefecture located on the island of Shikoku in Japan.
Kōchi Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located on the south coast of Shikoku. The capital is the city of Kōchi.
Kanagawa University, abbreviated to Jindai (神大) is a private university in Japan. The main campus is located in Rokkakubashi, Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Uematsu joined Square in 1985, and composed the soundtrack to Cruise Chaser Blassty in 1986, his first. While working at Square, he met Hironobu Sakaguchi, who asked him if he wanted to create music for some of his games, which Uematsu agreed to.For the next year, he created music for a number of games which did not achieve widespread success, including titles like Genesis and Alpha . In 1987, Uematsu and Sakaguchi collaborated on what was originally to be Sakaguchi's last contribution for Square, Final Fantasy , a game that turned out to be a huge success.
Final Fantasy is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square in 1987. It is the first game in Square's Final Fantasy series, created by Hironobu Sakaguchi. Originally released for the NES, Final Fantasy was remade for several video game consoles and is frequently packaged with Final Fantasy II in video game collections. The story follows four youths called the Light Warriors, who each carry one of their world's four elemental orbs which have been darkened by the four Elemental Fiends. Together, they quest to defeat these evil forces, restore light to the orbs, and save their world.
Final Fantasy's popularity sparked Uematsu's career in video game music, and he would go on to compose music for over 30 titles, most prominently the subsequent games in the Final Fantasy series. He scored the first installment in the SaGa series, The Final Fantasy Legend , in 1989. For the second game in the series, Final Fantasy Legend II he was assisted by Kenji Ito. In late 1994, Uematsu signed on to finish the soundtrack for the critically acclaimed title Chrono Trigger after the game's composer, Yasunori Mitsuda, contracted peptic ulcers. In 1996, he co-composed the soundtrack to Front Mission: Gun Hazard , and created the entire score for DynamiTracer. He also created music for three of the games in the Hanjuku Hero series.
The Final Fantasy Legend, known in Japan as Makai Toushi Sa·Ga, is a video game released for the Game Boy in December 1989 by Square Co. It is the first game in the SaGa series and the first role-playing video game for the system. Square translated the game into English for worldwide release and renamed it, linking it with the Final Fantasy series to improve marketing. Sunsoft re-released it in North America during 1998; Square followed with a remake released for the WonderSwan Color and mobile phones in 2002 and 2007 respectively.
Final Fantasy Legend II, originally released in Japan as Sa・Ga2: Hihō Densetsu, is a role-playing video game developed by Square Co. for the Game Boy handheld console as the second game of their SaGa series. Initially released in December 1990 for Japanese audiences, the game was translated and released in North America in November 1991 by Square America Co, and again in 1998 by Sunsoft. Like its predecessor, the English version was re-branded as a Final Fantasy title due to the series' popularity in the Western territories. The game's development was headed by lead designer Akitoshi Kawazu, who had worked on the previous title, with a music staff consisting of Kenji Ito and Nobuo Uematsu. In 2009, an enhanced remake of the game was announced for the Nintendo DS titled SaGa 2 Hihō Densetsu: Goddess of Destiny, featuring three-dimensional graphics, new story elements, and an arranged soundtrack.
Kenji Ito, also known by the nickname Itoken (イトケン), is a Japanese video game composer and musician. He is best known for his work on the Mana and SaGa series, though he has worked on over 30 video games throughout his career as well as composed or arranged music for over 15 other albums, concerts, and plays. He learned to play several instruments at a young age, and joined Square directly out of college as a composer in 1990 at the advice of a professor. He worked there for over a decade, composing many of his best-known scores. In 2001, he left Square to become a freelance composer, but has since continued to collaborate with the company.
Outside video games, he has composed the main theme for the 2000 animated film Ah! My Goddess: The Movie and co-composed the anime Final Fantasy: Unlimited (2001) with Final Fantasy orchestrator Shirō Hamaguchi. He also inspired the Ten Plants concept albums, and released a solo album in 1994, entitled Phantasmagoria . Feeling gradually more dissatisfied and uninspired, Uematsu requested the assistance of composers Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano for the score to Final Fantasy X in 2001. This marked the first time that Uematsu did not compose an entire main-series Final Fantasy soundtrack. For Final Fantasy XI from 2002, he was joined by Naoshi Mizuta, who composed the majority of the soundtrack, and Kumi Tanioka; Uematsu was responsible for only eleven tracks.In 2003, he assisted Hitoshi Sakimoto in scoring Final Fantasy Tactics Advance by providing the main theme.
In 2002, fellow Square colleagues Kenichiro Fukui and Tsuyoshi Sekito asked Uematsu to join them in forming a rock band that focused on reinterpreting and expanding on Uematsu's compositions. He declined their offer at first because he was too busy with work; however, after agreeing to perform with Fukui and Sekito in a live performance as a keyboardist, he decided to join them in making a band.Another employee at Square, Mr. Matsushita, chose the name The Black Mages for their band. In 2003, Keiji Kawamori, Arata Hanyuda, and Michio Okamiya also joined the band. The Black Mages released three studio albums, and appeared at several concerts to promote their albums.
Uematsu left Square Enix in 2004 and formed his own production company, Smile Please.He later founded the music production company and record label Dog Ear Records in 2006. The reason for Uematsu's departure was that the company moved their office from Meguro to Shinjuku, Tokyo, and he was not comfortable with the new location. Also, he cites the fact that he had reached an age where he should gradually take his life into his own hands. He does, however, continue to compose music as a freelancer for Square Enix. In 2005, Uematsu and several members of The Black Mages created the score for the CGI film Final Fantasy VII Advent Children . Uematsu composed only the main theme for Final Fantasy XII (2006); he was originally offered the job of creating the full score, but Sakimoto was eventually assigned as the main composer instead. Uematsu was also initially going to create the theme song for Final Fantasy XIII (2010). However, after being assigned the task of creating the entire score of Final Fantasy XIV , Uematsu decided to hand the job over to the main Final Fantasy XIII composer, Hamauzu.
Uematsu also works closely with Sakaguchi's development studio Mistwalker, and has composed for Blue Dragon (2006), Lost Odyssey (2007), Away: Shuffle Dungeon (2008); The Last Story (2011); and Terra Battle (2014). He also wrote music for the cancelled game Cry On .
Uematsu created the main theme for the multi-composer game Super Smash Bros. Brawl in 2008.He then composed the music for the 2009 anime Guin Saga ; this marked the first time he provided a full score for an animated series. Uematsu recently contributed music and storyline to an e-book titled called "Blik-0 1946".
Uematsu appeared five times in the top 20 of the annual Classic FM Hall of Fame. In 2012, "Aerith's Theme", written by Uematsu for Final Fantasy VII , was voted into the number 16 position in the annual Classic FM (UK) "Hall of Fame" top 300 chart.It was the first time that a piece of music written for a video game had appeared in the chart. In 2013, music from the Final Fantasy series received even greater support and was voted into the third position on the Classic FM Hall of Fame. Uematsu and his Final Fantasy music subsequently appeared at number seven in 2014, number nine in 2015, and number 17 in 2016.
In September 2018, Uematsu announced that he would take the remainder of the year off from touring and postponed his projects indefinitely in order to recover from an unspecified illness.
Uematsu currently resides in Tokyo, Japan with his wife, Reiko, whom he met during college, and their beagle, Pao. They have a summer cabin in Yamanakako, Yamanashi.In his spare time, he enjoys watching professional wrestling, drinking beer and bicycling. Uematsu has said he originally wanted to become a professional wrestler, mentioning it was a career dream when he was younger.
Uematsu's video game compositions have been performed in numerous concerts, and various Final Fantasy concerts have also been held. Outside Japan, Uematsu's Final Fantasy music was performed live for the first time at the first event of the 2003 Symphonic Game Music Concert in Leipzig, Germany.Other events of the Symphonic Game Music Concerts featuring Final Fantasy music were held in 2004, 2006, and 2007. The concert in 2004 featured a world premiere of Those Who Fight from Final Fantasy VII. Japanese pianist Seiji Honda was invited to perform the arrangement together with the orchestra. Another world premiere was "Dancing Mad" from Final Fantasy VI, performed by orchestra, choir, and pipe organ. The event in 2007 included "Distant Worlds" from Final Fantasy XI, performed by Japanese opera soprano Izumi Masuda.
A series of successful concert performances were held in Japan, including a Final Fantasy concert series titled Tour de Japon. The first stateside concert, Dear Friends – Music from Final Fantasy, took place on May 10, 2004, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California, and was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. It was conducted by Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra director Miguel Harth-Bedoya.Due to a positive reception, a concert series for North America followed. On May 16, 2005, a follow-up concert called More Friends: Music from Final Fantasy was performed in Los Angeles at the Gibson Amphitheatre; the concert was conducted by Grammy Award-winning Arnie Roth.
Uematsu also made a guest appearance at A Night in Fantasia 2004 performed by the Eminence Symphony Orchestra's debut concert in October 2004 which coincided with his last day as a staff at Square Enix.
Uematsu's Final Fantasy music was presented in the concert Voices – Music from Final Fantasy, which took place on February 18, 2006 at the Pacifico Yokohama convention center. Star guests included Emiko Shiratori, Rikki, Izumi Masuda, and Angela Aki. The concert focused on the songs from the Final Fantasy series and was conducted by Arnie Roth.Uematsu and several of his fellow composers were in attendance at the world premiere of Play! A Video Game Symphony in Chicago on May 27, 2006; he composed the opening fanfare for the concert. He also attended the European debut in Stockholm, Sweden on June 14, 2006, the performance in Toronto on September 30, 2006, and in Florence, Italy, on October 10, 2007. The world tour Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy was held in Stockholm, and was performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Arnie Roth on December 4, 2007. The second concert of the tour was held at the Rosemont Theatre near Chicago on March 1, 2008. The tour has continued, with a recent concert in Houston on July 24, 2010. Music from Final Fantasy made up one fourth of the music in the Symphonic Fantasies concerts in Cologne in September 2009 which were produced by the creators of the Symphonic Game Music Concert series and conducted by Arnie Roth.
In February 2010, it was announced that Uematsu would appear at Anime Boston, one of the largest anime conventions on the East Coast. Uematsu did not only show up at Anime Boston, he made a surprise appearance and played with the Video Game Orchestra for the track "One Winged Angel". On top of this, he made a short visit to the prestigious Berklee College of Music for a brief Q & A session at the request of VGO founder and Berklee alumni Shota Nakama. In January 2012, Uematsu performed with his band Earthbound Papas at MAGFest X in National Harbor, MD.On November 24, 2012, Uematsu performed in a Final Fantasy Distant Worlds concert with Arnie Roth conducting the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus and soloists at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. On June 14 and 15, 2013, Uematsu performed in a Final Fantasy Distant Worlds concert with Arnie Roth conducting the Vienna Volksoper Orchestra and Vienna Chamber Chorus at Konzerthaus, Vienna.
On August 18, 2013, while headlining the Fantasy Rock Festival in Kawasaki, Japan with the Earthbound Papas, he revealed to the audience that he had originally intended to name their second album "Dancing Mad" after the Final Fantasy VI track which also appears on the album. However, referring to Square Enix indirectly, he told the audience that "a certain company 'S'" had phoned and informed him that he "could not use the name". Consequently, instead of backing down he decided to name the album "Dancing Dad", as a nod to the band's name. He also told the audience that he wanted to make an album of wholly original songs, but lamented that "it's just that if there are no game songs on it, it probably wouldn't sell!"
The style of Uematsu's compositions is diverse, ranging from stately classical symphonic pieces and heavy metal to new-age and hyper-percussive techno-electronica. For example, in Lost Odyssey, the score ranges from classical orchestral arrangements to contemporary jazz and techno tracks. 's "Time 100: The Next Wave — Music" feature. He has also been called the "John Williams of the video game world" and been credited for "increasing the appreciation and awareness" of video game music.Uematsu has stated that he is a big fan of Celtic and Irish music, and some of his work contains elements from these musical styles. Uematsu's Final Fantasy scores vary from upbeat, to dark and angry, to melancholic in nature. For instance, the music of Final Fantasy VIII is dark and gloomy, while the soundtrack to Final Fantasy IX is more carefree and upbeat. His Final Fantasy music has been described as being able to convey the true emotion of a scene; an example is "Aerith's Theme" from Final Fantasy VII . In an interview with the Nichi Bei Times, Uematsu said "I don't really self-consciously compose music for Japan or for the world, but I do think there is something in my more melancholy pieces that has a distinctly Japanese quality." He has been named one of the "Innovators" in Time Magazine
Many of Uematsu's musical influences come from the United Kingdom and the United States.He cites Elton John as his biggest musical influence, and he has stated that he wanted to be like him. Other major inspirations include The Beatles, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Simon & Garfunkel, and progressive rock bands. In the classical genre, he cites Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky as a great influence. Uematsu has said that 1970s bands, such as Pink Floyd and King Crimson, influenced his Final Fantasy compositions. The intro to the piece "One-Winged Angel" from Final Fantasy VII was inspired by the Jimi Hendrix song "Purple Haze"; the lyrics were taken from the medieval poetry on which Carl Orff based his cantata Carmina Burana , specifically the songs "Estuans Interius", "O Fortuna", "Veni, Veni, Venias" and "Ave Formosissima". In turn, Nobuo Uematsu has had a major influence on video game music and beyond the video games industry as well. For example, "Liberi Fatali" from Final Fantasy VIII was played during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens during the women's synchronized swimming event. From the same game, "Eyes on Me", featuring Chinese pop singer Faye Wong, sold a record 400,000 copies and was the first song from a video game to win an award at the Japan Gold Disc Awards, where it won "Song of the Year (International)" in 2000. In a 2010 interview, Uematsu revealed, "Rather than getting inspiration from listening to other music, I get inspiration while I'm walking my dog."
|1986||Cruise Chaser Blassty||with Takashi Uno|
|Suishō no Dragon|
|Apple Town Story|
|Aliens: Alien 2|
|Cleopatra no Mahō|
|Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School||with Toshiaki Imai|
|JJ: Tobidase Daisakusen Part II|
|Final Fantasy II|
|1989||Square's Tom Sawyer|
|The Final Fantasy Legend|
|1990||Final Fantasy III|
|Rad Racer II|
|Final Fantasy Legend II||with Kenji Ito|
|1991||Final Fantasy IV|
|1992||Romancing SaGa||arranged "Heartful Tears"|
|Final Fantasy V|
|1993||Romancing SaGa 2||arrangement of two tracks|
|1994||Final Fantasy VI|
|1995||Chrono Trigger||with Yasunori Mitsuda and Noriko Matsueda|
|Front Mission: Gun Hazard||with Yasunori Mitsuda, Masashi Hamauzu, and Junya Nakano|
|1997||Final Fantasy VII|
|1999||Final Fantasy VIII|
|2000||Final Fantasy IX|
|2001||Final Fantasy X||with Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano|
|2002||Final Fantasy XI||with Naoshi Mizuta and Kumi Tanioka|
|Final Fantasy Origins||Arrangements of Final Fantasy music|
|2003||Final Fantasy Tactics Advance||composed the main theme|
|Hanjuku Hero Tai 3D|
|2005||Hanjuku Hero 4: 7-Jin no Hanjuku Hero||with various others|
|Egg Monster Hero|
|2006||Final Fantasy XII||composed the ending theme, "Kiss Me Good-Bye"|
|2007||Anata o Yurusanai||with various others|
|2008||Super Smash Bros. Brawl||composed the main theme|
|Lord of Vermilion|
|Blue Dragon Plus|
|Away: Shuffle Dungeon|
|2009||Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow|
|Kurulin Fusion||Music director|
|2010||Lord of Vermilion II||composed the opening theme|
|Final Fantasy XIV||composed for first version of the game, with music from other composers being added later|
|Lord of Arcana||with Kenichiro Fukui and Satoshi Henmi|
|2011||The Last Story|
|UnchainBlades ReXX||with Tsutomu Narita|
|2012||Jyuzaengi: Engetsu Sangokuden||with Kevin Penkin|
|Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory||with Kenji Kaneko and Kenji Ito|
|UnchainBlades EXXiV||with Tsutomu Narita, Michio Okamiya, and Yoshitaka Hirota|
|2013||NORN9||composed the main theme|
|Lord of Vermilion III||composed the opening theme|
|Ragnarok Odyssey Ace||composed one track|
|Fairy Fencer F||with various others|
|Hometown Story||with Tsutomu Narita|
|Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas||with Kalle Ylitalo and Kenji Ito|
|2014||Granblue Fantasy||with Tsutomu Narita|
|Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters||composed the opening theme|
|2015||Chunithm: Seelisch Tact||composed the main theme|
|Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force||with various others|
|2017||Terra Battle 2|
|Final Fantasy XV: Comrades||with various others|
|2020||Final Fantasy VII Remake|
|TBA||Defender's Quest II||with Kevin Penkin|
|Granblue Fantasy: Relink||with Tsutomu Narita|
|Project Phoenix||with Kevin Penkin and Tomoki Miyoshi|
|2000||Ah! My Goddess: The Movie||composed the main theme|
|2005||Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children||with Keiji Kawamori, Kenichiro Fukui, and Tsuyoshi Sekito|
|2007||Blue Dragon||composed the main theme|
|2012||Fairy Tail the Movie: The Phoenix Priestess||composed the ending theme|
|2017||Granblue Fantasy The Animation||with Tsutomu Narita and Yasunori Nishiki|
|1993||Final Fantasy V Mambo de Chocobo|
|Final Fantasy V Dear Friends|
|1994||Final Fantasy VI Special Tracks|
|F. F. Mix||with various others|
|1998||Ten Plants||composed "forget the dream of tomorrow"|
|1999||Ten Plants 2: Children Songs||composed "Tomorrow's Weather"|
|2003||The Black Mages||with The Black Mages|
|2004||Dark Chronicle Premium Arrange|
|The Black Mages II: The Skies Above|
|2008||The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight|
|2010||Nobuo Uematsu's 10 Short Stories|
|2011||Earthbound Papas: Octave Theory||with Earthbound Papas|
|Play for Japan: The Album||composed "Every New Morning"|
|2013||Blik-0 1946||Wrote the story and soundtrack for an e-book|
|Earthbound Papas: Dancing Dad||with Earthbound Papas|
Masashi Hamauzu is a Japanese composer, arranger, pianist, and lyricist. Hamauzu, who was employed at Square Enix from 1996 to 2010, was best known during that time for his work on the Final Fantasy and SaGa video game series. Born into a musical family in Germany, Hamauzu was raised in Japan. He became interested in music while in kindergarten, and took piano lessons from his parents.
The Symphonic Game Music Concerts are a series of award-winning, annual German video game music concerts initiated in 2003, notable for being the longest running and the first of their kind outside Japan. They are produced by Thomas Böcker and performed by various orchestras conducted by Andy Brick (2003–2007), Arnie Roth, Niklas Willén and Eckehard Stier.
Final Fantasy is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi and owned by Square Enix that includes video games, motion pictures, and other merchandise. The series began in 1987 as an eponymous role-playing video game developed by Square, spawning a video game series that became the central focus of the franchise. The music of the Final Fantasy series refers to the soundtracks of the Final Fantasy series of video games, as well as the surrounding medley of soundtrack, arranged, and compilation albums. The series' music ranges from very light background music to emotionally intense interweavings of character and situation leitmotifs.
The Black Mages were a Japanese instrumental rock band formed in 2002 by Nobuo Uematsu, Kenichiro Fukui and Tsuyoshi Sekito, who were three video game composers for Square Enix. The band arranged Uematsu's Final Fantasy video game series-based compositions in a hard rock style often similar to progressive metal, achieved with the additional use of synthesizers. Since its inception, the band had expanded to six members with the addition of Keiji Kawamori, Michio Okamiya and Arata Hanyuda. In August 2010, Uematsu announced the band had been disbanded, but he would continue to perform rock arrangements of his music as a part of another similar band, known as the Earthbound Papas.
The music of the video game Final Fantasy X was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu, along with Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano. It was the first title in the main Final Fantasy series in which Uematsu was not the sole composer. The Final Fantasy X Original Soundtrack was released on four Compact Discs in 2001 by DigiCube, and was re-released in 2004 by Square Enix. Prior to the album's North American release, a reduced version entitled Final Fantasy X Original Soundtrack was released on a single disk by Tokyopop in 2002. An EP entitled feel/Go dream: Yuna & Tidus containing additional singles not present in the game was released by DigiCube in 2001. Piano Collections Final Fantasy X, a collection of piano arrangements of the original soundtracks by Masashi Hamauzu and performed by Aki Kuroda, was released by DigiCube in 2002 and re-released by Square EA in 2004. A collection of vocal arrangements of pieces from the game arranged by Katsumi Suyama along with radio drama tracks was released as Final Fantasy X Vocal Collection in 2002 by DigiCube.
The Chrono series is a video game franchise developed and published by Square Enix. It began in 1995 with the time travel role-playing video game Chrono Trigger, which spawned two continuations, Radical Dreamers and Chrono Cross. The music of Chrono Trigger was mainly composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, with a few tracks composed by regular Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu. The Chrono Trigger soundtrack has inspired four official album releases by Square Enix: a soundtrack album in released by NTT Publishing in 1995 and re-released in 2004, a greatest hits album published by DigiCube in 1999, published in abbreviated form by Tokyopop in 2001, and republished by Square Enix in 2005, an acid jazz arrangement album published and republished by NTT Publishing in 1995 and 2004, and a 2008 orchestral arranged album by Square Enix. Corresponding with the Nintendo DS release of the game, a reissued soundtrack was released in 2009. An arranged album for Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, entitled To Far Away Times, was released in 2015 to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of Chrono Trigger.
Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing video game developed by Square and published by Sony Computer Entertainment as the seventh installment in the Final Fantasy series. Released in 1997, the game sparked the release of a collection of media centered on the game entitled the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. The music of the Final Fantasy VII series includes not only the soundtrack to the original game and its associated albums, but also the soundtracks and music albums released for the other titles in the collection. The first album produced was Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack, a compilation of all the music in the game. It was released as a soundtrack album on four CDs by DigiCube in 1997. A selection of tracks from the album was released in the single-disc Reunion Tracks by DigiCube the same year. Piano Collections Final Fantasy VII, an album featuring piano arrangements of pieces from the soundtrack, was released in 2003 by DigiCube, and Square Enix began reprinting all three albums in 2004. To date, these are the only released albums based on the original game's soundtrack, and were solely composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu; his role for the majority of subsequent albums has been filled by Masashi Hamauzu and Takeharu Ishimoto.
The music of the video game Final Fantasy VI was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version, a compilation of all the music in the game, was released in Japan by NTT Publishing in 1994 and re-released by Square Enix in 2004. The album was released by Square Co./NTT Publishing in North America in 1994 under the name Kefka's Domain. Selected tracks from the official soundtrack were later released as part of the Music From FFV and FFVI Video Games album that was included with the release of Final Fantasy Anthology, and two EPs were produced containing character theme tracks entitled Final Fantasy VI Stars Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. A special orchestral arrangement of selected tracks from the game, arranged by Shiro Sagisu and Tsuneyoshi Saito, and performed by the Milan Symphony Orchestra, was released under the title Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale by NTT Publishing in 1994 and 2004, and a collection of piano arrangements, arranged by Shirou Satou and performed by Reiko Nomura, was released under the title Piano Collections Final Fantasy VI by Square/NTT Publishing in 1994 and by NTT Publishing in 2001. Additionally, a single containing unused and remixed tracks from the game was released as Final Fantasy VI Special Tracks by NTT Publishing in 1994.
Kenichiro Fukui is a Japanese video game composer and electronic musician. Before working at Square Enix, he was employed at Konami. He was also an arranger and a keyboardist in the band The Black Mages. Additionally, Fukui arranged Angela Aki's "Kiss Me Good-Bye" from Final Fantasy XII. In October 2007, he left Square Enix to become a lecturer, although he continued to work with The Black Mages until the band dissolved in 2010, and continued to do freelance work with video games. His Konami Kukeiha Club nickname was "Funiki Fukui". He currently lives in Yokohama, Japan.
PLAY! A Video Game Symphony was a concert series that features music from video games performed by a live orchestra. The concerts from 2006 to 2010 were conducted by Arnie Roth. From 2010, Andy Brick took the position of principal conductor and music director. Play! was replaced by the Replay: Symphony of Heroes concert series.
The music of the video game Final Fantasy V was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The Final Fantasy V Original Sound Version, a compilation of almost all of the music in the game, was released by Square Co./NTT Publishing, and subsequently re-released by NTT Publishing after the game was brought to North America as part of the Final Fantasy Anthology. An arranged album entitled Final Fantasy V Dear Friends, containing a selection of musical tracks from the game arranged in multiple styles, including live and vocal versions, was released by Square/NTT Publishing and later re-released by NTT Publishing. Additionally, a collection of piano arrangements composed by Nobuo Uematsu, arranged by Shirou Satou and played by Toshiyuki Mori titled Piano Collections Final Fantasy V was released by Square/NTT Publishing, and re-released by NTT Publishing.
The music of the video games Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu, who would go on to be the exclusive composer for the next seven Final Fantasy games. Although they were composed separately, music from the two games has only been released together. All Sounds of Final Fantasy I•II, a compilation of almost all of the music in the games, was released by DataM/Polystar in 1989, and subsequently re-released by NTT Publishing in 1994. Symphonic Suite Final Fantasy, an arranged album of music from the two games by Katsuhisa Hattori and his son Takayuki Hattori was released by DataM in 1989, and re-released by NTT Publishing/Polystar in 1994. Final Fantasy & Final Fantasy II Original Soundtrack, another arranged album, this time by Nobuo Uematsu and Tsuyoshi Sekito, was released in 2002 by DigiCube and again in 2004 by Square Enix.
The music of the video game Final Fantasy VIII was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack, a compilation of all music in the game, was released on four Compact Discs by DigiCube in Japan, and by Square EA in North America. A special orchestral arrangement of selected tracks from the game—arranged by Shirō Hamaguchi—was released under the title Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec Final Fantasy VIII, and a collection of piano arrangements—performed by Shinko Ogata—was released under the title Piano Collections Final Fantasy VIII.
The music of the video game Final Fantasy IV was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The Final Fantasy IV Original Sound Version, a compilation of almost all of the music in the game, was released by Square Co./NTT Publishing, and subsequently re-released by NTT Publishing. It was released in North America by Tokyopop as Final Fantasy IV Official Soundtrack: Music from Final Fantasy Chronicles, with one additional track. It has since been re-released multiple times with slight changes as part of the Final Fantasy Finest Box and as Final Fantasy IV DS OST. An arranged album entitled Final Fantasy IV Celtic Moon, containing a selection of musical tracks from the game performed in the style of Celtic music by Máire Breatnach, was released by Square and later re-released by NTT Publishing. Additionally, a collection of piano arrangements composed by Nobuo Uematsu and played by Toshiyuki Mori titled Piano Collections Final Fantasy IV was released by NTT Publishing.
The music of the video game Final Fantasy III was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. Final Fantasy III Original Sound Version, a compilation of almost all of the music in the game, was released by Square Co./NTT Publishing in 1991, and subsequently re-released by NTT Publishing in 1994 and 2004. The soundtrack to the remake of Final Fantasy III for the Nintendo DS, Final Fantasy III Original Soundtrack was released by NTT Publishing in 2006, with revamped versions of the tracks and additional tracks. A vocal arrangement album entitled Final Fantasy III Yūkyū no Kaze Densetsu, or literally Final Fantasy III Legend of the Eternal Wind, contained a selection of musical tracks from the game. The tracks were performed by Nobuo Uematsu and Dido, a duo composed of Michiaki Kato and Shizuru Ohtaka. The album was released by Data M in 1990 and by Polystar in 1994.
The music of the video game Final Fantasy IX was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. It was his last exclusive Final Fantasy score. The Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack, a compilation of all music in the game, was originally released on four Compact Discs by DigiCube in 2000, and was re-released by Square Enix in 2004. A Best Of and arranged soundtrack album of musical tracks from the game entitled Final Fantasy IX: Uematsu's Best Selection was released in 2000 by Tokyopop Soundtrax. Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack PLUS, an album of music from the game's full motion videos and extra tracks, was released by DigiCube in 2000 and re-released in 2004, and a collection of piano arrangements of pieces from the original soundtrack arranged by Shirō Hamaguchi and performed by Louis Leerink was released as Piano Collections Final Fantasy IX in 2001.
Merregnon Studios is a company based in Dresden, Germany, founded by Thomas Böcker. It produces concerts of orchestral video game music, under the name Symphonic Game Music Concerts and other variants of the Symphonic brand, and markets recordings and albums of the concerts.
Symphonic Odysseys: Tribute to Nobuo Uematsu was a symphonic tribute concert held in Cologne, Germany on July 9, 2011 at the Cologne Philharmonic Hall. The concert exclusively paid homage to the work of Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu and featured music selected from his works as a video game music composer. Among the games featured were Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon, Last Story, King's Knight, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy Legend, and selected works from the Final Fantasy series. The concert was produced and directed by Thomas Böcker, with arrangements provided by Finnish composer and musician Jonne Valtonen, along with Roger Wanamo, Masashi Hamauzu, and Jani Laaksonen. The concert was performed by the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln and the WDR Radio Choir Cologne under conduction from Arnie Roth, with guest performers Benyamin Nuss and Juraj Čižmarovič joining the orchestra. A video recording of Symphonic Odysseys was streamed live online.
The music for the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, a regular contributor to the music of the Final Fantasy series. Several other composers including Masayoshi Soken and Naoshi Mizuta contributed music for updates to the game. The music for the game's reboot, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, was primarily composed by Soken, who was the sound director for both releases of the game. Music from both releases of the game has been released in several albums, though no album contains music from both XIV and A Realm Reborn. A pair of mini-albums containing a handful of selected tracks from XIV, Final Fantasy XIV: Battle Tracks and Final Fantasy XIV: Field Tracks, were released by Square Enix in 2010 when XIV first launched. A soundtrack album titled Final Fantasy XIV - Eorzean Frontiers, containing most of the music that had been released by that point for XIV, was digitally released in 2012. A final soundtrack album for the original release of the game, Before Meteor: Final Fantasy XIV Original Soundtrack, was released in 2013 just before the launch of A Realm Reborn, and contains all of the music that was composed for XIV throughout its lifetime. The latest soundtrack album, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Original Soundtrack, was released in 2014, and contains all of the music for A Realm Reborn released up to that point.
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