Special treat for you today. A few months ago I wrote an article for Newcity about the Final Fantasy “Dear Friends” Concert Series that came through town around then. For the article, I wanted to interview Nobou Uematsu, who’s the composer of all the music for the Final Fantasy series of videogames. So I chatted with his people, and eventually we decided on an email interview.
When I got the answers back, they were not very explanatory, and he didn’t answer all of the questions I sent, so I didn’t end up using much of it in the article. But I was just digging through some old emails, and found his reply, so, in its entirety, here you go.
There are a lot of big Final Fantasy fans in America, but not everyone has played through the games. How can your music appeal to people who haven’t even seen the videogames?
I’m not sure how the music would appeal to a person who hasn’t seen the videogames, but I do hope that after listening to the music, they will try out the game afterwards.
In Japan, music from videogames has won awards and broke sales records, but in America, it’s still kind of looked down upon as a toy, or a disposable medium. Have you heard or felt any sentiments along these lines?
Videogame music was not accepted even in Japan from the very beginning and was probably looked down upon as a toy as well. Also, not all videogame music is selling or is accepted even now. I believe it’s just a matter of the difference in years between our videogame cultures. The only reason why videogame music is accepted more in Japan than in America is because the history of games goes back further in Japan.
One interesting thing that you have to deal with as a composer of videogame music is the repetition– players will often hear your music for hours on end as they fight through a certain dungeon or cave. How did you approach this as a composer?
I never really found this to be a hurdle. Although, I do try to write so that the player would not get bored of the music after listening to it repeatedly.
What other videogame music do you enjoy (other than your own)?
The Tower of Druaga
Super Mario Bros..
What’s your favorite Final Fantasy music?
FFVII, FFVIII, FFIX
Are you working on the music for Final Fantasy 12? What can you tell us about the game?
Um, no comment?
And of course, in a year or two, we’re scheduled to see the Playstation 3. Does Square-Enix have any plans for the next generation system? With better technology, will we see any changes in the way videogame music will be composed and incorporated into the game?
I cannot comment on how I would compose or integrate the music into a game until the console is completed.
Anything else you want to share with your American fans?
I’ve been astonished by the number of FF fans outside of Japan and am also very honored. I am looking forward to meeting you all at the concert venue.
Posted on Thursday, August 11th, 2005 at 3:47 pm. Filed under general.