Final Fantasy XII

Discussing About Game Music With Hitoshi Sakimoto | SQPR TV Unboxes FFXII Original Soundtrack Limited Edition

SquarePortalTVSquare Portal TV unboxes the limited edition of Final Fantasy XII original soundtrack! It’s signed by Hitoshi Sakimoto who is best known for scoring the games Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII, though he has composed soundtracks for over 80 games and more to come! The unboxing video features “Ending Movie” from the soundtrack. The time has come – dive in the musical world of Final Fantasy XII while enjoying these close-ups from the minimalistic limited edition!

There’s actually a great story behind the signed soundtrack. You may still remember that I traveled in Paris at the end of November and spent two weeks exploring the heart of France, participating amazing and unforgettable events, playing some games before the release and enjoying Final Fantasy music live at “A New World: Intimate music from Final Fantasy” concert. Without going to much into details, I was there assisting Wayo Records to arrange the concert and during the progress I met some the most lovely people such as talented pianist Benyamin Nuss, Grammy-winning conductor, composer and producer Arnie Roth, and of course, Hitoshi Sakimoto himself.

hitoshi_sakimotoMy Personal Talk with Hitoshi Sakimoto

After the concert, we had many meeting where we celebrate the successful tour and discussed about video game music in general. The most memorable moment was my and Sakimoto-san’s personal discussion about the future and how he ended up working in the games industry and video game music.

In his early years, Sakimoto-san wasn’t really into making music even though he had played some instruments before. Altogether, he didn’t see it as a career possibility at first. However, things changed when he and his friends formed a group to develop their own indie game. When they needed music for the project, Sakimoto was only one with proper knowledge of composing music, so he was assigned to that job. That’s how he started the journey of becoming the legendary composer who he is today.

We also discussed about differences in video game music. As a game music lover, I have come to notice that there is an interesting cultural difference between the Western and Japanese game music: The majority of Western composers tend to create ambient music that doesn’t stand out from the surroundings. Instead of that it adds something more to the atmosphere. On the contrary, their Japanese contemporaries seem to prefer creating more melodic and more lively tunes with easily recognizable main melodies.

When I was explaining my feelings to Sakimoto-san, I was glad to see he was genuinely interested in hearing them and was enthusiastic to share his opinions as well. It was really cool to see a person, who I have always admired, agreeing with me. For my luck, it felt like there was a weird artistic connection between us. We both were smiling. Then he explained me that for him composing the main melody is the most important part of creating a new soundtrack because the musical universe / story-telling is built around it. In addition, Hashimoto-san revealed me that he has been experimenting with many styles and genres in order to find the ideal / easiest way to create music. One of his experiments was to create music mathematically using certain formulas, but it didn’t end well because the music was lacking something – the soul.

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This is all I can share with you today. I’ve to tell you that Hashimoto-san and his family were one of the nicest people I have ever met. Guess, it’s the Japanese culture that makes them so lovely, polite and kawaii. (hah!) And I was very surprised how fluent English he spoke! We didn’t have any problems understanding each other even though we were talking until early in the morning. To be honest, this experience made me realize how normal the people behind the Final Fantasy games are – as crazy as it sounds. They are just like you and me – not gods or superhumans. Every of them has worked hard to reach their dreams and finally after many trials and errors they got a chance to work in a significant project that helped them to esteem their careers.

For me, who currently feels very lost into the uncertain future, it was reliving and inspiring to hear such a talented person sharing a story similar to mine. So, if you are worrying about your future, studies or career, the best thing is to keep doing things you love and not hesitate to take advantage of opportunities and try new things. Follow your dreams and eventually you will get to the point where you always wanted. Just keep working hard just like Sakimoto-san who also faced failures before the ultimate success. I hope you enjoyed this little behind the scenes story and the unboxing video below. For me, it was one of the most memorable moments in my life.

 

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5 replies »

  1. It sounds very encouraging. I would like to meet Hitoshi Sakimoto or Yasumi Matsuno, creators of Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy XII. Why there’s so little events in Europe?

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