We recently caught up with current and former composers from Square Enix, including Yasunori Mitsuda, at Square Enix headquarters in Japan. We were eager to speak with Mitsuda about the recently released Myth arrangement album. We find out why Xenogears was the focus of this project, what went into the track selection, and Mitsuda’s ambitions for a follow-up album of this one sells well.
Hit the jump for details.
Our first question was obviously, “Why Xenogears?” Apparently, Mitsuda has had this project on his mind for at least 6-7 years, but simply didn’t have the opportunity to make it happen. He’s only recently gained the confidence as an orchestrator that he believed this project would demand, so now was the right time to approach Square Enix about the project. Additionally, Mitsuda noted that the music from Xenogears is particularly close to his heart as it was the last game he worked on at Squaresoft. At the time, he knew he’d be leaving, so this was effectively his final farewell to the company that gave him his start in the industry.
I noted that I couldn’t help but feel that -Myth- was an extension of what Square Enix had done with drammatica. This gave Mitsuda and Shimomura (who was also in on the interview) a chuckle, and I’m pretty sure I was on the right track as Akio Shiraishi and Izumi Tsukushi had mentioned doing something with Mitsuda when I asked if they planned on another album in the style of drammatica.
Mistuda proceeded to share some details about the arrangers on the album. He mentioned Natsumi Kameoka, who he offers teams up with, as well as himself as one of the album’s arrangers. He noted that Sachiko Miyano worked on the Kingdom Hearts Piano Collections album, and discussed Youki Yamamoto at some length. Apparently he lives in London and is known as a film composer there and in Japan. He recently scored a remake of a film that was originally scored by Miles Davis. Mitsuda recommends that everyone check him out.
I finally got around to asking about song selection. I asked specifically about “Awakening,” the final battle theme, as well as a personal favorite, “Those Who Are Torn Apart” (I followed this up by admitting that I’m the only person who probably cares about the latter track). He asked my opinion on the track selection, and I commented that everything that should have been there was with the exception of “Awakening.” He replied that it was really challenging to finalize the track listing, and that the process took a long time, noting “We let fans vote for their favorites, and picked the top 3 for sure. But in my way of making music, more than two pieces often have the same theme at their core. And I could only pick one, so that was hard to decide.”
He followed this with, “I’m very keen on the idea of producing the second album.” I was taken aback, as at the time, -Myth- hadn’t even been released, but I did offer up some title suggestions: “Myth 2… or maybe Re-Myth? [Laughs].” Mitsuda laughed, but kept whatever name he had in mind to himself.
Did you enjoy -Myth-, and would you like to see a follow-up? Are you still surprised even after reading this that Xenogears was the topic of such an album?
[Special thanks to Emi Uesako at Square Enix Japan for translating the interview]Tags: Features, Interviews, Mitsuda, Myth, Orchestral, Square Enix, Square Enix Composer Series, Xenogears, Yasunori Mistuda, Youki Yamamoto