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Play! A Video Game Symphony

Interview with Yasunori Mitsuda, Composer of Chrono series and Xenogears/Xenosaga

N-Sider: Alright, first... thanks very much for coming out today. It really means a lot to our site and we appreciate it.

Yasunori Mitsuda: Of course.

N-Sider: First of all, with the Play concert tonight, we know that there's going to be an arrangement of some of your works. What kinds of things can we expect to see this evening?

Mitsuda: Today I'll be presenting a medley of four songs from <i&rt;Chrono Trigger</i&rt; and <i&rt;Chrono Cross</i&rt;.

N-Sider: Speaking of Chrono, if Square were to approach you to compose a new Chrono game, would you do it now even though you're an independent composer?

Mitsuda: (laughs) Of course, i'm willing to!

N-Sider: I heard that you have a remix of <i&rt;Chrono Cross</i&rt; music on the way... do you have something similar to The Brink of Time (Chrono Trigger remix album)? Do you know when it is going to be released?

Mitsuda: The CD?

N-Sider: Yeah.

Mitsuda: It'll be out within the year, and I'm doing a very acoustic sound for it.

N-Sider: Your work on <i&rt;Chrono Trigger</i&rt; and <i&rt;Chrono Cross</i&rt; is kind of jazzy... what inspired you to do these soundtracks in this style musically while considering the settings of the games?

Mitsuda: Hmm... I'm not really targetting the jazz that specifically. A lot of times what I like to do is really like to focus on world music, different world styles, and I think that comes through in the Chrono games a lot.


N-Sider: Your work on <i&rt;Xenogears</i&rt; has a very interesting musical style, really a lot different than any video game soundtrack that had come before it. What were some of the major influences in composing <i&rt;Xenogears</i&rt;?

Mitsuda: With Xenogears, I wanted to bring in some aspect of music that no composers had really dealt with before. I'm a really big fan of the singer Joanne Hogg from the band called Iona, from Ireland, and I really tried to bring a lot of Ireland into the <i&rt;Xenogears</i&rt; setting so... it would sound very... interesting to those kinds of listeners, who enjoy different sorts of music and the Irish sound.

N-Sider: In regards to new projects, what kinds of things are you most excited to do these days?

Mitsuda: The most exciting recently would be composing the arrangements of <i&rt;Chrono Trigger</i&rt; and <i&rt;Chrono Cross</i&rt; for the Play concert. I did that back in Japan around March. They're a little different from the game album, but that's the most exciting work I've done recently.

N-Sider: Any new games in the works?

Mitsuda: I'm working on a music album for a big game company (makes "big" gesture with arms) on a game. (laughs) I cannot say yet. I'll announce the completion of it soon.

N-Sider: Of all the things you've done, what are you the most proud of?

Mitsuda: (long pause) Uh........ (laughs) Hmm......... (laughs) I really like all the work that I did! Everything has some memory with it that I enjoy. Every work is the "best one!" One thing, I'm really very proud and honored to arrange my music to be presented to an American audience. If I were to think about a video game concert, it seems mostly like a Japanese thing, like with animation or games, so it's really a great opportunity to present our culture, game music. I'm really honored for the opportunity and I hope it can be presented again in the future.

N-Sider: Any works or games from other composers you're excited to see soon?

Mitsuda: (laughs) There's a lot of great composers that I'm really excited to listen to, Kondo, Koshiro, (gestures towards Uematsu) and of course Uematsu-san.

N-Sider: We're really looking forward to the concert tonight.

Mitsuda: Yes! I'm very excited to bring in the kind of game music that many people in America are wanting to hear, so keep listening and you will hear from me!

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