Yasunori Mitsuda is one of the greatest composers in the game music's branch. He's a father to many popular and appreciated albums, such as Chrono Trigger/Cross, Xenogears. During his stay in Stockholm, before his concert, he spent some time for us for a brief interview. He turned out to be opened, sincere and humorous man. We invite you to take a look at the mentioned interview below.
GameMusic.net: First of all, thank you for meeting with us and for your time. You have a lot of fans in Poland and I’m sure the readers of GameMusic.net are eager to know the answers to the questions me and my colleague are going to ask.
The tendency for gamers to finance projects via the Kickstarter website started to positively affect game music composers as well. The spectacular success of the German composer Chris Huelsbeck (whose music was played during the Symphonic Shades concert, produced by Thomas Böcker) is more than likely to encourage many other artists to take part in such a project. Have you considered doing so?
Yasunori Mitsuda: I learned about Kickstarter just yesterday so I didn’t really have much time to consider this, but naturally, I was excited to learn about it and we’ll give it serious consideration and, perhaps, make an album. Maybe Kickstarter will be used to release a Chrono Cross album.
GameMusic.net: In one of your interviews you mentioned that Western game makers appreciate game music more than their Eastern counterparts. Given the vast number of Japanese game music enthusiasts, this sounds rather controversial. Could you elaborate on this?
Yasunori Mitsuda: In my experience, the reception of any video game music concert is slightly different depending if in Japan or outside of Japan. In Japan the reception is, so to speak, kind of modest, while in Europe or America it is much bigger and there is much more excitement regarding it. Naturally, I think it’s much more fun.
GameMusic.net: As an independent game music composer, what do you think about the condition of the game music industry and what would you change in it?
Yasunori Mitsuda: As you probably know, the Japanese game industry isn’t as lively a place as it used to be. I mean, it is much more vital in Europe and America. It’s just hard to finance bigger projects and, for that matter, also smaller, more interesting projects, so the solution to it could be the previously mentioned Kickstarter: an opportunity for fans to show that you want different games apart from the regular ones. As a composer, I would like to see the industry revitalised through all kinds of different projects.
GameMusic.net: More and more game music composers release solo albums which are not connected with video game music at all. Are you thinking about releasing such an album, too?
Yasunori Mitsuda: As you hopefully know, I have made a solo album. Looking back, when I quit Square, I wanted to devote more time to my own projects (you can see the same thing with Uematsu) and it’s something I’d like to do more in the future.
GameMusic.net: What do you think about the concerts produced by Thomas Böcker, especially Symphonic Fantasies? Would you accept the invitation if such an event was organised in Poland?
Yasunori Mitsuda: First of all, I would like to visit Poland very much, so if it could be arranged, I’d definitely go for it. As for the concept of Symphonic Fantasies, it was a wonderful idea from the very beginning. There are certainly a lot of game music concerts all around the world, but they’re all in a different format, so to speak. Symphonic Fantasies is truly unique and remarkable in how much time was devoted to how the pieces actually sound.
GameMusic.net: On your Facebook account, you’ve been posting photos of your studio, where you keep various instruments. Could you reveal that you’re currently working on?
Yasunori Mitsuda: It’s been quite some time since I did any big projects, but right now I am very busy with the soundtrack for the PSVita game Soul Sacrifice and for two anime series. As you probably know, I’m also involved in preparing the orchestrations for the Boss Battle Theme and Main Theme from Kid Icarus.
GameMusic.net: Last year we attended the Symphonic Odysseys concert in Cologne, which was dedicated to Nobuo Uematsu’s works. Would you be willing to collaborate with Thomas Böcker to organise a similar event with your own music?
Yasunori Mitsuda: I’d really like to do something like that. It’s my dream.
GameMusic.net: Three years ago you were involved in the orchestration of some pieces for the re-edition of a Chrono Trigger album. Have you considered persuading Square Enix into releasing an entire album consisting of tracks performed by a symphonic orchestra?
Yasunori Mitsuda: I certainly would like to do it, although Square Enix holds the rights to Chrono Trigger. On a more positive note, I hold the rights to Chrono Cross, so perhaps something could be arranged, perhaps for the 20th anniversary.
GameMusic.net: Do you know any Polish composers or bands? Were you inspired by any of them?
Yasunori Mitsuda: I listen to a lot of Polish music, but unfortunately I have some problems with reading whose music I’m listening to (laughter), so sadly I cannot give you any names.
GameMusic.net: Thanks you for the interview!
Special thanks to Thomas Böcker.