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Interview with Masashi Hamauzu (RocketBaby - September 2003)

The following interview was carried out by RocketBaby.net, a sadly defunct site that once interviewed numerous game composers. Square Enix Music Online is hosting the interview to avoid it being lost forever.


RocketBaby: How does Unlimited SaGa's music differ from the rest of the series?

Masashi Hamauzu: The main difference is that all of the music is done with streaming technology. Because of this, the way I compose music changed drastically and was more flexible. Being able to include ample acoustic instruments was also one of the results.


RocketBaby: What were your most important musical ideas for Unlimited SaGa's soundtrack?

Masashi Hamauzu: Because of the increased flexibility due to streaming, there was an expansion in terms of musical genre but I made sure not to destroy the sense of unity or lose sight of myself in the music because of that.


RocketBaby: What track did you like best in Unlimited SaGa?

Masashi Hamauzu: Production schedule was quite short, so it's hard to say which one's the best. But if I had to, it would be "Soaring Wings". It is not refined but I think I did a good job nailing the concept in such a short time.


RocketBaby: Can you explain your process for producing Unlimited SaGa's music?

Masashi Hamauzu: There are two ways: 1) Shaping it more or less by myself by mainly using the sampler and then completing it with the manipulator; 2) Having the manipulator provide sound materials and rhythm patterns and composing from there. The manipulator was Ryo Yamazaki.


RocketBaby: Please share some of your thoughts and memories about the following:

Masashi Hamauzu:

Final Fantasy X Piano Collections
It made me realize that there is no genre harder to arrange than piano music but it was well received by pianists and I was relieved. It was a very good learning process.

SaGa Frontier II
In order to change the music style of RPG, I think I took a lot of chances in every possible way. As time went on, my satisfaction level rised and that methodology later became the basis of my own direction.

Piano Pieces "SF2" ~ Rhapsody on a Theme of SaGa Frontier 2
I really like the production of such collection of short piano pieces... I like it so much that I still write them on my own time, unrelated to the games.

Tobal No. 1
Nothing particularly as I only made the original version.

Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon
It is my oldest solo work and there are parts that are naïve but I think it was the most complete overall as a soundtrack.