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Interview with Junya Nakano (RocketBaby - February 2002)

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. The translation was by Shinsuke Fukada.

RocketBaby: When did you first become attracted to music?

Junya Nakano: I took music lessons since I entered kindergarten so probably then. I could have been influenced by music from brass bands I was involved in and Electone music I played. However, I can't think of a specific person who influenced me.

RocketBaby: When and why did you start working for Squaresoft?

Junya Nakano: I began working at Square in summer of 1995. I thought that I would be able to continue pursuing music and, at the same time, be involved in development projects. I believe the first game for Square that I composed music for was Treasure Conflix for the Super Nintendo's SatellaView module. Before Squaresoft I was working at Konami, primarily working on music for arcade games.

RocketBaby: Who is the Squaresoft colleague you most admire?

Junya Nakano: Probably Masashi Hamauzu... Out of Square Sounds, I feel particularly interested in sounds he creates.

RocketBaby: How has working on Final Fantasy X changed your life?

Junya Nakano: I feel that it gave me an opportunity to have my music heard by broader audiences.

RocketBaby: Besides time limitations, what was the most difficult aspect creating the music for Final Fantasy X?

Junya Nakano: The composition for Final Fantasy X itself. During the development period, regardless of the time of the day, I experimented repeatedly and put the most effort and time solely to improve the music. Since I don't have experiences of being independent composer, I don't know...

RocketBaby: What is your favorite piece of Final Fantasy X music not written by you and why?

Junya Nakano: Maybe "Decisive Battle". In addition to finding this piece very effective in enhancing the game scene, I find the development, phrasing, and harmony in the latter half very intriguing. I also feel that it creates very strong synergy with other factors contributing to creating this scene.

RocketBaby: What process did you use to create your music for FInal Fantasy X.

Junya Nakano: I composed using Recomposer (Sequencing software) and SC88PRO (MIDI module). There are indeed a few unused or rejected musics not featured in the game.

RocketBaby: How did the Final Fantasy X composers interact with each other.

Junya Nakano: Except for some important decisions and confirmations, it was mostly via e-mail.

RocketBaby: How did the music of past Final Fantasy titles help or hinder Final Fantasy X's music?

Junya Nakano: I tried to handle the series' atmosphere and image carefully, but at the same time tried not to adhere to the past Final Fantasy titles.

RocketBaby: What element of Final Fantasy X are you most proud of?

Junya Nakano: I appreciate the diversity of the music.

RocketBaby: What are your thoughts of Mr. Uematsu and how has he influenced your work?

Junya Nakano: He is a very youthful and active person, but he hasn't influenced my work.

RocketBaby: How has your music changed over the years?

Junya Nakano: Until 1995, I was composing music focusing on an instrument's tone and acoustics. After that time, I am slowly moving my focus toward studying the harmony and melody important to music as a whole.