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Yasuhiro Kawakami

Yasuhiro Kawakami Instruments: Guitar
Joined Square: 1991 (left in 1999)
Game Works: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, Tobal No. 1


Note: This biography was written exclusively for Square Enix Music Online by Chris and is under copyright.

Guitarist Yasuhiro Kawakami joined Square in 1991 and was assigned to compose Final Fantasy Mystic Quest alongside Ryuji Sasai. Here, he was responsible for most of the serene setting themes, whereas Sasai handled the rock-based tracks. Though not as well-known as most Final Fantasy soundtracks, many feel the Final Fantasy USA Mystic Quest Sound Collections succeeded in being an original and charming deviation from the typical Final Fantasy soundtrack. Three years later, he joined Sasai again as the sound manipulator for Rudra no Hihou, though did not compose, unlike his colleague.

Kawakami helped to ensure that the PlayStation's resources were tested fully when working on Tobal No. 1, alongside seven other composers. The Tobal No. 1 Original Soundtrack, produced by Yasunori Mitsuda, saw Kawakami experiment with a mixture of urban, techno, industrial, and jazz music, producing three diverse compositions. Arguably his most influential work, he succeeded in being the first composer to employ the use of live vocals in a Square album with "Urban Sight" and "Toridon!!!," all within an alternative framework, of course. His other work, "Disused Mine," also featured on the score's arranged album, Tobal No. 1 Remixes Electrical Indian.

He worked with Square for the last time in 1999 on Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon 2, alongside Kumi Tanioka, Tsuyoshi Sekito, and Kenji Ito. He had a significant role in this score, composing about a third of the pieces, handling mostly setting themes, their light-heartedness reminiscent of his contributions to Mystic Quest. Following this, Kawakami became a freelance composer, yet hasn't been heard from since, likely part of a lesser-known Japanese band. Indeed, Kawakami is one that was not very prolific during his six years at Square, though still made several interesting contributions.

List of Relevant Projects

Year Game / Role Console
1992 Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (Square)
Composition with Ryuji Sasai
Super Nintendo
1996 Rudra no Hihou (Square)
Sound Programming
Super Nintendo
1996 Tobal No. 1 (Dream Factory / Square)
Composition with seven others
1999 Chocobo's Dungeon 2 (Square)
Composition with Kumi Tanioka, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Kenji Ito

List of Covered Albums

Album Title Catalog No.
Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon 2 Original Soundtrack SSCX-10026
Final Fantasy USA Mystic Quest Sound Collections N25D-020
Tobal No. 1 Original Soundtrack SSCX-10001
Tobal No. 1 Remixes Electrical Indian SSCX-10002