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Noriyuki Kamikura :: Biography

Overview Biography Discography Game Projects Interviews

Note: This biography was written exclusively for Square Enix Music Online by Chris. The act of using it without advance written permission is regarded as a copyright infringement. It was last updated on August 27, 2008.

Born in 1980 in Kanagawa, Noriyuki Kamikura is a composer of Hitoshi Sakimoto's music production company Basiscape. Having engaged in musical activities since his college years, he is educated in a range of disciplines, including classical composition, arrangements for small ensemble, conducting, synthesizer programming, keyboard performance, and recording engineering. After completing his studies, he engaged in occasional works for TV, musical groups, and solo musicians. In 2006, he became the sixth composer to join Basiscape following Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masaharu Iwata, Manabu Namiki, Mitsuhiro Kaneda, and Kimihiro Abe. He is also the principle orchestrator of the company, known for working intimately with the Eminence Symphony Orchestra.

Appropriately, Kamikura's first project was a large proportion of the orchestration of Sakimoto's score to Studio Gonzo's anime Romeo X Juliet for performance by the Eminence Symphony Orchestra. The project demonstrated that Kamikura was very familiar with Sakimoto's unconventional musiciality and able to enhance his music with expressive orchestrations and small ensemble arrangements. The score was widely praised for its lush performances that emphasised the drama and romance of the anime. Kamikura's first game project was Capcom's fighting game Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi: Gekitou! Ragnarok Hachikengou. He composed approximately half the catchy hard rock score while Manabu Namiki handled the rest. For Manabu Namiki's gothic-rock score to Death Smiles, Kamikura was responsible for performing the impressive electric guitar solos.

Kamikura has also contributed to many of Basiscape's collaborative projects. He created an orchestral composition for Vanillaware's magic strategy game Grim Grimoire, but it's not known exactly which one. With three others, he helped to arrange a selection of Final Fantasy XII's pieces for Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings so that they had sufficiently few parts to be readily implemented on the DS. For Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, he arranged several reprises from Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance; increasing the score's diversity, he was free to express some individuality while sticking close to each original piece's melodies and character. He received the opportunity to demonstrate even more freedom on Darius Remix, where he arrange Darius II's "War Oh!" in a jazzy saxophone-focused style.

Now an established member of the company, Kamikura had important roles on several recent projects. He contributed some jingles and one substantial composition for the DS book adaptation Deltora Quest: The Seven Jewels. He was also heavily involved in Opoona, using his skills as an orchestrator and fusion musician to coordinate the blends of orchestral and electronic elements the score was built on. Other recent roles include a number of rich spiritual Celtic-inspired pieces for Elminage and some atmospheric genre-hopping material for Coded Soul. He has also contributed two action themes for the otherwise sentimental score to L no Kisetsu 2: Invisible Memories, fusing electronic, jazz, and orchestral elements. Though relatively little is currently known about Kamikura's composing style, it is clear he is a versatile force at the company.

A large proportion of Kamikura's work continues to be dedicated to arrangement and orchestration. For Eminence Symphony Orchestra's event Destiny - Reunion, he arranged seven of Yasunori Mitsuda and Hitoshi Sakimoto's compositions for piano quintet. The rich performances of these intricate arrangements were well-received on the accompanying Destiny - Dreamer's Alliance CD. More recently, he orchestrated several of Sakimoto's compositions on the PlayStation 3 epic Valkyria Chronicles in a cinematic militaristic style. He also helped Sakimoto to express his lighter side by orchestrating the score to Studio Gonzo's game-to-anime adaptation The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk, once again performed by the Eminence Symphony Orchestra. With Basiscape having a heavy 2008 lineup, Kamikura will certainly help to maintain their productivity, but it is unconfirmed which game projects he will work on.