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Site Contributors :: Philip (aka Scherzo)

Site Role


Email Address


Joined Site

April 2006

Favourite Game Music Artists

Masashi Hamauzu
Noriko Matsueda
Takahito Eguchi
Matt Uelmen
Nobuo Uematsu

Date of Birth

March 21, 1990

Place of Residence

Ohio, United States



General Interests

Classical & Jazz Piano
Listening to Music


My life as it relates to video game music started one day in 7th or 8th grade, when, over the course of a second play-through of Final Fantasy VIII (my first RPG), I found Nobuo Uematsu's "Waltz for the Moon" stuck in my head. Even days after playing through the scene in which it's used, I couldn't stop humming the bright, catchy tune. As is my habit, I noodled out the melody and chords on the piano. My rendition may have been clumsy and stilted compared with the original, but I found it was a fun piece to play, and continued my experimentations, figuring out some other favorite pieces from the same game.

Sometime later, through a happenstancial Google search, I discovered that one could actually purchase the soundtrack to Final Fantasy VIII online. I eagerly saved up the forty dollars it cost, convinced my parents to let me use their credit card, and waited three long weeks for it to ship. When it finally arrived at my doorstep, I was psyched. Not only did I have four discs of thoroughly enjoyable music, but now I had an even better reference than the game to figure out the melodies of my favorite tracks on the piano.

It was also about this time that I discovered a wonderful online community: SquareSound.com, the precursor to Square Enix Music Online. There, I found other people who not only loved to listen to VGM, but also loved to arrange it for piano. I set to work finding transcriptions of my favorite Uematsu pieces (as by now I was steadily working my way through the Final Fantasy franchise). So great was my passion for this music that, lacking a printer, I copied these pieces by hand into a now well-worn and completely full composition notebook.

One thing led to another, and before long I was a semi-regular visitor to SquareSound. For a long time I had only listened to or played music from the games I had completed, which limited me mostly to Uematsu's Final Fantasy scores. But through the community, I discovered many other artists and musical styles. This awareness has increased even more since Square Enix Music Online formed and I started posting regularly. But despite my new discoveries, I still remain eager to broaden my knowledge of VGM. This is unfortunately somewhat limited by an observation that, for me, the most emotionally affecting scores are those with which I can associate images and characters. However, I remain in search of soundtracks that can stand on their own, transcending the game to which they're linked. Lately I've found myself drawn to Western game music, which has a distinctly different flavor than its Japanese counterpart, as well as a higher emphasis on essential 'surface' elements such as tone quality and orchestration.

As for my personal life, I'm currently a high school senior in a small college town in Ohio. Though for a long time I was intending to pursue a degree in classical piano performance, I've recently decided to follow my stronger passions and go the academic route. I hope in a year to be following a holistic liberal arts curriculum at some yet-unknown college, while still being able to study piano on the side. I love thinking about and analyzing anything that crosses my path, a trait that definitely shows in my reviews. And I love playing the piano. Though I'm trained classically, I learned to read jazz charts at a young age, and of course love to figure out by ear whatever songs might be wiggling through my head at any given time, whether it be a nifty piece of game music or some catchy piece of mainstream pop music ("SexyBack", anyone?). I also enjoy the Final Fantasy Piano Collections sheet music, and have often used pieces from that series as light casual encores at classical recitals.

I've come quite a ways since my "Waltz for the Moon" beginnings, both personally and with regards to VGM. And I hope to continue down that road as a senior staff member at the new Square Enix Music Online. As I move into college and adulthood, I hope to take a love of game music with me, exploring and developing my taste, and sharing it both with the online community and with the world at large.

Contributed Reviews

Album Title Catalog No.
Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack SQEX-10001/4
Final Fantasy, Potion 2: Relaxin' with SSCX-10059
Lunar Silver Star Story Complete Soundtrack (US) Promotional