- Nov 6, 2009
Nintendo Power recently got the chance to sit down and have a chat with Yoko Shimomura, the brain behind the music of the KINGDOM HEARTS saga. The interview was published in their July 2011 issue, and I've scanned the pages for you guys to look at. Only a bit was mentioned regarding KH, but hey, at least it's something--
What'cha all think?
Musician Yoko Shimomura began her career at Capcom, submitting tracks for everything from Final Fight to a racy mahjong game. Her soundtracks for the company's Street Fighter series raised her profile considerably, but her heart was elsewhere; with few opportunities to write the classically flavored music that interested her most, she joined Squaresoft in the early '90s. There she defined the sound of such RPG franchises as Front Mission, Parasite Eve, and, most famously, Kingdom hearts. But the long hours and a desire to work with a wider variety of creators led her to go freelance in 2002. Contrary to the experience of many composers who take that leap into the unknown, Shimomura's career has only flourished; she continues to compose for major Square Enix franchises such as Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy, while also finding rewarding work with Nintendo's Mario and Luigi series and, most recently, Atlus's well-received DS RPG Radiant Historia.
NP: How did you feel when you were approached to work on the Kingdom Hearts series?
Shimomura: I was like, "Whaaaaaat?! I get to compose music for a Disney project?! Really?! Me?!" Yes, as you can see, I don't really have much self-confidence. [Laughs] I was struck by a great sense of insecurity by this request. But I tried my best to create the score with the image of Disney's worlds in my mind.
NP: "Dearly Beloved" from Kingdom hearts has become quite an iconic tune. How did you come up with this particular piece of music?
Shimomura: Actually, this tune was originally written for a certain event in the game, and I created it instantly, intuitively...and there were no thoughts running through my mind while I was at it. But eventually, the tune was [cut from the game]. And when I was asked to compose something for the title music (they said it could be a temporary song; just give us anything), I proposed "Dearly Beloved." The next thing you know, this tune was chosen to be the title music! Quite a reversal of fortune! [Laughs]
Scanned Images:NP: Was it intimidating to work with Disney franchises that already had such recognizable music?
Shimomura: In the beginning I struggled a lot; all I could do was grope around. But one day, suddenly everything came together, like, "Oh! I see it now!" Luckily, I had never received any "no-good" remarks from Disney. I was very happy.
What'cha all think?