Shimomura Interviewed in Nintendo Power - Talks Kingdom Hearts Music



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Ventus Air-Man

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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--

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]
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.
Scanned Images:
http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/j437/Theta00/shimomura-1.jpg
http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/j437/Theta00/shimomura-2.jpg
http://i1085.photobucket.com/albums/j437/Theta00/shimomura-3.jpg

What'cha all think?
 

Sephiroth0812

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Nice find...didn't know she also made the music for Street Fighter during the SNES-era.

And that tibit about how Dearly beloved became KH's title theme is quite a neat anecdote. *ggg*
 

Sign

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i <3 shimomura

Thanks for the scans, V A-Man~
 

Delsan

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Shouldn't this be in Future of Kingdom Hearts?
 

Ventus Air-Man

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Shouldn't this be in Future of Kingdom Hearts?
Umm, no. It has absolutely nothing to do with the future of Kingdom Hearts. It's just an interview regarding the music in the KH series, with a focus on "Dearly Beloved."

Which is played on the original Kingdom Hearts.

@Sign - You're welcome. ^^
 

Love Machine

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Shouldn't this be in Future of Kingdom Hearts?
You're silly. :3

The music to Kingdom Hearts was actually the thing that influenced me to play the piano. Shimomura is an amazing composer; her music is beautiful and touches the heart.
 

Silverslide

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KH's music is one of the best parts about KH now. Good to hear from her.
 

State

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In before people ranting when Tetsuya Nomura will change Hikari/Simple & Clean and Passion/Sanctuary.
 

Love Machine

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In before people ranting when Tetsuya Nomura will change Hikari/Simple & Clean and Passion/Sanctuary.
I personally don't care about the names. They're the same song to me, whether in Japanese or English. They're all great compositions to me, I could care less if they change it every game. A new song would be nice, though.
 

Zephyr

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Wait a second, I thought Kaoru Wada composed Dearly Beloved; not Yoko Shimomura? Can someone please clarify for me?
 

Ventus Air-Man

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Kaoru Wada worked at orchestral renditions of the main vocal themes in KH. As to whether or not he worked with Shimomura in creating "Dearly Beloved" is unsure to me. However, I know for a fact that Shimomura was the main composer of the song.

A quick Google search will tell you that.
 

MisuzuKamio

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I wonder now what that supposed event in KH1 was that was supposed to have Dearly Beloved playing
I dunno, my money would go on the scene right after Sora's sacrifice at Hollow Bastion when the princess' hearts are flying all over. They probably replaced Dearly Beloved with the instrumental Hikari snippit. Just my guess though.
 

Zephyr

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Kaoru Wada worked at orchestral renditions of the main vocal themes in KH. As to whether or not he worked with Shimomura in creating "Dearly Beloved" is unsure to me. However, I know for a fact that Shimomura was the main composer of the song.

A quick Google search will tell you that.
Oh I see. I've searched and apparently Yoko Shimomura was the one who wrote the basis/beta version of Dearly Beloved and this interview definitely leads to that. However, the version from the first Kingdom Hearts specifically was revised by Kaoru Wada. Makes me wonder how the original sounded like.
 

pgerv12

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Oh I see. I've searched and apparently Yoko Shimomura was the one who wrote the basis/beta version of Dearly Beloved and this interview definitely leads to that. However, the version from the first Kingdom Hearts specifically was revised by Kaoru Wada. Makes me wonder how the original sounded like.
I'm guessing it was the like the Dearly Beloved Reprises at the end of the games. It's just the descending keys C, G, F and so on playing only treble (top half) and no bass underneath. Just a guess.

I'd recommend getting the Kingdom Hearts Piano Collection sheet music if you wish to play songs or if you want to listen get the soundtrack....their AMAZING!
 

Hero

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The first scan brought back nostalgic memories of Nintendo Power. They always had beautiful pieces of artwork like that, especially in interviews.

I sort of thought this was fake at first.
 

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she sounds like a sweet and humble person :) thanks for this
 

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Great interview. Love Shimomura and her works.

I wish she would've elaborated more on her current works, for instance the next KH games along with Versus. That would've been awesome.
 
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