En el vídeo a continuación, podéis conocer más personalmente a la compositora y escuchar sus principales inquietudes respecto a su trabajo, su afinidad por las raíces de ritmos tribales e influencias instrumentales diversas, así como sus objetivos.
Kumi Tanioka comenzó a trabajar en FINAL FANTASY series con la creación de la subsaga Crystal Chronicles. Sus scores musicales para las diferentes entregas de esta subsaga, así como para FINAL FANTASY XI, han estado siempre marcados por un aire muy tradicional. En esta entrevista Tanioka nos habla de su trabajo para las diferentes entregas, nos introduce a quienes adaptaron varios de sus sonidos en la mezcla final para DS y otros sistemas, y nos cuenta su experiencia en el VANA♪CON (del cual ya hablamos en Auditorio de Luca), entre otros.
A continuación os dejo una selección personal de la misma, la cual he realizado con el criterio de vinculación hacia la saga que nos ocupa en esta comunidad:
How did your collaboration with Roba House develop during that the making of Crystal Chronicles?
Working with Roba House, they were never instructed on how to perform the music. Rather, I was often discussing with synthesizer operator Hidenori Iwasaki how to go about determining the sound for the game. Over time I composed the melodies, while Iwasaki provided arrangement for the rhythm track. The results we shared with Roba House, and discussed how to introduce live, acoustic instrumentation to the mix.
At the same time, they offered us their advice, which influenced the overall presentation of the soundtrack. Particularly their participation figured into the latter stages of development.
Iwasaki and other sound designers at Square Enix have collaborated with you on the Crystal Chronicles series as synthesizer operators. How has this role influenced your music for console game soundtracks?
Generally speaking, the composer is responsible for writing the music. The synthesizer operator, meanwhile, engineers the properties of the sound and makes adjustments to the final mix. On Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Iwasaki was additionally providing arrangement of rhythmic elements.
With synthesizer operator Yasuhiro Yamanaka, we were working with the Nintendo DS. The range of sounds and number of instruments available to us was narrower. I was involved in composing music, which Yamanaka arranged to suit the DS console's hardware specs.
During the Vana♪Con concert, you performed solo piano and accompanied the orchestra. Could you tell us a little about your experience of the event?
The music I composed for Final Fantasy XI was for the very first installments of the game series, so performing those pieces immediately brought back memories of those days. And having the chance to play [Naoshi] Mizuta's compositions as well left me with an all-encompassing sense of the game world. Almost as soon as I touched the keys, there was a feeling of nostalgia. I enjoyed the entire event, from hearing the orchestra's performance to spending some time with devotees of the game.
The score to Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles introduced many people to your music for the first time and was also an early demonstration of your use of regional instruments. How did traditional music styles serve as the basis for this particular game score?
Although I cannot claim to have researched the subject in depth, what I suspect is that most musical instruments resist being pinned down to a single geographical region. Instead, they spread to different territories, migrating together with other cultural phenomena.
Historically, musical instruments have emerged and the way they are played is an expression of the culture of the region. The way it is performed undergoes many changes over time, and that phenomenon gives rise to regional music styles. For instance, if you take a look at the Indian sitar and the Middle-Eastern santur, these instruments are played in entirely different ways, even though they most likely have a common origin.
As a consequence, while I write I try to imagine what would happen if an Indian instrument and a Celtic instrument were played as a pair. If I'm working with a flute that has a limited musical range, I think about what other instruments might complement that specific limitation. This was how I was thinking while writing the score for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles.
Having performed outside of Japan at the Final Fantasy XI fan festivals, have you observed significant differences in how the audience reacts to your music?
For Japanese audiences, it is expected of you to sit and listening quietly until the end, then clap to show your appreciation. American audiences are different. They will of course also listen quietly to the performance, but when you're coming out on stage and during the breaks from the performance, they're screaming. To me it's kind of inexplicable, but it's a lot of fun. When the show is over, you hear the audience go wild. It's such an unbelievable experience.
Are there particular songs that you look back on as having been significant milestones?
A special song to me is "Starry Night," the end theme from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. The opening theme, the one that appears in the promotional videos, was also significant. Those songs contain a whole lot of ideas that for a long time I'd been eager to put to the test. It was really just a matter of my wanting very deeply to express certain musical concepts. I was very pleased that those results were accepted.
Another special music track was "Awakening" from Final Fantasy XI. It was the first battle track I wrote for that game, but it was intended to be for the final boss. Everyone's image of a boss battles is something aggressive, right? But for me, my image of "Awakening" was one of darkness. While writing, I imagined the ruler of darkness, languishing in anguish. I'm relieved that this unexpected choice wound up matching the mood of the battle scene in the end. When it became a popular music track for the game, it made me very happy.
That was one piece where I was not sure how it could be arranged for the piano. But I thought I'd give it a shot. I should mention that Iwasaki-san had previously arranged many instrumental layers for "Awakening," so I was a little worried about how to communicate all that through just one instrument. The piano alone doesn't have the same kind of intensity. I tried it out a number of ways and something clicked. When I've performed that piece live, it is without any sheet music. I have it all committed it all to memory.
A continuación, la entrevista nos introduce el siguiente video de Kumi Tanioka interpretando Gustaberg en el FINAL FANTASY XI FAN FESTIVAL 2008:
Esta pieza fue compuesta por Tanioka para FINAL FANTASY XI, aunque he de puntualizar que la versión tal y como la escuchamos en el juego, tuvo arreglos tanto de la mano de Tanioka como de Hidenori Iwasaki.
Para disfrutar de la entrevista al completo, y conocer más acerca de la labor de esta compositora en otros proyectos, no dudes en darle una lectura a la entrevista al completo.