Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles -The Crystal Bearers- Music Collections Liner Notes
Hidenori Iwasaki - Composer
The music of the first Crystal Chronicles game, which was released in 2003, featured ancient instruments, and its freshness and unique worldview, in combination with Tanioka-san's impressionistic melodies, won much admiration. It was a gamble that paid off. Although I was primarily involved as a synthesizer operator, I remember that at the beginning we weren't using ancient instruments, and her compositions sounded like cute mondo music [Editor's Note: A catch-all term for off-beat music, from novelty songs to lounge], along the lines of Perry and Kingsley. And then we chanced to meet the ancient music experts at Roba House. To me a crumhorn was something on a Moog synthesizer, and hearing the cute sound of a live one was only one of many surprises I experienced. It was truly a lesson from the past. Completing the first Crystal Chronicles game's music with Tanioka left a deep impression on me.
In Spring 2006, work began on two new Crystal Chronicles projects, Ring of Fates and Crystal Bearers. The producer had to decide which of the two of us, Tanioka and myself, he wanted for which project. I was chosen for Crystal Bearers, but I didn't realize at the time how much of a difference there would be between the direction and development time our respective projects would take. He had simply chosen the two people who shared the worldview of the original game.
I soon realized that Crystal Bearers was on track to becoming an adventure game. But at the time, I still wanted to follow the ethnic and ancient music styles of the first game. But then the producer and the director both said "We don't need anything like the music from the first Crystal Chronicles. We want you to make something completely different!" To be honest, I didn't know what to do. I knew I needed something with good rhythm, but I resisted the urge to write cheap rock or techno. I felt that, because it was a Crystal Chronicles game, I needed to use warm acoustic elements, and that the players would want them as well. I wanted to have a consistent concept, and not simply genre hop.
Ultimately, after all of this devastating confusion, I arrived at the concept of "American". Using that, I could create happy, exciting music using acoustic instruments, I thought. Everything went quickly after that. I started with Country, Bluegrass, and Jazz. And when we came to a concept of Rock and American Rock, we had hit it, and the atmosphere became much more relaxed. It was great to work with Yamazaki, a close friend since my student days. We would give each other our honest opinions on the music for each scene, and we worked together resolutely to make this project a success.
When the time came to record, I asked for the services of Satomi-san of Uchida Ongaku Jimusho. It had been 12 years since we had last met, but even after all that time, we got into contact and he assisted me in finding artists. I felt very happy, and am grateful for his efforts. To my orchestrator Miyano-san, my engineers Okitsu-san, Ojima-san, and Isogawa-san, Hamamoto from management, and the people from Roba House who have been involved since the first game, to all of the many who have supported me on this project and brought it to completion, I am grateful. Thank you. And to all of the players who enjoy this music, I wish nothing but happiness.
Ryo Yamazaki - Composer
For this project, Iwasaki and I wrote this and that kind of music and, through trial and error, started to develop a concept for the game's music.
In the game's initial stages, seeing the settings and worldview, we wondered if we would emulate the first Crystal Chronicles game's somewhat simple atmosphere, and for a time were very unsure of what to do. But as development progressed and we began to see that the project would be completely different from the "Connection Adventure" concept the series had held to until now, our uneasiness vanished bit by bit.
Producer Kawazu and Director Itahana told us that "we want you to forget everything you know about the Final Fantasy and Crystal Chronicles series." Do we have to create the same kind of entertainment we were raised with? As if there were only a single possible answer, we found ourselves on track very quickly. There had been several twists and turns, but once we were on track, we were able to create pieces out of the keywords "Happy, fun, and adventure".
We divided composition of the character themes by individual style, and I generally chose the unique characters, such as Amidatelion or Jegran. As a result, each character theme's color is different, and I believe the divisions turned out quite well.
This time, the most enjoyable and also the must problematic work was the recording. Although it was challenging to record everything from guitar family instruments such as the banjo and resonator guitar, to Irish instruments such as the fiddle and bodhrén, to orchestra instruments, I feel that we never let go of our key concept, "adventure". I want to show my respect to all of the performers who worked with us.
Which is to say that these various experiments were themselves an "adventure" for us, but I will be happy if you simply listen through these CDs, and feel the experiments through the music.
Liner Notes Translated by Ben Schweitzer. Do not republish without written permission.