Vagrant Story Original Soundtrack Liner Notes


Commentary

Hitoshi Sakimoto - Composer

It happens every time I start a new project; I begin by wondering about what I can do with a game, then about what the feelings of the players will be, and in the end, I can fall into an infinite loop of fundamental questions such as "what, exactly, is sound?" In these situations, when I want to change something about myself, I feel that I should abandon my established precedents and attempt entirely new methods. Although I cannot answer very clearly regarding my role as the form of games and the definition of game itself undergo change, in the end I always return to the simple motivation of wanting to pass on the joy I felt when I first touched a game to as many people as possible.

Once, when I had lost my way, someone said to me, "aren't you glad that you can come to enjoy more things?" The encouragement I found in those words came back to me. This time, the same as previously, Producer and Director Matsuno led the project, my fourth with him, and as is immediately apparent from the game itself, this extremely talented group of people combined to form an unbelievably strong staff. Even more amazingly, this time Mr. Matsuno also handled the scenario and battle design, and even with such an exacting schedule, my experimentation with attaching music to images and the role of sound in a game proved invaluable. That I can be proud of my involvement in this game, and moreover that it was a game created by Japanese people, are to me, as a fan of games, supremely gratifying.

I have to make special mention here of the sound team for Vagrant Story. Mr. Tomohiro Yajima, who was head of sound effects and synth conversion, and Mr. Jun Nakamura and Mr. Makoto Yamaguchi, who brought about a higher level of sound quality on the PlayStation. All three of them created many wonderful sound effects. Whatever sounds these young men overflowing with talent will create next, as someone obsessed with sounds, I will keep my eyes peeled for their work.

In regards to the music staff, Mr. Hidenori Iwasaki showed me a perfectly manipulated version of the opening movie's music, Motoko Watanabe-san readily consented to the use of his emotionally rich synthesis from FFT, and Mr. Hirosato Noda, who loves Germany, displayed his prowess with analog sound. It was my great fortune to have such rich experiences with these three gentlemen. Furthermore, Mr. Takeharu Ishimoto, who manipulated the majority of the music, imparted soul into every piece with his professionalism and passion, supporting me throughout, and I continue to be astounded by his work.

On this album, Ishimoto and Noda both contributed remixes as bonus tracks. Unfortunately I have not yet had the opportunity to hear them, but due to their unflagging experience and achievements, I can vouch for the quality of whatever they will produce from now on.

As for the soundtrack, I have recorded some of the pieces that were altered to fit changes in the game to be closer to their original form, and have collected some unused tracks as well. Please listen to the album as intended, with the remixes. The music contains many of our experiments. Altough not all of them have succeeded, if when you listen to this album, you recall your experiences playing Vagrant Story, then our experiments will be able to take another step forward. We are deeply grateful to all of those who kindly watched over our trial and error, offered advice and encouragement, and gave us this opportunity. More than anything, we are deeply grateful to those who love game music.

Liner Notes Translated by Ben Schweitzer. Do not republish without written permission.






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