Friday, July 1, 2011

...Well, that was fast.

Two weeks have come and gone like the wind and I am just resetting into a position that I can type from again.

To all my loyal followers, I apologize sincerely for my absence and have an excellent* post for you. (* Note: Excellence of said post is entirely based on user opinion. Danielofcourse is not responsible for any absence of excellence.)

That being said, disclaimer and all, let me talk about something that I really care about:

(image courtesy of Wikia)

This man's name is Nobuo Uematsu. He is the ultimate composer for video games of all time, and arguably one of the best living composers today.

This unassuming looking man was born on March 21, 1959 in Japan. He learned piano at a young age, but never took formal lessons. This self-taught musician was in several small bands and even did the music for a few television commercials before taking a job at Square to compose music for some of their titles. (You may know Square as either Squaresoft or Square-Enix.) The young composer suspected this would only be a side job to earn some extra cash, obviously oblivious to the future ahead of him.

After a few small composing jobs at Square, he agreed to do music for game maker Hironobu Sakaguchi. Sakaguchi's first few titles fell flat, seeing very limited success and his time at Square was drawing to a rapid close. However, his potentially last contribution, composed entirely by Nobuo, was a huge success: Final Fantasy.

And yes, that Final Fantasy.

Needless to say, the game was a smash hit. Sakaguchi's position at Square was solidified and Uematsu's game composing career was sparked. Uematsu went on to compose for over 30 titles afterwards, many of which were the subsequent Final Fantasy games. His musical prowess and direction has literally brought a whole layer of the video game series to life and has helped the medium as a whole. Many game composers list Nobuo Uematsu as one of their direct influences.

If you've ever played a Final Fantasy game and rocked out to the battle music? It was Uematsu's notes you were jiving to. Ever celebrate to the victory fanfare (which is possibly the most prolific 8 notes of music in gaming history)? Uematsu made it happen. Ever feel like getting lost in Balamb Garden, drifting to the soft soundtrack? Uematsu, baby. Still haunted by Sephiroth's theme? You guessed it.

In the 2000's, he even formed the group the Black Mages, performing rockier (and even awesomer, somehow) versions of some of the songs he composed for the Final Fantasy series. He played keyboards like the boss he is.

He is a god among composers and deserves nothing but the highest respect from gamers everywhere, regardless of his or her opinion on the Final Fantasy series.

Here are some links for those so inclined to give the god of gaming music a listen:
One-Winged Angel, Orchestrated
Final Fantasy 8 Battle Theme, Orchestrated
Final Fantasy X "To Zanarkand" Original

Summoning Bahamut,
Daniel, of course.

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