Famitsu has published a small interview on their website featuring composers Yoko Shimomura, Tsuyoshi Sekito and Takeharu Ishimoto. The interview mainly focuses on their overall thoughts of the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World of Tres- orchestra.
—Now that today’s performance in Osaka is over, please share with us your impressions.
Shimomura: After having traveled around the globe for the World Tour, this performance was in Japan for the first time since April. Also because we’re in my hometown, Osaka, I feel relieved. Compared to the audiences in other countries, Japanese audiences listen very quietly, so I was worried about how they would react. When I glanced over at the audience, I saw people smiling and sometimes nodding along with the music, which brightened me up and allowed me to give a better performance.
Ishimoto: I still get nervous getting on stage. (laughs)
—It didn’t seem like that (laughs).
Ishimoto: I did my best not to show it. Actually, my hands were rather sweaty. I thought of saying something funny, but it’s not that kind of atmosphere in a concert like this (laughs).
Sekito: Osaka is also my hometown, but I didn’t know about the Osaka Symphony Orchestra as I am unfamiliar with music.
Shimomura: “Unfamiliar with music”... (laughs)
Sekito: The performance and expressiveness of the Osaka Symphony Orchestra was amazing. I wanted to tell the audience how wonderful it was, but I was too nervous and couldn’t convey it on stage properly. So, that’s why I'm telling it here and now (laughs).
Shimomura: I have to admit, it was wonderful indeed.
—Did you feel anything different performing in Osaka and doing it in Tokyo back in April?
Ishimoto: I didn’t notice because I was nervous (laughs).
Shimomura: The hall was more compact than at the Tokyo performance, so I felt more intimate with the audience.
—What factors in the KH music do you think charms the fans from all around the world?
Shimomura: In this game, even if the story is tremendous and there are some complicated bits, at its foundation there are bonds and love. Because it is something that anyone can easily feel and understand, I think it is what attracts people. The pieces I compose are relatively straightforward; fun ones are extremely happy, sad ones are melancholic from beginning to end. Because they are easy to convey, people quickly understand them.
Ishimoto: I think it’s because of the abundance of the worlds. You won’t get bored since the atmosphere changes drastically from a world to another, and there is a lot of cadence in the game. It’s charming because this cadence is present during the whole game, including the music.
Shimomura: It’s very difficult to write the music because of said abundance (laughs).
Ishimoto: There are so many variations to it that it isn’t just a happy game, nor just a dark one. I think it’s appealing to people because it has all of the human emotions.
Sekito: This time, I was allowed to write relatively cheerful pieces for the Gummi ship sequences and mini games, among others. I wrote the Gummi ship ones with the purpose to cheer on the players, something that would give the feeling of moving forward. I think it’s appealing because of its rich variety of songs, where each one has our various thoughts put into it.
—I heard that you traveled around the globe with the World Tour. Among all the countries in which you performed, is there one that left a special impression?
Shimomura: Although each performance was impressive and memorable, I received the first “Yoko Call” at the Mexico concert back in November (laughs). It was embarrassing, but it did leave an impression on me.
—When did the “Yoko Call” occur?
Shimomura: I received it during the encore.
—The overseas audience are passionate, after all.
Shimomura: There were so many lively spectators my nervousness went away. They even stood up after the first song and applauded. Of course, there were countries that listened quietly like Japan, so I felt the different characteristics in each country.
—About 7 months have passed since the Tokyo performance in April; has there been any changes performance wise?
Shimomura: Because the orchestras that perform are different in every country, each one is a once in a lifetime experience, However, the conductor is developing a deeper understanding of the music with every performance, increasing perfection.
—Please tell us about your enthusiasm for the final performance of the Tour in Yokohama, in December.
Sekito: Video games are often regarded as a accumulation of arts, but this orchestra concert is also a gathering of composers, arrangers, a conductor, performers and engineers. I hope this experience will lead you to take interest in orchestra concerts and go watch their other season concerts. In the halls, you will be able to experience music not only by ear but also through your soul.
Ishimoto: I think this is a worthwhile concert even if you do not regularly go to concerts. Nowadays, it is being said that people tend not to go to concerts or live events because of the need to buy tickets. It’s because there are easy ways, like YouTube, to view the footage without actually going to the event, but still feel like you did. However, you can only experience the live sound traveling through the air from performers in a hall. Also, we cannot record this concert, so it is a valuable concert that you can only experience in the hall.
Shimomura: My parents, relatives, and friends came to this concert not knowing the KH series, but still told me with a great smile that they enjoyed it. Although I don’t think they can say it was boring right to my face (laughs). Even outside of people I know, I’ve heard about people who came with their friend and ended up getting into the series, or people who started taking interest in other concerts because of this one. Hearing these, I’m very happy that we were able to create something that anybody can enjoy, and bring people into the world of KH and music through our music. If you have even the slightest bit of interest, I hope you come to the Yokohama performance that is a cumulation of the three years of Kingdom Hearts concert we started from the 2016 brass ensemble concert “KINGDOM HEARTS Concert -First Breath-.”