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Old Jul 7, 2020, 10:02 AM
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Zanasea Zanasea is offline
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Nobuo Uematsu has a complicated relationship with arrangers. You might remember how he thinks FFVI Grand Finale is a disaster—it's not that the album is bad (it isn't), but he blamed himself for not defending the "vision" he had about his music, and so the arrangers did something he wasn't satisfied with. (BTW he was also unsatisfied with parts of the FF Symphonic Suite album.)

Because of the terrible experience he had with Grand Finale, he decided that he would oversee his arrangements as closely as possible, should he ever write orchestral music again. When came the moment to orchestrate 3 tracks for FFVII Reunion Tracks, Uematsu decided he would handle the arrangements himself, even if that meant the quality would be lower, but he still needed an orchestrator. And so he began looking for someone who would be ready to orchestrate directly from his MIDI files, so that the result would be as close to his vision as possible. That person was Shiro Hamaguchi, and they worked on many new projets afterwards.

But after that, I think Uematsu softened with age. Arrangement is a very specific job, especially when you want to have one genre in particular—and so, when you're not a specialist, it's a very time-consuming process. As his career carried on, he had the opportunity to work with people who became close friends, and I think he had more and more confidence in their abilities, realizing they could do what he couldn't.

We had the chance to interview him when working on his biography, and we did ask him about that. He said that nowadays, he only cares about composition, and not arrangement. He said whenever he has finished composing a new track, the only thing he wants is to start working on the next one, and so he just lets the arrangers handle the rest. Obviously, this is because he can now work with arrangers he can trust, such as Tsutomu Narita, or even Kenichiro Fukui who recently arranged "Hollow".

Besides, the bad experiences he had during the 80s and 90s were related to the fact that he was still young and wasn't ready to defend his vision to older and more experienced musicians with enough conviction. Now that he's older (and a lot more famous!), he jokes that it's a lot easier to ask arrangers for specific changes.
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