Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles -Echoes of Time- Original Soundtrack Liner Notes
Kumi Tanioka - Composer
"Tanioka's rhythm has the vibes of Bon Odori"
"This track sounds like it is from Yukemuri Murder?"
These are the comments I received when I let scenario writer Hiroyuki Saegusa listen to my tracks on Echoes of Time. Even when he occasionally praised me, it was only "Um, OK". While my brain was polluted with bad ideas like Bon Odori and Yukemuri, I said "nooo!" and shut them out. I worried whether he actually liked my music or not, but I just said to myself "nooooo!" and abandoned the worry. Still, I felt critically knocked by the comment "sounds like samba" from Yasuhiro Yamanaka, the synthesizer operator that everyone knows. Then again, I said "nooooo!".
Anyway, I will tell you about the way this soundtrack was crafted. Once I write this, you might suspect I composed it without thinking about the game, but from the start I set the concept based on the key elements of the game, the intention of Saegusa, and my own wishes. I struggled hard to achieve it. The conversation above was the result...
As for my own wishes, these were to paint the world in a ethnic manner once again. This was the fourth installment of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and, although I had maintained a common atmosphere between each instalment, I had always introduced a new concept. In addition, I pursued creating music that could fit each game deeply and portray each world convincingly. I had really enjoyed composing music every time with the various concepts. However, at the back of my mind was a wish to someday paint a world based on tribal music like that of the first Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles once again.
This was my opportunity. At the meeting at an earlier stage of the development, Saegusa uttered "Since there will be ancient sites, the atmosphere of Inca or South America would be suitable". How could I miss such a word? I thought "Alright! I'll create exotic music that's focused on South American instruments!" This fixed the basic concept for the soundtrack.
In the first Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, I let synthesizer operator Hidenori Iwasaki arrange the rhythm parts almost entirely. I adopted a similar policy with Yasuhiro Yamanaka on Ring of Fates. This time, however, it was me alone from start to finish. This resulted in those severe — no, blunt — comments from the two guys above.
Still, I think the world of Echoes of Time was presented with the music I created. Instead of the traditional sound endemic to the specific areas, I wanted to use them as one flavor and blend many colors just like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. While I used the timbres of early instruments and ethnic instruments, I often wrote the tracks that were actually impossible to perform, such as a panflute melody at murderous speed!
No, this is not my excuse! At any rate, please play Echoes of Time! I sincerely hope you have a good impression of the world of the game while playing the game and will clearly remember it. Hopefully, your impressions of the music won't ever be related to Bon Odori or samba, but oh well. Both Bon Odori and samba are, as I now realize, valid forms of traditional music.
As always, with the commitments of the development staffs, the sound team, the project manager, the PR staff, the business staff, and various other people, Echoes of Time was completed. I'm really happy to be involved in the music production of the game and being able to bring this soundtrack to you. Please enjoy it a lot. I hope the music brings good memories.
Editor's Note: Bon Odori is a Japanese Buddhist folk dance. Yukemori Murder is a cheesy murder mystery series in Japan.
Liner Notes Translated by Cedille. Do not republish without written permission.