Hello! Yoko Shimomura here. Thank you for purchasing this CD!
It’s been 13 years since I was given the task of writing songs for KINGDOM HEARTS. I think it was in 2001. I’ve already mentioned this many times, but the first music I wrote for the series was the one used for the PV, “Destati”. At the time, I thought if it was okay to make such a dark song for a game where Disney characters would be present, as Tetsu-san had ordered. It’s been a long time since then. Time really goes by too fast (laughs).
And after 11 years, the game was beautifully remastered in HD. At first, I was going to leave the original pieces as is. However, I thought it wasn't the right thing to do, since the graphics would become so beautiful (at the time, since the game specifications didn't support streaming, I was making do with little memory to play the songs.
So, that’s what I thought. I pressured myself to do the right thing.
Above everything, it was in HD! I though not to care about storing capacities! (not that it’s ok to completely ignore that). Since it is a streaming reproduction I can play at my best be it an orchestra, piano or guitar. I wanted to do that. I really, really wanted to. Of course I had an affective attachment to the original sound sources whose sound waves I compressed the most I could, put all together like a puzzle and had a really hard time tuning. But I wanted people to play the game with an even better music! That was the natural flow. Then, starting with Mr. Kawashima, who has helped me countless times, I consulted the Sound Members. And finally, I managed to do it! Almost all soundtracks, newly recorded!
Actually, I thought it was nearly impossible to do it. But the the help and enthusiasm from the people around me was outstanding. They often told me “Let’s make an amazing work!”, “You better be prepared, Shimomura-san!” Oh boy…
The thing we most treasured was not to disappoint the fans out there who liked the old music. Unexpectedly, when doing music for games, you’re told a lot things like “hmmm, you shouldn’t have done a musical arrangement.” In order for that not to happen, I really treated the original soundtracks with utmost care while recording them anew.
So, how did it pay off? We, the KINGDOM HEARTS Sound Team have made it with a lot of passion. 11 years’ worth of feelings, along with what we want and need to do from here on. We deliver you this Soundtrack with all of these filled in it.
All the people who have assisted me in the production of 1.5’s music, the instrumentalists and you, who’s acquired this CD. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Now then, once upon a time, when the tempestuous production of KINGDOM HEARTS –HD 1.5 ReMIX- was becoming nothing more than a good memory, I receive a call from the magnificent key person of KINGDOM HEARTS Sound Team: Mr. Kawamori. Ahh, I knew this day was coming. Yes, this day!!
More than anticipation, I was kind already waiting for the blow (laughs). If there is a 1.5, then of course there should be a 2.5, right? But 2.5 has so much music. What am I going to do?? Hmmm, well, let’s think of about when it happens. Yes, only then.
…and that “then” was finally upon me.
The newly recorded music for 1.5 became so popular and I received so many requests to make a Soundtrack. In truth, the circumstances in which we did 1.5’s music were, in various meanings, reckless challenges. So, if that was well received, then, if work on 2.5 started, we’d make it be even better received and it would be easier to make. That’s what I believed. And I was told “you’re recording ALL the music anew, right?” as if it was obvious (laughs).Well, I wanted to but… I did want to do it, but… Somewhere inside me I was like “Ohhhhhh, right….” (laughs).
Don’t get me wrong. I’m really happy. Really really happy!!! …This job is really hard, you know (laughs).
But if I decide I’ll do something, I’ll see it to the end! First I had to decide which instrument of which music should be recorded again. (Including all the different versions, it was more than 100 soundtracks). Well, how should I say it? For example, while cleaning the room I would find really nostalgic stuff and stop working or while throwing manga away I’d starting reading here and there… That situation. “Oh, this is so nostalgic, oh yeah, I remember this one and what we did back then.” I listened to the soundtracks while remembering these kinds of things and when it was over, my Excel list was still empty! Hey, hey, get to work, me!
The most earnest part was that VGO, who was responsible for the musical performance in LIGHTNING RETURNS, offered help. There’s quite a distance from Boston to Tokyo, but nowadays one can be in Tokyo and record in Boston! The advance of technology is amazing. But the recording would start at midnight. I felt the time difference being in Japan. Can’t technology do something about that too? (Laughs)
Well then, even though I had more flexibility than in 1.5, I and the KINGDOM HEARTS Sound Team made the new Soundtracks thinking about making you who play the games happy. I’d be happy if you enjoy the music that links to KHIII.
All the people who have assisted me in the production of 2.5’s music, the instrumentalists and you, who’s acquired this CD. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
David Archuleta, Pikachu, Disney, Frozen and Smash Bros fan :D