Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top Five Composers

Music continues to be the focus of this week. We've been through my favorite VGMs, and we've pitted game soundtrack against game soundtrack in the SPC Showdown. Now I'd like to take the time to do a top five list of my favorite composers of all time. These can be composers of any genre whether it be rock, classical, jazz, and more, and these can be in games, movies, anime, or for concert performance. I'm sure you'll have some words to say to my choices, so as always let me know what you think in the comments section. I say that ahead of time this go around.

5) Yasunori Mitsuda

Famed Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and Xenogears composer, Yasunori Mitsuda is an underrated composer in my opinion. He doesn't get enough credit-- and he already gets a lot of credit! His music moves me in ways that I didn't think was possible by sound, but he has done it time and time again with his magical melodies and great atmospheric tunes. These examples help support my claim as you'll probably agree.

4) Motoi Sakuraba

Motoi Sakuraba has an impressive roster of soundtracks under his metaphorical belt. From Star Ocean to Valkyrie Profile to Camelot's sports titles to Tales of Symphonia and Vesperia, his reach goes above and beyond most composers. Two of my favorite soundtracks come from him-- Star Ocean: The Second Story and Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. It's his musical style that I really admire. Take a gander at the following examples to experience the magic of Motoi yourself.

3) John Williams

Known as the master when it comes to motion picture music composition, John Williams' resume is a lengthy and highly-respectable one. There's the Star Wars saga, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Home Alone, and countless other memorable masterpieces. His pension for creating iconic themes for movies is topped by no other, and hopefully the following examples prove why.

2) Nobuo Uematsu

The king of video game music composition, Nobuo Uematsu is most famously known for his work on the Final Fantasy series. He has since left Square-Enix to form him company where he most recently works with Final Fantasy creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi on various Mistwalker-related projects like Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey and the Last Story. Hear some of his works with the following examples.

1) Yoko Kanno

The queen of music composition, I watch certain anime only because she composed the music for it. Otherwise I would have never given Wolf's Rain or Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex any sort of chance. My first run-in with Mrs. Kanno came during Cowboy Bebop when it originally premiered on Adult Swim, back when it was on Sunday nights. I'm taking the O.G. Adult Swim with "everybody out of the pool" as the tagline. Through her ability to compose music from various genres whether it be rock, rap, jazz, hip-hop, pop, heavy metal, or whatever else you can think up, Yoko Kanno reigns supreme. Here's but a sampling of her work.

Zero Signal

That's it. There's another list put out to pasture. Who are your favorite composers? Perhaps you truly like less modern composers and like a little Bach or Mozart? Let me know in the comments section.

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