Nobuo Uematsu (植松 伸夫; Uematsu Nobuo) (born March 21, 1959) is a Japan|Japanese composer of video game music, and one of the most well-known, prolific, and versatile in the field. He has composed music for the Final Fantasy series of games, and some of the pieces in the game Chrono Trigger, by the company Squaresoft. King's Knight is the first video game he ever composed music for.
Born in Kochi, Kochi|Kouchi City, Kochi prefecture, Japan, Uematsu began to play the piano when he was twelve years old (his greatest role model early in life was Elton John) and is self taught. He attended the University of Kanagawa although his major was not music. Uematsu has no formal musical training. At age 22, he began to play the keyboard, and four years later was hired by Squaresoft to write music for video games. The style of his compositions range from stately classical music|classical-like pieces, to subtle, mysteriously beautiful sorts of music sometimes described as "New-Age", to hyper-percussive techno-electronica, similar in sound to some music by the band Emerson Lake and Palmer|Emerson, Lake and Palmer, one of his stated influences, to the occasional instance of some completely different and unexpected category.
In 2003 Uematsu expanded his horizons yet again when he formed The Black Mages, and released an album of new versions of his classic Final Fantasy pieces. The Black Mages, in which Uematsu himself played keyboards are a group of technically accomplished rock musicians who reinterpreted and expanded on the original compositions found in the popular computer role-playing game|role-playing game series. In the same year, for the first time ever his music from Final Fantasy was performed in a symphonic game music concert outside of Japan. It took place as the official opening ceremony of Europe's biggest trading fair for video games, the GC Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany.
Uematsu's music has been a large part of the Final Fantasy franchise's great popularity in the United Kingdom and the United States. In the 2004 Summer Olympics, the United States synchronized swimming duet of Alison Bartosik and Anna Kozlova won the bronze medal using two of his pieces from Final Fantasy VIII in the second half of their routine.
As of 2004, Nobuo Uematsu lives in Japan with his wife Reiko and his dog Pao.
On November 1, 2004, Uematsu amicably parted ways with Square Enix. He has formed his own company called Smile Please, which will compose music for various video game companies, including Square Enix and Mist Walker.
Video game soundtracks
- King's Knight (1986)
- Apple Town Monogatari
- Hanjuku Eiyuu (NES)
- Square's Tom Sawyer
- Rad Racer (1987)
- Final Fantasy I (1987)
- Final Fantasy II (1988) - Rescored by Tsuyoshi Sekito on the Wonderswan Color and PlayStation versions (2000, 2002)
- Makaitoushi SaGa (a.k.a. Final Fantasy Legend) (1989)
- Final Fantasy III (1990)
- SaGa 2 Hihou Densetsu (a.k.a. Final Fantasy Legend 2) (1991)
- Hataraku Chocobo
- Cleopatra no Mahou
- Cruise Chaser Blassty
- Final Fantasy IV (1991)
- Final Fantasy V (1992)
- Romancing SaGa 2 (1993) - With Kenji Ito
- Final Fantasy VI (1993)
- Chrono Trigger (1995) - With Yasunori Mitsuda and Noriko Matsueda (also with Tsuyoshi Sekito for PlayStation version)
- Front Mission: Gun Hazard (1997) - With Yasunori Mitsuda and Junya Nakano
- Chocobo's Dungeon 2
- Final Fantasy VII (1997)
- Final Fantasy VIII (1999)
- Final Fantasy IX (2000)
- Final Fantasy X (2001) - With Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano
- Hanjuku Eiyuu Tai 3D (2002)
- Final Fantasy XI (2002) - With Naoshi Mizuta and Kumi Tanioka
- Tales of Symphonia (2004)
- Final Fantasy XII (2005) - With Hitoshi Sakimoto
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (1996) - Music from Final Fantasy IV arranged by Yoko Shimomura
- Ehrgeiz (1998) - Music from Final Fantasy VII arranged by Takayuki Nakamura
- Final Fantasy: Pray (1990) - With Risa Ohki
- Final Fantasy: Love Will Grow (1995) - With Risa Ohki
- 20020220: Music from Final Fantasy (Orchestrated)
- The Black Mages
- The Black Mages II - The Skies Above
- Nobuo Uematsu's official Japanese website
- Nobuo Uematsu's official English website
- Unofficial Nobuo Uematsu website
- Video game music in MIDI format, including Nobuo Uematsu pieces
- Remixes of Nobuo Uematsu music
This is the Chrono Compendium's extra information complementing the Wikipedia entry.
Track Credits (Chrono Trigger)
17. Silent Light
18. Boss Battle 1
25. Mystery of the Past
27. People Who Threw Away the Will to Live
31. Bike Chase
39. Underground Sewer
41. Primitive Mountain
44. Burn! Bobonga!
49. Tyran Castle
54. Sealed Door