TOTW: Nobuo Uematsu_ The Oath

This week I’m going back to the world of video games but with an alternative look at their Music.

Nobuo Uematsu is one of the legends of video game music and anyone slightly interested in the medium will know his work on the Final Fantasy series. Since the early days on consoles, with simple 8-bit sound chips that could only handle 5 sound channels right through to the CD era with its unlimited possibilities. He has managed to create music of a grand scale, almost orchestral in nature. He gave some of the biggest games of their time an authenticity of grandeur. Creating the equivalent of a hollywood blockbuster soundtrack with little more than his own creativity and a limited palate of equipment.

What amazes me about his work, especially as the games progressed, is just how much quality content he could create in a limited time frame. As the final fantasy series got larger and more ambitious so did his scores and during the Playstation one era the release of Final Fantasy 7,8 and 9 became epic in scale including sound. He concluded his exclusive scoring of the series with Final Fantasy 9 which consists of over 140 pieces of music all written by him in a year time period. A truly momentus achievement.

The Quality of the melody’s construction in his work, have allowed it to be arranged into music for both piano and the full orchestra. The music many people as children imagined as grand orchestral compositions, can now be heard in that way thanks to several CD’s and live performances.

The Oath is a track From Final Fantasy 8 and a personal favourite. A perfect example of his work arranged for orchestra: