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Motoi Sakuraba (桜庭 統, Sakuraba Motoi, born August 5, 1965) is a Japanese music composer, arranger, and keyboardist known for his numerous musical contributions in video games, anime series, television dramas, and progressive rock solo works.[2][3]

Motoi Sakuraba
Native name 桜庭 統
Born (1965-08-05) August 5, 1965 (age 53)
Akita Prefecture, Japan
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • composer
  • arranger
Instruments
Years active 1984–present[1]
Labels TEAM Entertainment
Associated acts Shinji Tamura
Masaaki Uno

Contents

CareerEdit

Sakuraba was born in Akita Prefecture, Japan. While attending Meiji University, Sakuraba began to take music composition seriously, and eventually formed the progressive rock band "Clashed Ice" in 1984, consisting of him on keyboards and Genta Kudo on drums and vocals.[1] After the duo had graduated the following year, they were noticed by music producer Shingo Ueno, and ending up signing with Made in Japan Records. The band had then added bassist Tetsuya Nagatsuma, and was renamed as "Deja Vu".[1][4] In 1988, the band would release their only studio album, Baroque in the Future, composed entirely by Sakuraba.[1] Although the band disbanded in 1989, Sakuraba would later go on to release a similar-sounding solo album, Gikyokuonsou, in 1991.

In late 1989, Sakuraba began working as a composer for Wolf Team, joining Masaaki Uno and Yasunori Shiono. The professional friendships formed here in Sakuraba's early years have resulted in a great demand for his composing and arranging abilities. In 1994, former Wolf Team director and composer Masaaki Uno started working at Camelot Software Planning as a coordinator and sound director, developing games for Sony, Sega and Nintendo. Sakuraba has been called upon as a composer for many Camelot games, including all of the games in the Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, and Golden Sun series.

In 1995, Wolf Team developed the breakthrough game Tales of Phantasia for Namco. This and other early games in the Tales series primarily featured Sakuraba and fellow Wolf Team composer Shinji Tamura as composers. Also in 1995, former Wolf Team director and producer Jun Asanuma, as well as Tales of Phantasia writer and programmer Yoshiharu Gotanda, founded tri-Ace with financial backing from Enix. The Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile games have been their keystone productions. Sakuraba has been the composer for nearly all of their games, with only a few exceptions.

In 1999, long time Sakuraba sound designer and programmer Hiroya Hatsushiba, a former member of Wolf Team and tri-Ace, founded tri-Crescendo. While initially continuing to contribute sound work to tri-Ace games, tri-Crescendo began game development in 2001. Together with Monolith Soft, tri-Crescendo started working on Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean; Namco provided the financial backing. Hatsushiba, as director and main programmer of the project, again called upon Sakuraba's composing services. This has extended to the sequel, Baten Kaitos Origins, and Eternal Sonata. The remnants of Wolf Team later morphed into the Namco Telenet joint subsidiary Namco Tales Studio in 2003.

In 2007, Sakuraba was selected to join a long list of video game composers to arrange music for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He chose to arrange the famous "Menu Theme" from the game's predecessor, Super Smash Bros. Melee. He also arranged "Gourmet Race" from Kirby Super Star, "Jungle Level Ver.2" from Donkey Kong Country, "Mario Tennis / Mario Golf" from Mario Tennis and Mario Golf, "Victory Road" from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the "Airship Theme" from Super Mario Bros. 3, the "Battlefield Theme", "Final Destination", and "Battle Scene / Final Boss (Golden Sun)" from Golden Sun: The Lost Age.

In more recent years, Sakuraba has continued to write music for games in franchises he has worked with before, including Star Ocean: The Last Hope,[5] Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, Mario Tennis Open, Mario Golf: World Tour, and many Tales series games, including Hearts, Graces, Xillia, Xillia 2, Zestiria, and Berseria.[5] He has also contributed to other well known games such as the Dark Souls series, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and Phantasy Star Nova.[6][5] In 2014, he was selected to provide musical arrangements for Brawl's successor, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.[7] For this title, Sakuraba arranged "Theme from Area 6 / Missile Slipstream" from Star Fox 64 and Star Fox Command, "Battle! (Team Flare)" from Pokémon X and Y, and "The valedictory elegy" from Baten Kaitos Origins.

In addition to all this, Sakuraba has continued to create solo albums, such as "Forest of glass", "What's up?", and "Passage", as well as lending his arrangement and performance abilities for many doujin styled arrange albums.[5]

Live performancesEdit

During July 2003, Sakuraba held a live concert in Tokyo, Japan. He performed progressive rock interpretations of his music from games Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Star Ocean: The Second Story, Star Ocean: Blue Sphere and Valkyrie Profile. His bandmates for this concert were bassist Atsushi Hasegawa (a member of the band Gerard) and drummer Toshihiko Nakamura. As noted, this concert was released on DVD and CD. At the same time as they were rehearsing for the concert, Hasegawa and Nakamura assisted in recording new material for the Director's Cut of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time.

The following year, the trio performed another concert. The venue was smaller, but included music from Baten Kaitos and a couple of new, non-game-related pieces. This concert was not officially recorded and released, however. However, in 2006, a new concert was given in celebration of tri-Ace's new Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria title. This concert has been released on CD.

On September 17 and 18, 2011, Sakuraba and his band joined up with the Earthbound Papas at Club Citta in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, led by former Final Fantasy series Nobuo Uematsu, to perform at Fantasy Rock Fest 2011. The event featured video game music performances, along with new progressive rock pieces from both bands. The first six tracks that Sakuraba and his band played were sold at the event as a preview CD for his then upcoming solo album After all..., which was officially released by Strange Days Records on October 19, 2011.

On June 6, 2015, Sakuraba performed at the Tales of Festival at the Yokohama Arena, being the first time he performed tracks from the Tales series at a live event.[8] A selection of Sakuraba's music from the Dark Souls and Tales series was performed live at the Salle Pleyel concert hall in Paris in February 2017.[9] The event, known as "Orchestral Memories", featured a guest appearance by Sakuraba.[9]

Musical styleEdit

Sakuraba takes the baroque and melodic Japanese progressive rock of the 1980s and expands it with his own trademark complex rhythms, emotional flutes, use of male choir, and heavy reverb. The lighter side of his style is a crossover between symphonic progressive rock, cinematic orchestra and new age. Sakuraba is also known for introducing many jazz-like improvisations to his music style. In recent years, he has made efforts towards expanding his style even further, becoming an accomplished symphonist and a versatile arranger.[10]

WorksEdit

All works listed below were composed by Sakuraba unless otherwise noted.

Video games
Year Game Notes
1989 Zan: Kagerou no Toki with Masaaki Uno
Arcus II: Silent Symphony with Masaaki Uno and Yasunori Shiono
Arcusyu
1990 Granada with Masaaki Uno
D: European Mirage with Masaaki Uno and Yasunori Shiono
Zan: Yasha Enbukyoku
Ryu: Koku Ki no Ryuu Yori with Masaaki Uno and Yasunori Shiono
Final Zone with Masaaki Uno
Zan Gear Arranged tracks from Zan: Kagerou no Toki
Sol-Feace
Span of Dream Music support
1991 Daitoua Mokujiroku Goh
Arcus Odyssey
Crystal Chaser with Masaaki Uno and Ryota Furuya
El Viento
Zan: Kagerou no Jidai Arranged tracks from Zan: Kagerou no Toki
Arcus III Ryota Furuya
Shinsengumi: Bakumatsu Genshi Gyou
Niko²
Earnest Evans
Tenbu: Sangokushi Seishi with Ryota Furuya
1992 Sol-Deace
Seirei Shinseiki Fhey Area
Suzaku with Ryota Furuya
Zan II: Towns Special
Tenbu Limited with Ryota Furuya
Aisle Lord
Zan II: Spirits
Hiouden with Ryota Furuya
Diamond Players
Cobra Command Composed the ending theme only
Tenbu: Mankan Zenseki
Time Gal Composed the ending theme only
Earnest Evans (Sega Genesis)
Road Avenger
Apros with Ryota Furuya
1993 Neugier: Umi to Kaze no Kodō Sound effects
Annet Futatabi with Shinji Tamura ("Opening")
Devastator with Shinji Tamura and Ryota Furuya
Arcus Spirits
Hiouden II with Shinji Tamura and Ryota Furuya
Zan III: Tenun Ware ni Ari with Shinji Tamura
Ace wo Nerae!
Revenge of the Ninja Sound effects
Yougekitai: Jashin Koumaroku with Shinji Tamura and Ryota Furuya
1994 Hiouden: Mamono-tachi to no Chikai
Zan III Spirits with Shinji Tamura
Cosmic Fantasy 4 with Shinji Tamura, Shingo Murakami, and Jun Hasebe
Tenshi no Uta: Shiroki Tsubasa no Inori with Shinji Tamura
Hiouden II' HD Ryota Furuya
Sankyo Fever! Fever! with Shinji Tamura
The Grail Hunter with Shinji Tamura and Ryota Furuya
1995 Kyoraku Sanyo Toyomaru Parlor Parlor! with Shinji Tamura
Tokyo Twilight Busters with Shinji Tamura and Ryota Furuya
Kyoraku Sanyo Toyomaru Daiichi Maruhon Parlor Parlor! 2 with Shinji Tamura
Beyond the Beyond
Tales of Phantasia with Shinji Tamura and Ryota Furuya
Kyoraku Sanyo Toyomaru Okumura Daiichi Maruhon Parlor Parlor! 4 CR with Shinji Tamura
1996 Kyoraku Sanyo Toyomaru Okumura Taiyou Parlor Parlor! 3
Kyoraku Sanyo Maruhon Parlor Parlor! 5
Parlor! Mini
Parlor! Mini 2
Star Ocean
Parlor! Mini 3 with Shinji Tamura
Parlor! Mini 4
Shining the Holy Ark
1997 Parlor! Mini 5 with Shinji Tamura
Parlor! Mini 6
Everybody's Golf
Parlor! Mini 7 with Shinji Tamura
Shining Force III
Tales of Destiny with Shinji Tamura
1998 Heiwa Parlor! Mini 8 Pachinko Jikki Simulation
Star Ocean: The Second Story
1999 Mario Golf
Cybernetic Empire with Shinji Tamura and Atsushi Horiguchi
Mario Golf GB
Valkyrie Profile
2000 Mario Tennis
Mario Tennis GB
Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon Reused compositions from Tales of Phantasia
Tales of Eternia with Shinji Tamura
2001 Mobile Golf
Star Ocean: Blue Sphere
Golden Sun
2002 Tales of Fandom Vol.1 with Shinji Tamura
Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Tales of Destiny 2 with Shinji Tamura
2003 Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Tales of Symphonia with Shinji Tamura and Takeshi Arai
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean
2004 Mario Golf: Advance Tour
Star Ocean: Till the End of Time: Director's Cut
Mario Power Tennis
Tales of Rebirth with Shinji Tamura
2005 Duel Masters: Birth of Super Dragon
Mario Tennis: Power Tour
Tales of the Abyss with Shinji Tamura
2006 Baten Kaitos Origins
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth
Tales of Eternia Online
Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria
Tales of the Tempest
Tenshou Gakuen Gekkouroku
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology with Takuya Yasuda and Go Shiina
2007 Eternal Sonata
Drone Tactics
We Love Golf!
Star Ocean: First Departure
2008 Super Smash Bros. Brawl Arranged seven tracks
The Idolmaster Live For You! Composed "Contradiction"
Star Ocean: Second Evolution
Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World with Shinji Tamura
Tales of Vesperia with Shinji Tamura
Infinite Undiscovery
Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume
Otomedius G Arranged two tracks
Tales of Hearts with Shinji Tamura and Hiroshi Tamura
2009 Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2 with various others
Star Ocean: The Last Hope
Half-Minute Hero with various others
Tales of VS.
Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga
Tales of Graces with Shinji Tamura
2010 Resonance of Fate with Kohei Tanaka
Deathsmiles IIX: Makai no Merry Christmas Composed "Boss"
Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X with Shinji Tamura
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Tales of Graces f with Shinji Tamura
2011 Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 3 with various others
Otomedius Excellent
Half-Minute Hero: The Second Coming
Tales of Xillia
Dark Souls
Shinra Bansho Frontier
2012 Beyond the Labyrinth
Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave with Go Shiina
Kid Icarus: Uprising with Yuzo Koshiro, Masafumi Takada, Noriyuki Iwadare, Takahiro Nishi, and Yasunori Mitsuda
GuitarFreaksXG3 & DrumManiaXG3 Composed "Hard distance"
Mario Tennis Open
Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Composed the main theme
Samurai Empire
Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition
Bravely Default Performed on keyboards
Tales of Xillia 2
2013 Valkyrie Crusade
Tales of Hearts R with Kazuhiro Nakamura
Gitadora Composed "Crazy blooms"
Valhalla Knights 3
Tales of Symphonia Chronicles with Shinji Tamura and Takeshi Arai
2014 Dark Souls II with Yuka Kitamura
Mario Golf: World Tour
Gitadora OverDrive Composed "Quarrel and Harmony"
Date A Live: Ars Install Composed the ending theme
Mirror War: Reincarnation of Holiness with Maki Kirioka and Manabu Namiki
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Arranged three tracks
Skylock: Kamigami to Unmei no Itsutsuko
Phantasy Star Nova
2015 Tales of Zestiria with Go Shiina
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin with Yuka Kitamura
God Chronicle
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash
Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky
2016 Dark Souls III with Yuka Kitamura, Tsukasa Saitoh and Nobuyoshi Suzuki
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
Valkyrie Anatomia: The Origin
Valkyrie Connect
Tales of Berseria
Star Ocean: Anamnesis[11]
2017 Mario Sports Superstars
2018 Mario Tennis Aces
Varnir of the Dragon Star[12]
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom with Yuzo Koshiro, Michiru Yamane, Keiki Kobayashi, Takeshi Yanagawa, and Haruka Shimotsuki
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate arrangements with various others
Anime/television
Year Game Notes
1998 Cyber Bishoujo Telomere
1999 Vanny Knights
2000 Gensomaden Saiyuki with Kenichi Kurosawa
2001 Star Ocean EX
2002 Atashin'chi
Weiß Kreuz Glühen
2003 Pluster World
2004 Umigame to Shonen
2008 Tales of the Abyss
2016 Tales of Zestiria the X with Go Shiina
Films
Year Game Notes
2001 Blue Remains with Yuko Fukushima
Saiyuki: Requiem
2007 Diatom 4
Solo/live/other
Year Game Role Co-worker(s)
1988 Progressive's Battle 1988 Composition/arrangement
Deja-Vu: resurraction "LAST LIVE" Composition/arrangement
1989 Baroque in the Future Composition/arrangement
Crime Syndicate Composition/arrangement
(2 tracks)
with various others
Pazzo Fanfano di Musica Composition/arrangement
("Fragoroso")
1990 Kings' Boards Composition/arrangement
("Drama Composition")
1991 Gikyokuonsou Composition/arrangement
1996 @MIDI's summer Composition/arrangement
("Psychosomatics")
with various others
1998 Le Meilleur Du Rock Progressif Japonais Composition/arrangement
("Tides Of History")
@MIDI's dance Composition/arrangement
("planetarium ~more "D" mix~")
Star Ocean: The Second Story Arrange Album Arrangement
1999 @MIDI's battle Composition/arrangement
("Taepodong")
with various others
2000 Valkyrie Profile Arrange Album Arrangement
@MIDI's freedom Composition/arrangement
(4 tracks)
with various others
2001 Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children Game Music Arrange Tracks Arrangement Tomoyuki Hamada
2003 Star Ocean: Till the End of Time Arrange Album Arrangement
Motoi Sakuraba Live Concert Star Ocean & Valkyrie Profile Arrangement/performance
2004 Famicom 20th Anniversary Arrange Sound Tracks Arrangement
("Super Mario Bros.")
with various others
Dark Chronicle Premium Arrange Arrangement
(2 tracks)
Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Premium Arrange Arrangement
("The whole new world")
2006 FM Sound Module Maniax Composition/arrangement
("Reminiscence")
Rogue Galaxy Premium Arrange Arrangement
("Valkog's Theme")
Kiri no Mukou ni Tsunagaru Sekai / Haruka Shimotsuki + Revo Performance
(Keyboards)
Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria Arrange Album Arrangement
Motoi Sakuraba Live 2006 -Valkyrie Profile 2- Arrangement/performance
2008 Forest of glass Composition/arrangement
Red Stone Original Soundtrack Arrangement
("Legend of Red Stone (Arr. version)")
Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard Super Arrange Version Arrangement
("Battlefield - Scatter About")
with various others
Tales of Series Battle Arrange Tracks Arrangement
Tales of Series Piano Arrange Tracks Arrangement
Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume Arrange Album Arrangement
Message Composition/arrangement
("image ~imagery~")
with various others
2009 Star Ocean: The Last Hope Arrange Soundtrack Arrangement
DoDonPachi DaiOuJou Arrange Album Arrangement
("Yellow Stream (Last Boss)")
with various others
Mushihimesama Double Arrange Album Arrangement
("Shinju Forest Rebel Army?")
2010 Dariusburst Remix Wonder World Arrangement
("The Battle is Now in Progress")
2011 Akumajo Dracula Tribute Vol.1 Arrangement
("Beginning")
After all... Composition/arrangement
GeOnDan Super Rare Trax: The Land of Rising Sun Composition/arrangement
("Echidna")
with various others
Tales of Series Battle Arrange Tracks 2 Arrangement
2012 Ragnarok Online BGM Arrange Collection Arrangement
("Erebos' Prelude")
with various others
2013 What's up? Composition/arrangement
Valhalla Knights 3 Arrange Soundtrack Arrangement
Passage Composition/arrangement
Game Music Prayer Composition/arrangement
("Megrim Ver.2")
with various others
Ragnarok Online Elemental Tunes Arrangement
("TeMPlatonic")
2014 Game Music Prayer II Composition/arrangement
("Hikari wo Sagashite")
Monster Hunter 10th Anniversary Compilation Album Arrangement
("Intercepting the Great Gong")
X'mas Collections music from Bravely Default Arrangement
("Horizon of Light and Shadow / X'mas Edit")
2015 GUILTY7 Composition/arrangement
Fantasy Rock Overture Composition/arrangement
("Pensiero Illogico")
with various others

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Chris, Greening. "Motoi Sakuraba Profile". Video Game Music Online. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Person, Chris. "From Dark Souls to Valkyrie Profile: The Motoi Sakuraba Mixtape". Kotaku. Retrieved 15 July 2017. 
  3. ^ Urrea, Sebastian. "Composer Analysis: Motoi Sakuraba Composer Analysis: Motoi Sakuraba". Original Sound Version. Retrieved 15 July 2017. 
  4. ^ http://www.team-e.co.jp/sakuraba/sakura_pro.html
  5. ^ a b c d Kotowski, Don. "Motoi Sakuraba Interview: Diverse New Projects". Video Game Music Online. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  6. ^ Tong, Sophia. "Sound Byte: Meet the Composer of Dark Souls". GameSpot. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "Musicians who worked on new arrangements for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U versions". SmashBros.com. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "Tales of Festivle 2015 Cast". Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Osborn, Alex. "Dark Souls to Be Featured in Bandai Namco's Orchestral Concert in Europe". IGN. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  10. ^ Greening, Chris. "Motoi Sakuraba Profile". Game Music Online. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Romano, Sal (October 18, 2016). "Star Ocean: Anamnesis has four-player multiplayer battles". Gematsu. Retrieved October 23, 2016. 
  12. ^ Romano, Sal. "Compile Heart announces Varnir of the Dragon Star for PS4". Gematsu. Retrieved 21 June 2018. 

External linksEdit