KH3 Ultimania: Interview with Yoko Shimomura (Music)
DISCLAIMER: This is only a tentative translation. It is possible there are mistakes.
Previously worked on: All of the KH series, FFXV, Live A Live, Super Mario RPG, Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana, High Score Girl (TV anime)
Q: What do you pay attention to when making the tracks?
A: Being natural. For songs that are blended into each world, and songs that are naturally close to the players' feelings, this is what I am most conscious of.
Q: Please tell us the concept for "Dearly Beloved", which plays on the title screen, for this game.
A: A piano concerto. Tetsu-san (note: this is how she refers to Nomura—cute) ordered it to be based on the Transcendental Etudes (note: a series of 12 compositions by Franz Liszt). In terms of melody, I made it so that when you come to the intro, you think "huh? Is the song different this time?", so I think it's an arrangement that the players most likely didn't expect. It would make me happy if, once you reach the moment it becomes its usual melody, you think "ah, just as I thought, it's this song!".
Q: Which part of this production do you want us to hear?
A: Everything, just everything!! This time around, with the additions of Sekito (Tsuyoshi Sekito) and Ishimoto (Takeharu Ishimoto), who, together with me, were responsible for compositions of the works in the series, many arrangers participated. There are compositions where each one's personal touch shines through, so I would be happy if you can feel the parts that head off in a particular direction. The battle tracks that are arrangements of past tracks are really cool. "Did I really write such a good song? It's so cool it doesn't seem like mine..." is something I ended up saying over and over [laughs].
Q: Please tell us something you won't forget about the development process.
A: The name "Scala ad Caelum" actually first appeared during the 2017 Orchestra World Tour performance in Los Angeles, attached to the orchestra. (note: this was also where a KH3 trailer premiered) It was specified by Tetsu-san, but at the time I thought "what kind of meaning does this have..."
BONUS! "A secret about the game only you know"
For these several years, while the Orchestra World Tour was going all around the world, I created songs in various locations. For example, the songs for Monstropolis were made in a hotel in Europe, and the music box data for the 15th anniversary was made while on a plane heading for Hong Kong.