Saori Kobayashi photo courtesy of the composer
Saori Kobayashi

Born: July 31 Yokohama City, Kanagawa Japan
Education:
Musashino University of Music, Piano major
First Game Worked on:
Inspector Gadget (HUDSON)
Favorite Drink:
Japanese Sake
Favorite Food:
Italian, Ethnic
Hobbies:
Car driving
Influences:
Lots of people
Favorite Game(s):
AZEL-Panzer Dragoon Saga, Metal Gear Solid, Genso Suikoden, Vandal Hearts
Favorite Movies: Braveheart
Studio Gear: AKAI CD3000XL, Roland XV5050, E-Mu Vintage Keys, etc.
Sound Tools: Logic Audio Platinum

Credits Include:
INSPECTOR GADJET (SNES)
Deep Duck Trouble (GAME GEAR)
Sylvan Tale (GAME GEAR)
Sonic Drift 2 (GAME GEAR)
Let's Make Pro Soccer Team (SEGA SATURN)
AZEL-Panzer Dragoon Saga (SEGA SATURN)
SHADOWGATE 64 (Nintendo 64)




RocketBaby: At what age did you become interested in music?

Saori Kobayashi: I'm not sure. I guess since the day I was born. I was into music before
I realized it.

RB: How did you get started in the game making business?

SK: I used to work as a freelance composer. During that time, a friend of mine in the
music business gave me a job creating game music. In 1993, I got to know the people of SEGA's
sound team, and I had an offer to work with them.

RB: How will Panzer Dragoon: Orta's music be different from the other games in the series?

SK: The big difference is the way music is generated. "Zwei" and "Azel"'s music was
played by the Saturn's sound chip. "Orta"'s music was all recorded in studio.
The music in "Zwei" and "Azel" had imaginary-regional tones, which were coincidentally
made by the Saturn's sound hardware limitations. They gave a distinctive atmospheric
feeling to help making up the Panzer world. So, in the way how music was made,
"Orta" was closer to the first "Panzer Dragoon". But musically, "Orta" was based
on and expanded from "Zwei" and "Azel"'s music.

RB: What was your initial reaction to receiving this assignment?

SK: Personally, I loved the Panzer world, so I felt really honored to work on the
music of the series again.

RB: How do you interact with the director or designer of the game. How do you translate their
musical vision?

SK: I didn't have much time to interact with them. They gave me the story and
backgrounds for each stage, then I imagined how the game will be, and it was
up to me to represent it in a musical way. I guess how the director's vision of the world
and my musical vision match together in the game, is up to the each game player to judge.
But the theme song's structure was made as the director requested.


"I've never worked outside Japan.
Now I'm working freelance again, so I'd love to take offers from overseas."

-Saori Kobayashi 2003

RB: What is your process for creating music?

SK: When I'm not working with PC, I listen to many kinds of music. Then I turn on my
PC and start composing, I try to make a lot of phrases and patterns. Pick the good ones and
arrange them on the sequencer. But good melodies don't come every time I compose.
Sometimes they come easily, sometimes I anguish hours sitting in front of my keyboards.

RB: Can you share some thoughts about working on Azel:Panzer Dragoon?

SK: "Azel" was an RPG and I had to make a lot of tunes. So I came up with a method of making
themes for each of the important characters and backgrounds, then make many variations.
In a way, it was easy to make tunes with this idea. But in other way, the amount of tunes
I had to make were too many, in the end, I thought my composing ability had drained out.

RB: What game genre do you like best for creating music?

SK: I like RPG's. I like games with a deep story line. In fact, any genre of games
with deep story line, whether action or shooting, I'd love to work on.

RB: What advice would you give to those who want to create music for video games?

SK: Listen to many kinds of music. A lot of them.

RB: Any Final thoughts?

SK: Please enjoy the game. Then, please listen to the music. I hope you will find the new way
to enjoy the Panzer world with the music. I feel very lucky to had an opportunity to work on
"Panzer Dragoon Orta". I would like to keep working on projects like this to try expressing my
music.

Translated by Tomonori Sawada


A big thank you to Saori Kobayashi for taking the time to chat. Special thanks to by Tomonori Sawada, Yukifumi Makino, WaveMaster and SEGA.

 

 








 

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