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Atsushi Fukai
Kota Hoshino

Born: April 23, 1975 Tokyo, Japan
Surugadai University
Favorite Drink:
Favorite Food:
Favorite Game:
NBA Live series
Favorite Music:
Techno, Hiphop, Classical, Jazz, Bjork, Radiohead, The Cranberries, U2, NumberGirl.
Favorite Movie:
Stanley Kubric films

Sound Tools: Steinberg CUBASE VST, SONIC FOUNDRY Soundforge
Studio Gear: Apple PowerbookG3 400, Endevor Pro-600L, Korg Trinity, CLAVIA nordlead2, AKAI S3000XL, YAMAHA FS1R, YAMAHA O1V

Official website:
From Software
E-Mail: Webmas@fromsoftware.co.jp

KurikuriMix (2001;PS2) Sound Producer
Armored Core 2 (2000.08;PS2) Composer
Evergrace (2000.04;PS2) Composer, Sound Producer
Frame Gride (1999.07;DC) Theme
Echo Night 1 & 2 (1998 PSX) Composer End Theme
SPRIGGAN -Luna Verse- (1999 PSX) Composer, SE
Shadow Tower (1998 PSX) Composer
Armored Core Master of Arena
( 1998 PSX) Composer

RocketBaby: When and why did you start working for From Software?

Kota Hoshino: I've been working for From Software since spring of 1998 because I thought my music and their pictures would be in harmony.

RB: What did you do before working at From Software?

KH: I was a student.

RB: How did you create the music for "Evergrace"?

KH: I created it on condition that the sound would be played by PS2. It was like spreading sound materials and reconstructing them.

RB:What are the ethnic instruments and themes used in "Evergrace" and why did you select them?

KH: At the beginning, I was thinking of expressing the "Voice". I recorded my voice and some sample voices to my hard disk and then edited them with Soundforge. It finally became the voice (sound) that you can hear in opening of Evergrace. After I created the voice, I got some more voice samples from a sampling CD that expressed Ethnic feelings (meaning non-Asian), and I kept editing them. The themes of Evergrace are expressed by sounds that I like. I thought it was Ethnic music, but some people said it sounded like Asian, so I thought it was interesting. The pipe sound was actually created from Shakuhachi (a Japanese instrument) and I also used Shamisen (a Japanese instrument). This is why they thought it sounded like Asian.

RB: How did you create your melodies for Evergrace?

KH: I wanted to create Pop music, but not with Pop music style. I tried to express the verge between Pop and non-Pop music.

Evergrace "Folk Music"Evergrace "Expression IV"
Click images to hear Real Audio samples

RB: What is the percentage of real instruments to sampled instruments used in Evergrace and what instruments did you sample?

KH: The Voice is the only real instrument except for instruments that I already have. Most of percussion is taken from a sampling CD.

RB: Any other details you wish to express out Evergrace?

KH: I worked on Evergrace as a sound producer and wrote all the music. I could write as I liked, which made me appreciate all of the music. But, you know, it was really hard work physically.

RB: What were your first impressions of the PSX2?

KH: I think PS2 is very delicate console. Although it's still immature, I expect a lot from it.

RB: What were your influences for Armored Core 2?

KH: Playing Armored Core 2 was fun and it was good influence.

RB: Did you work closely with Mijk Van Dijk and what did you think of his music?

KH: From the beginning I like techno/club music, so before I met him, I already knew his music and listened to it. He gave me mental stimulus. His music makes me happy and that's why I like his music.

RB: How does the music for Armored Core 2 differ from the original "AC?"

KH: For me, it is my role. I've been working on the Armored Core series since Armored Core Master of Arena. I tried creating better music that's based on other games in the "AC" series. Armored Core 2 has Mijk Van Dijk and Tsukasa Saitoh, so it has enough quality music. So I created different kinds of music from them.

RB: What time periods did you work on Evergrace and Armored Core 2? How were you able to create such different styles of music?

KH: I worked on Evergrace from the end of 1999 to the spring of 2000. I worked on Armored Core 2 from June 2000. I'm not sure how I could create different styles of music but I'm sure I can create them. That is why I'm working for From Software.

Arrmored Core 2 "Beatmask"Arrmored Core 2 "Mint"
Click on images to hear Real Audio music samples

RB: What are your strongest and weakest skills as a composer and musician?

KH: For my strongest point, I have a great opportunity to meet people that give me good influences. For my weakest skill, I cannot read music so I'm not pleased to create orchestral scores.

RB: How does game music compare to other genres of music?

KH: I personally think game music is not established so clearly. It is hard to compare game music to other genre of music. But if we keep pursuing it, we can establish it and we should work hard to do that!

RB: Do you have a favorite game composer and why?

KH: Mr. Mitsuda, the composer of Chrono Cross, is a good composer. Listening to his main melody, I thought it was good music and I liked its simplicity. I also like Tsukasa Saitoh, a member of our sound team. Mr.Saitoh created music for AC2 that made some people think they were Mijk's.

RB: What was your experience working on Frame Gride for the Dreamcast?

KH: I worked on Frame Gride as a composer and sound effects creator. Because I did not see any of the Dreamcast specific tools, I did not realize I was working on Dreamcast.

RB: Can you share some of your experiences on the following Playstation games?

Echo Night series
KH: For the first Echo Night, Tsukasa Saitoh composed the opening title music, our boss Mr. Segawa composed the in-game music, and I composed the ending title music. The difference between the first and second games are our music and Yuji "KANDA UK" Kanda's music.

Echo Night CD "Ending Theme"
Click on image to hear Real Audio music sample

KH: It was my first time to work as a sound producer. The sound effects were harder than writing the music.

Shadow Tower
It was my first assignment after joining From Software. Since Shadow Tower doesn't have music in the game, there is not a lot of my music. On a side note, Evergrace contains some of the music that I originally created for Shadow Tower.

RB: What is your favorite console to work on and why?

KH: It is the PS2. It was hard to handle, but as I repeated my trial and error, I felt a strong attachment to it.

RB: Any advice for those who want to create game music?

KH: I think it would be beneficial if you can get influences from anything or people who can create things (I don't mean "music").

RB: Any last words?

KH: I'm very much interested in expressing "Reality." Everything that is made of "Reality" has a great power, even if it stands in a different position. It is great fun for me to try to create such things.

RocketBaby would like to thank Mr. Hoshino for taking time to answer our questions. Special thanks to From Software and Noriko Ozaki.

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Music used by permission of From Software.



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