Yasunori Mitsuda, born in Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture on January 21st, 1972, was raised in Kumake. Although not exposed to music much during his childhood, he gained interest through his sister during his tenure in elementary school, and decided to learn to play the piano. He would also participate in athletics with a natural talent: swimming and track and field; however, Mitsuda-san had a severe disinterest in practicing. His piano lessons would remain at a standstill and he would fail to produce any significant results during athletic competitions.
Nearing high school graduation, Mitsuda-san planned on pursuing his passion for golf, but his father discouraged him. He disclaimed how professional golfers are trained from childhood “like Tiger Woods.” He followed another dream instead.
Beguiled by Vangelis’ work on Blade Runner and the works of Henry Mancini, he was determined to compose music for films, music that would challenge their talent. Encouraged by his father, he moved to Tokyo to enroll in a junior college of music (his lack of previous experience in music deterred him from entering a college.)
His life at college was arduous. Mitsuda-san worked strenuous hours to make up for his lack of knowledge. He also slogged as an unpaid roadie to his teachers, who were part-time instructors with careers in the industry. During these two years, he was often chastised by his own professors; the success rate of junior college students was incredibly low. The odds against him, he took every opportunity to prove himself, studying at an exhausting degree, as was his nature.
Auditioning for Square
Mitsuda-san had been working closely with one of his teachers during his second year. In January, this teacher asked what his plans were for the job hunting season. Mitsuda-san had not planned anything thoroughly. His teacher turned his attention towards a wanted ad for a video game composer. Hesitant, he sent three demo songs in February for consideration, but received no reply. He telephoned the company for more information and received a hopeful reply. Famed Square composer Nobuo Uematsu was in charge of the hiring process and claimed that three demos were not enough to make a decision. He requested three more pieces. Mitsuda-san hurriedly wrote three more and submitted them by March. This time, the response came in only two days and he was asked to come in for an interview.
Yasunori Mitsuda went into the meeting and faced the company’s sound team, consisting of Nobuo Uematsu, Minoru Akao, Kenji Itoh and Hiroki Kikuta. The process, from Mitsuda-san’s perspective, went badly. He claimed he never played any of the company’s games, nor was he familiar with them, and that he considered this only a step forward toward his true dreams. He immediately regretted his answers and very curt demeanor, and believed the interview went horribly wrong.
In April of 1992, Yasunori Mitsuda was hired as part of Square’s sound team.
Early Work for Square
Although he was hired on as a composer, Yasunori Mitsuda was assigned as the first—and, at the time, only—member of the Sound Engineering Department. His first assignment was to work on the arrangements for Han-juku Hero, written by guest composer Koichi Sugiyama. Despite the exclusive opportunity, Mitsuda-san feared he would always be delegated these tasks while he only wished to compose. This led to a heated debate with Square vice-president Hironobu Sakaguchi, where he demanded he be allowed to write. Days of arguments passed and Mitsuda-san was allowed a chance to prove himself by writing for Square’s next flagship title: Chrono Trigger.
Millennial Fair is the title of the group led by Yasunori Mitsuda for the production of Creid, a Celtic influenced rearrangement of Xenogears tracks. The group is most likely named after the area in Chrono Trigger, for which Mitsuda-san composed and entitled a piece. He has also named his official website: Our Millennial Fair. The site happens to put emphasis on Yasunori Mitsuda's collaborators as well as himself.
Creid was a very well received experience for Yasunori Mitsuda. Tomohiko Kira would return to play on Chrono Cross, and Junko Kudo, the record's lyricist, would have Mitsuda-san produce certain tracks on her own album, Heijitsu Machine. Yasunori Mitsuda has expressed interest in reforming the band for future endeavours, such as a Xenosaga Episode I arrangement, but nothing has yet to flourish.
w/ their associated instruments on record
- Máire Breatnach – fiddle
- Tamao Fujii – percussion
- HATA (Hiroshi Hata) – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric sitar
- Tetsuko "Techie" Honma – vocals
- Maria Kalaniemi – accordion
- KALTA (Hidenobu Ootsuki) – co-arranger, drums, programming
- Laurie Kasza – tin whistle
- Laoise Kelly – Celtic harp
- Tomohiko Kira – bouzouki, electric guitar
- Kimiko Komatsu – chorus
- Haruo Kondo – bag pipes
- Anne-Marie O'Farrell – Celtic harp
- Eimear Quinn – vocals
- Kinya Sogawa – shakuhachi, shinobue
- Davy Spillane – uilleann pipes, low whistle
- Yoko Ueno – chorus
- Hitoshi Watanabe – bass
Discography (Video Game related works)
Other Works & Contributions