Nobuo Uematsu's music is truly incredible. He IS the definition of "Final Fantasy music." Many people, as mentioned in the FF Music VIPs section, have had the pleasure of working with Uematsu and his music. Many have helped him explore new musical areas and come up with new ideologies. Many, like the FF divas, have helped his work become complete by singing the melodies he has created. Not all who work with Uematsu's music, however, can truly capture its grandeur. One specific VIP has proven that he can...
Shiro Hamaguchi, a man who is one of the most important people Uematsu works with. Haven't heard of Hamaguchi? Did you like the orchestrated tracks on "Final Fantasy VII: Reunion Tracks?" Hamaguchi was the man responsible for arranging them. What makes Hamaguchi so valuable to Uematsu is his ability to understand and
transform Uematsu's work. He can take an already good song and arrange it into a great song. After "Reunion Tracks," Hamaguchi's second major task was "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec." The orchestrated tracks in that album (which have received much praise) has revealed his work a little better. Because "FLWV" had more of Hamaguchi's arrangements, the listener was able to get to know him better.
Shiro Hamaguchi not only arranges Uematsu's work for orchestra, but for the piano as well. The Final Fantasy VIII and IX "Piano Collections" were arranged by him. Those two piano collections, especially VIII, have also received a lot of great comments. Its obvious that people enjoy Hamaguchi's arrangements without even knowing it. While it is true that Nobuo Uematsu composed the actual music, Hamaguchi progressed and polished it. It will be very interesting to see how Hamaguchi will continue to work with Uematsu's music. Many favorite FF songs among people are FF songs that have been arranged. My personal favorite, "Ending Theme" from the FF X OST, was arranged by Hamaguchi. The latest FF vocal song, "Suteki da Ne," was also arranged by Hamaguchi.
One thing I would like to see in future soundtracks is Hamaguchi's involvement in original soundtracks. Nobuo Uematsu and Shiro Hamaguchi are an unbeatable team and would most certainly produce some of the best music ever heard.