Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Nobuo Uematsu takes third place in Classic FM's Hall of Fame

Anyone who's enjoyed a Final Fantasy game probably owes a lot to Nobuo Uematsu.  Credited by many for legitimizing video game music as an accepted artform and genre, Uematsu's work on the Final Fantasy series is nothing short of staggering.

This is why it's no surprise that a recent poll of music aficionados conducted by Classic FM placed Nobuo Uematsu in the #3 spot in their Hall of Fame.

Finishing ahead of 296 other composers and behind Ralph Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending and Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, the recognition for Uematsu's peerless work on the music of the Final Fantasy franchise is an extremely impressive accomplishment.

On earlier Final Fantasy games, Uematsu found ways to make the chiptune of the Famicon sing in a way that few thought possible (Rebel Army and Matoya's Cave are great examples of his early work).  With Final Fantasy VI, his music was finally given a chance to take center stage in a game with the immortal Opera House scene and many gamers consider Aerith's Theme from FFVII to be almost sacrosanct.

And as the technology driving games continued to improve, so too did the intricacy of Uematsu's work. Bleeps and midis were replaced by tender melodies delicately interwoven with supporting orchestrations and live vocals.  By the time Final Fantasy X rolled around, no one was questioning Uematsu's prominence as a modern composer.

Yet Uematsu didn't carry the banner of video game music alone on Classic FM's poll.  Skyrim composer Jeremy Soule secured the #5 spot in the Hall of Fame for his work on The Elder Scrolls series which is also quite impressive.

If Classic FM's poll holds any sway, then hopefully the recognition of these two composers by their fans and music mavens the world over should help kibosh any arguments against video games being acknowledge as art.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have 25 years of Uematsu's back catalog to reminisce to.