Terra: It’s a very short track, but, I think I was able to express the kind of person Terra is, haha, singing my own praises here. This song was born from the main melody of ‘Fate of the Unknown’. The image in my head that corresponds to that musical phrase is ‘power’. ‘Power’ is sometimes strong, sometimes gentle, sometimes fragile, and sometimes invites ruin and destruction. For that that ‘power’ to somehow advance you on the right path, and show you the right path. That’s what I pray. –Yoko Shimomura
Ventus: This song is also a combo song. I had actually been writing a completely fresh song when direction came from Mr Tetsu to make “a song that is Roxas and Sora’s themes added together, but not obviously, so it feels like a new song”… (needless to say, I thought, ughh, tell me that before I start! Haha). Seeing as I was dressing up the connected melodies of two themes as one new song (haha), I put my whole heart into making sure it didn’t sound strained, but the Sora melody on piano that comes in at about 0:31 and the Sora melody on oboe from 0:58~on happened extremely naturally. As if any other way than having that play there was unthinkable. That sort of feeling. And then, I also went with a variation of the ‘Dearly Beloved’ phrase played surreptitiously on piano in the background. –Yoko Shimomura
Enter the Darkness: Enter the Darkness is a song with many components, which I think makes it a song that fills you with strength especially for fighting the last boss. I contributed some of the songs from Birth by Sleep. My involvement began with a single phone call from Kawamori of the sound staff, saying “can you help?”. My suprised reaction of “What, not me??” was met with a no, “we’re going with you, Ishimoto”. We began sort of like, “okay, but I want to choose which tracks I do”. In the beginning I was quite anxious, but with the way it turned out, I am now filled with gladness that we did it that way. It’s always great to have a chance to try new things, and I’ve learned that it’s important to take that first step without complaint.
More importantly, it even made it safely through this poll onto the CD, chosen by the fans, and that makes me happier than anything. –Takeharu Ishimoto
Aqua: Just like ‘Terra’, this song was born from ‘Fate of the Unknown’. I absolutely wanted to use a particular piano phrase from around the middle of ‘Fate of the Unknown’. When I first made the demo I used piano for the main, and it was a relatively uninspiring, easy song. They requested that they wanted me to “have it make you feel more determination”… I listened to the tune play for a while, and then I thought of using cello for the melody. The timbre of the cello conveyed for me that degree of power and heartbreak. For some mysterious reason, when I want this sort of timbre, the cello is absolutely irreplaceable with any other instrument. –Yoko Shimomura
Dismiss: Yes, another combo song. What’s with this parade of combos, haha. This is the phrase from ‘Destati’ entwined with Terra’s theme. This part was already there when I first began writing this song. It remained the same right to the present form. For me, when I am thinking of how to bring songs together to a certain degree, there are three patterns:
1. When the horizontal aspect (melodic line) is already finished,
2. when the vertical aspect (the way the sounds layer, the counterline etc) composition is already finished, and
3. when both the flow of the horizontal aspect and the composition of the vertical aspect are already finished.
Among these, which do you think is the hardest? The answer is number three. You might be thinking, but if it’s all been thought out already then wouldn’t it be easy! But, it aaall has to play at the same time. Vertical aspect, horizontal aspect, everything. I can’t explain it very well but, disregarding the time axis, there’s the horizontal aspect as the horizontal aspect and the vertical aspect as the vertical aspect and then the shape they complete (the shape of vertical and horizontal properly meshing), everything!! In practice, it means that I gather the melody for the first part inside my head and start writing, but then, inside my head, at the same time as the melody I am currently writing, the portion for the second part is playing all together, haha. I am so slow and bad at gathering it up…… –Yoko Shimomura
Dark Impetus: I have very strong memories to do with this song. I’m very sorry to trouble you with my personal matters, but, at the time, I was confronting a certain problem. I felt like I was caught in this deep deep bottomless darkness, and I couldn’t break out. But, when I began writing this song, for some reason it filled me with incredible strength. I don’t know why, but it pushed me forwards and forwards. Write this song, it said. I thought I was caught in that darkness, but the song pushed me to the front of that darkness, and I got my footing back. It’s a strange story, isn’t it. Is that what ‘drastic treatment’ is? (I don’t think so… haha) Of course, it goes without saying that this song was also first written under the conditions of “It’s for a mystery man so it’s a mystery!” haha. –Yoko Shimomura