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Junya Nakano

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Occupation(s)  Composer, arranger
Years active  1992–present

Name  Junya Nakano
Role  Composer
Junya Nakano wwwvgmonlinenetwpcontentuploadsjunyanakanopr

Born  February 28, 1971 (age 44) Kyoto, Japan (1971-02-28)
Instruments  Piano, electronic organ
Albums  Piano Collections: Final Fantasy X
Genres  Ambient music, Video game music
Record labels  Square Enix, DigiCube, NTT Publishing
Similar People  Masashi Hamauzu, Kenichiro Fukui, Nobuo Uematsu, Kumi Tanioka, Noriko Matsueda

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Junya Nakano (仲野 順也, Nakano Jun'ya, born February 28, 1971) is a Japanese video game composer who was employed at Square Enix from 1995 to 2009. He is best known for scoring Threads of Fate and co-composing Final Fantasy X. He has also worked as an arranger for Dawn of Mana and the Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy IV. Nakano has collaborated with his friend and fellow composer Masashi Hamauzu on several games.


He was introduced to music at the age of three when his parents offered him lessons in the electronic organ. After studying composition and arrangement at a vocational school, Nakano worked for Konami from 1991 to 1994, where he scored numerous arcade games. Nakano is noted for his ambient style and for using percussion, timbre, and rhythm in his compositions.

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Junya Nakano was born in Kyoto, Japan. His parents introduced him to music when he was three years old, offering him lessons in the electronic organ through the Yamaha Music Foundation; they also encouraged him to join some brass bands. After playing the 1979 arcade game Lunar Rescue, he developed an interest in video games and subsequently began to enjoy chiptune music. By frequently listening to the radio, he started composing MIDI music using the NEC PC-9801 in 1985. In 1987, he attended a vocational school to study composition and arrangement in hopes of entering the gaming industry. After graduation, he joined the Kobe branch of Konami in 1991, where he contributed music to eight arcade games with several collaborators over a three-year period. Deciding he wanted to create more original music and have a chance to receive individual recognition, Nakano left Konami after completing the score for Golfing Greats 2 in 1994.

Nakano joined Square (now Square Enix) in 1995. He created four pieces for the 1996 video game Front Mission: Gun Hazard, which featured composers Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda, and Masashi Hamauzu. His first solo project came about with Satellaview's Treasure Conflix the same year. In 1996, Nakano joined several of Square's composers to create the soundtrack for the fighting game Tobal No. 1; he contributed three compositions. Hamauzu and Nakano became friends after working on Front Mission: Gun Hazard and Tobal No. 1, and they have later collaborated on several titles. In 1997, Nakano served as synthesizer programmer for the score to Front Mission: Alternative. Nakano composed the soundtrack for the Japan-only adventure game Another Mind, which he was given a deadline of two months to complete. His subsequent score to the 1999 title Threads of Fate (known as "Dewprism" in Japan) gave him worldwide recognition.

Since scoring Threads of Fate, Nakano has collaborated with several composers on major projects instead of being the sole composer. In 2001, Nakano and Hamauzu were chosen to assist Uematsu in the production of the score for the critically acclaimed Final Fantasy X, based on their ability to create music that was different from Uematsu's style; Nakano created 20 pieces. One of his tracks from the game, "Guadosalam", was arranged for the piano and featured in the album Piano Collections Final Fantasy X (2002). Following Final Fantasy X, Nakano composed the soundtrack to Asmik Ace Entertainment's flight simulator Sidewinder F.

Back at Square Enix, he created the music for Musashi: Samurai Legend with Hamauzu and the duo Wavelink Zeal (Takayuki and Yuki Iwai) in 2004. In 2006, Nakano created seven tracks for the Xbox 360 game Project Sylpheed, which also featured several other composers. Later the same year, he arranged four pieces from the Mana series for Dawn of Mana (known as "Seiken Densetsu 4" in Japan). He was also selected to arrange half of Final Fantasy IV's Nintendo DS remake under the supervision of Uematsu, and composed the soundtrack to its 2008 sequel, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. On December 31, 2009, Nakano confirmed that he had left Square Enix and would be joining his former mentor and collaborator Yuji Takenouchi's supergroup "GeOnDan", whom have since disbanded. Nakano's last projects for Square Enix before leaving were the soundtracks to Fullmetal Alchemist: Prince of the Dawn and Daughter of the Dusk.

Musical style and influences

Nakano is best known for creating ambient music with percussive, timbral, and rhythmic elements. According to an interview conducted by the website, Nakano was composing music focusing on an instrument's tone and acoustics until 1995, while after that time, he slowly moved his focus toward studying the harmony and melody important to music as a whole. After joining Square, he started focusing on rhythm and timbre which he implemented in titles like Front Mission: Gun Hazard, Treasure Conflix, and Tobal No. 1. The music in Threads of Fate contains many different styles like ambient, jazz, and Spanish music; the tracks have been described as "mellow" and "upbeat". For Final Fantasy X, Nakano was responsible for most of the ambient-styled compositions, which featured percussion, timbre, and rhythm. Nakano stated in the original soundtrack's liner notes that he wanted to create music with a "vibrant and dynamic feel" that tied together his years of experience with game music.

When starting out in the field of music, he was influenced by brass bands he was involved with and electronic organ music; however, he could not think of a specific musician who influenced him. Nakano cites Hamauzu as the colleague he admires most at Square Enix, and is particularly interested in the sounds he creates. When asked about his thoughts of Uematsu and how he had influenced his work, Nakano replied: "He is a very youthful and active person, but he hasn't influenced my work."


Junya Nakano Wikipedia