Soundtrack to Concert Series Available For First Time in North America
LONDON, UK (April 28, 2005) - Square Enix today revealed the appearance of the top Japanese vocalists Emiko Shiratori and RIKKI and the return of MC James Arnold Taylor at the highly anticipated concert, "More Friends - Music From FINAL FANTASY®". The two original vocalists from the theme songs of FINAL FANTASY IX and X and the voice of FINAL FANTASY X character Tidus will add a truly authentic experience to this one-of-a-kind musical event featuring music from the internationally acclaimed video game series, created by composer Nobuo Uematsu. The concert starts at 8PM on Monday, May 16th at Gibson Amphitheater. In time for this concert, the soundtrack from the concert series will be available for the first time in the U.S.
The concert will celebrate the U.S. debut of "Maria and Draco," an opera from FINAL FANTASY VI, sung by Stephanie Woodling (Mezzo-Soprano), Chad Berlinghieri (Tenor) and Todd Robinson (Bass-Baritone), as well as the worldwide debut of "Swing de Chocobo," newly arranged by Grammy award winner Arnie Roth. Roth will also conduct the entire concert performed by the World Festival Symphony Orchestra, the CSUF University Singers and the Nobuo Uematsu-led band, The Black Mages.
The concert's composer, Nobuo Uematsu, won admiration for his award-winning music with several sold out performances of the orchestral concert "Dear Friends - Music from FINAL FANTASY" over the last year. "More Friends" will meld footage from the video game series with live orchestral, rock and pop music. In addition, the original soundtracks "Dear Friends - Music from FINAL FANTASY" and "More Friends - Music from FINAL FANTASY" will also be available in the U.S. for the first time at this performance.
Emiko Shiratori, vocalist for "Melodies of Life," the theme song from FINAL FANTASY IX, also wrote the lyrics to the Aerith theme remix, "Pure Heart." Her debut as a solo artist was in 1969, and she was featured in both the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics and the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. Emiko also sang the theme song for the Japanese film, "Doraemon," as well as the popular animation series "Moomin."
Japanese vocal sensation, RIKKI, is immensely popular for her traditional Japanese folk combined with pop music sensibilities. RIKKI sings the theme song from FINAL FANTASY X, "Suteki Da Ne." At the age of 15, RIKKI became the youngest ever "Grand Prix" winner of the Japanese traditional folk music awards.
The Black Mages, best known for delivering the epic battle music for the FINAL FANTASY series in a rock style, will join their creator, Uematsu, on stage, bringing an exciting element to the concert performance. Uematsu formed the group two years ago and performs as organist. He named the band after a job class (type of character) found in all of the FINAL FANTASY games.
Special guest MC, James Arnold Taylor, is known by many as the voice of Tidus in FINAL FANTASY X and has had an enormously successful career in every facet of the voice-over industry, including promos, trailers, commercials, animation, video games and voice doubling for celebrities like David Spade and Billy Bob Thornton. He has starred in features such as Star Wars: Clone Wars as Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Animatrix, Comic Book: The Movie, Atlantis: Milo's Return and the English version of Hayao Miyazaki's classic Nausicca.
Tickets for More Friends - Music from FINAL FANTASY are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at 213.252.8497, on the Internet at http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/73787 or at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Citywalk box offices.
For more information on FINAL FANTASY music, please visit
About Square Enix Co., Ltd. and Square Enix, Inc.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Square Enix Co., Ltd. (Square Enix) develops, publishes and distributes entertainment content including interactive entertainment software and publications in Japan, North America, Europe and Asia. Square Enix brings two of Japan's best-selling franchises - FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold over 60 million units worldwide, and DRAGON QUESTTM, which has sold over 35 million units worldwide-under one roof. Square Enix is one of the most influential providers of digital entertainment content in the world and continues to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation.
Square Enix, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Square Enix Co., Ltd. with offices in Los Angeles, CA and Seattle, WA. It handles operations in North America, including development, localization, marketing, and publishing of Square Enix titles. More information on Square Enix can be found on the Internet at http://www.square-enix.com.
® 2005 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved. SQUARE ENIX and the SQUARE ENIX logo, DRAGON QUEST, FINAL FANTASY and other names of products mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Square Enix Co, Ltd. in Japan and/or other countries. The names of companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.