Quick Beats: Mega Man Composer Manami Matsumae On Ocarinas And Bohemian Rhapsody
Throughout the Nintendo Life Video Game Music Festival, we chat with a range of songwriters and musicians for a mix of in-depth interviews and shorter, more precise (and maybe a little more awkward) Q&A where we let’s just ask ten quick personal questions; we call these shorter features ‘Quick Beats’.
Following our recent in-depth interview with her, Jake Kaufman and Marc-Antoine Archier discussing chiptune in the modern era, we were fortunate enough to have legendary composer Manami Matsumae answer 10 silly musical questions as well.
So, sit back and get ready to hear her thoughts on classic bands, musical heroes, and the one thing she would save from a burning building …
What’s the first song or album you remember buying?
When I was in college, I saved my allowance to buy Queen’s Jazz. I listened to “Bohemian Rhapsody” a few years ago, it blew me away and I became a huge fan. I love Jazz’s “More of That Jazz”. The part at the end where the Jazz songs appear in fragments is too cool to put into words.
What’s the last music you listened to?
I listened to “The Cinema Show” by Genesis for the first time in a long time. Phil Collins’ drums were really cool, and I love the jagged meter and long keyboard solo in the second half.
What was the very first video game you wrote music for, and how do you feel listening to it now?
It was a Capcom project called Ide Yōsuke Mējin no Jissen Mahjong [Master Yōsuke Ide’s Real Mahjong, published in 1987 for the Famicom—Ed], for which I composed a classic piece. When I listen to it now, I feel nostalgic, like “I wrote that, huh?” It’s been over thirty years, after all.
Which room are you most proud of?
Since they all have a piece of my heart, I am proud of every project I have participated in.
What someone else’s piece would you have liked to write?
Each piece by another composer is complete in its own way, and I feel like there is no room for me to intervene. So nothing, really.
What do you listen to while driving?
I like to relax while driving, so I often listen to jazzy music like Pat Metheny’s First Circle and Still Life CDs.
Do you have a musical hero?
Queen, Asia, Toto, Pat Metheny, etc. I love each of their musical sensibilities.
What decade had the best music?
I love music from the 70s and 80s, even now. The melodies were clear and form the basis of my compositions.
Ocarina, harp or bongos, which magical instrument are you taking on an epic adventure?
Ocarina. Because I guess I could play the melodies the right way. (I can’t really play one, though.)
If your house was on fire and you only had time to take one memory before you ran off to safety with your family, what would you take?
My beloved cat.
Thanks to Manami Matsumae for answering our silly questions – you can follow her on Twitter @chanchacolin.
Be sure to check out our other Quick Beats interviews with Austin Wintory, Yuzo Koshiro, Darren Korb and Jake Kaufman, and keep an eye out for more in the coming days as the Nintendo Life VGM Fest continues.