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Interview

John Paul Hayward p2

John Paul Hayward, creator of the Cross Symphonic album, talks about his favorite sci fi books…

JOHN PAUL HAYWARD contd: In high school I often searched the internet for live orchestral performances from my favorite games without much luck, so when the Distant Worlds albums came out I can’t tell you how thrilled I was. Ever since I first listened to those I have been patiently waiting for a Chrono version. Ironically enough, we finally got one just months before I released Cross Symphonic.
The second factor was that when Chrono Trigger or Chrono Cross are ever presented in an orchestral form it’s always as a medley. Medleys are fine in their own right, but I feel like they never truly deliver the music in a satisfying form, and they always feel like an afterthought. “Oh, and here’s a medley from Chrono Trigger/Cross; now let’s get back to the main event!” With Cross Symphonic I put a lot of time into developing full tracks using one theme as a base for each track. I really wanted to break away from that medley mentality and present fully developed and thought out ideas a la Final Symphony.
The third and final factor was that Chrono Trigger has been covered to death. Anyone who covers video game music has a Chrono Trigger album – or at the very least a couple of tracks. Chrono Cross has its fair share of covers, but it is often overshadowed by its older brother despite having a larger and more diverse soundtrack. I’ve always felt like Chrono Cross deserves more of the spotlight than it gets and that was a huge factor in picking Cross over Trigger for this project.

RV: What are some of your favorite books of all time, whether fiction or nonfiction?

JPH I’m a huge science fiction and fantasy nerd… Recently I’ve been reading The Expanse, a series by James. A. Corey, a really fantastic set of books. I’m also a big fan of Brandon Sanderson, especially his Stormlight series, although I’ll admit I haven’t read the third book yet. A few other great series I want to mention are Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, The Black Fleet Saga by Joshua Dalzelle, The Ember War Saga by Richard Fox, The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, The Passage by Justin Cronin. There are many many more, but you get it…I like nerdy books.

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