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John Paul Hayward p1

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. John Paul Hayward combined two things he loved: computer games and symphonic music. He created Cross Symphonic, which is a film soundtrack based on the music from a favorite computer game, Chrono Cross. He gives a lot of good sci fi and fantasy reading tips in this interview.

John Paul Hayward took the soundtrack to the computer game Chrono Cross (1999), composed by Yasumori Mitsuda. He used this as the basis for a 17-track symphonic album, which is a movie soundtrack he called Cross Symphonic. It’s a lush and sweeping film score, with many musicians and vocalists, for an imaginary movie. It was influenced by composers like John Williams. There is also a haunting vocal by Marie Hsiao on the song Radical Dreamers. To listen to Cross Symphonic and Mr Hayward’s other music, visit itunes and bandcamp. See his website johnpaulhayward.com.

RV: Cross Symphonic is a beautiful album. And it’s good to hear music where every instrument is played by a real person. What made you decide to arrange the soundtrack for the 1999 Chrono Cross game for symphonic performance? Did you play it a lot as a kid or did you come across it later?

JPH: First of all, thank you so much for your kind words! I really love to hear that you, and others, are enjoying the album. Cross Symphonic was really born out of my love for symphonic soundtracks. I’ve always been a huge fan of the orchestra since I was little and that love has only compounded over the years as I learn and discover more about music and its relationship with the orchestra. As for why I chose Chrono Cross for this project; I’ve always loved Yasunori Mitsuda’s music. I grew up playing Chrono Trigger (to which Chrono Cross is the sequel) and I often credit its soundtrack as one of the definitive factors that pushed me into composing later in life.
I didn’t play Chrono Cross until my early high school years, but it had an equally important impact on my musical life. It wasn’t until I replayed the game in college that I started thinking about how cool it would be to have an orchestral album of Cross’s music.
There were a few factors (besides Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross being two of my favorite games) that finally pushed me to organize my own project, the first being the Distant Worlds albums. If you don’t know what those are, they are wonderful orchestral albums produced by Square Enix that cover music from the Final Fantasy series [composed by Nobuo Uematsu].

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