Kenichi Tokoi

Kenichi Tokoi on Sonic Colors Original Soundtrack:

The music that stressed the high speed essence of Sonic series with exhilarating feeling was diversely complete. This is something according to the emulation of day stages of the high-speed Sonic Unleashed in the request from Director Kishimoto in the initial stage of production. The thing being imposed upon the sound was the aim at exactly the colorful music full of vigor that integrated the colors, which are also the theme of this game, based on the music for an action game. Being the important colors, it was also something that holds a very big weight in deciding the sound concept. By the fact that the scene this time is a colorful and huge theme park built on small planets that had been gathered from space, the stage setting was also very rich in variety, so first of all, I set the pop and powerful music as one of the sound concepts. Furthermore, through the combination with the space aliens Wisps that had forcibly been brought by Dr. Eggman, the ability to activate various Color Powers was also the real pleasure of this game, so wanting to bring in the elements that match the keyword “space” with the form known as some combination as well, I made the mixture with electro and live instruments as the second sound concept.

Now, the one who handled Reach for the Stars, the opening theme this time, is Tomoya Ohtani, who produced the theme song Endless Possibilities that also truly packed Sonic, who has the scamper sensation, in Sonic Unleashed. The ones who splendidly refined the connection with the scenario in Speak with Your Heart, the ending theme of this game, are the two Mariko Nanba and Ohtani, who are also well-known in Sonic series. In Reach for the Stars, the sound that increased the colorfulness using the combination with electro while also adding “color” as the keyword to the lyrics and enhancing the affinity with the game was very pop. Don’t you think that the part and the like, which are altering the shake-off condition of vocal effect in the theme song and ending song, are also expanding the range of sound color? (Let me say in passing that on the occasion of deciding Wisp’s voice with Sound Editor Kouzaki, the keyword “effectiveness totally different from human’s voice” was listed. This vocal, which was through a talking modulator, greatly serves as a useful reference in terms of using the electro method.) Last but not least, the one who produced the main theme Theme of Sonic Colors with me together is Fumie Kumatani, who is also well-known in Sonic Adventure series. In the main theme from the beginning of production, it was the plan of referring to and expanding a part of Reach for the Stars, so the request of large melody that also shines in the orchestra toward the melody was turned in. In the end of 2009, I received the completion of Reach for the Stars demo and accepted it as the motive, and afterwards it turned out that we went on producing the scores of system music totaling 12 pieces. In the recording direction, there’s Mr. Atsushi “Sushi” Kosugi, who becomes an indispensable existence in the title that I handle, and in the orchestration, there’s Mr. Larry Hochman, who has many nominated achievements in Tony Award due to the Broadway musicals. I think that if I did not have the cooperation of both of them from early stage, it would not be realized. On things like how we would arrange the part where the actual sound of instruments is inexistent by the fact of utilizing the key of Reach for the Stars as it is, as well as of making the tempo a little fast, we, even together, did such things as changing the players and altering the long musical notes for the way of it being heard, with regard to the advice saying that their lips ended up failing before finishing playing the whole piece when continuing the short passage on and on using the wind instruments. I remember that we repeated the arrangement ever so many times and the sense of accomplishment when it was finished at last was something exceptional.

The colors of the composers who produced those greatly affect the colorful music inside the game. The ones who produced the area music that exists in each planet are the two Nanba, and Naofumi Hataya, who is also well-known in NiGHTS series. They become the expressive music rich in variety while striving for the matching with the stage music. The one who decorated the last battle with Dr. Eggman using impressive music is Hideaki Kobayashi, who is well-known in Phantasy Star series. As for the incidental music that enlivens the story, Fumie Kumatani performed the dynamic production while utilizing the method of classical style. They are all veterans who handle Sonic titles for many years. Last but not least, the ones who produced the stage music as the focus are me and Ohtani. With the pop and powerful stage music as the backbone, we prepare exclusive music for each characteristic of Color Power activated via combination as well as emulate the system in which the filter will start in the music itself in the same way as Sonic Unleashed for the boost activation. Furthermore, we also produced the music of retro timbre that would seem to pop out from 8-bit game consoles. A very simple portion and an easy-to-understand arrangement that focuses on the melody were necessary, therefore we also needed to plan the programming technique so that it did not become extra idea above all…. But the thing that we must not forget the most is the innovativeness for Sonic’s music. I always want to make exciting music, but I think that continuing to add new challenges there is necessary in Sonic’s music.

The music gathered this time is just the result due to exactly the new challenges like the mixture with electro and live instruments, and I think that it was completed as the music suitable for such word “colorful” in which the imagination is fired … or rather, that held the power that makes the nature and human happy. While I want every Sonic fan, who has listened to this CD, to certainly discover his or her favorite colors, I would be happy if the people, who say they have not yet experienced the game, could also enjoy Sonic’s music in the game by all means.