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みなさんこんにちは!ガストの土屋です。
前回河内さんのメッセージで「詩」についてのお話が出ておりましたので、それならということで、今回から歌についてのお話をしましょう。

アルトネリコに登場する歌い手さんは4名。それぞれお願いした理由も、その形も全然違います。ちょっと開発秘話度が濃いですが、これから私の回4回に渡ってそれぞれの出逢いのお話をしましょう。

まず今回、第一回目は霜月はるかさん。
アトリエファンの皆様はご存知かと思いますが、イリスシリーズの看板歌姫です。そして彼女は、アルトネリコというプロジェクトを走らせるに至ったキーパーソンなのです。
今回のアルトネリコという企画の歌部分、すなわち「世界の中にとけ込んだ詩によるお話、そして詩の力をテーマにしたもの」というコンセプトは、実はこのイリス1の頃からありました。…といいますか、厳密にはアトリエ4作目、ユーディーのアトリエの頃から、サウンドとしてあがいて色々挑戦してはいたのですが、やはりアトリエシリーズはアトリエシリーズのコンセプトがありましたので、なかなか理想のものはできなかったのです。そして更にこの構想には、ゲームの世界観を支えられる最高の歌姫が沢山必要でした。
(そもそもその頃は、まだディレクターのお仕事はしていませんでしたので、夢物語のようにそんなことを考えていた程度でしたが。)
そんな中、イリス1の歌い手さんを探したときに出逢ったのが霜月はるかさんでした。彼女の存在を知ったのは、また別の方の企画したインディーズアルバムだったのですが、その後個人のオリジナル曲を聴き、一発で決めさせていただきました。その頃はまだ「歌はメジャーのプロダクションにお願いするもの」という固定観念がありましたので、会社にこの話を通すのはかなりドキドキだった記憶があります。結果としては、歌を聴いてもらい上もすんなりOKを出してくれ、そしてイリス1で彼女の歌が響くことになりました。
お陰様でイリス1のオープニングテーマは大好評。イリスと言えば霜月はるかという程の人気で、イリス2では「霜月さんが歌うなら買う」という人まで。そんな事もあり、またご本人もイリスシリーズをとても好きでいてくれておりましたので、その後も何かと彼女に歌をお願いすることが多くなっていきました。

そんな中で今回の「アルトネリコ」という企画が浮上しました。当時から一緒にお仕事していた彼女には、まず一番最初に話をしました。楽曲のコンセプトなどを話していくと、かなり乗り気になってくれ、すぐにOKが出ました。

アーティストが100%の力を出す時は、本人のやる気が120%を越えているときだと私は考えています。ですから、今回の企画ではファンタジー好き、伝承好き、そしてそういった世界観を本当に好きでいてくれる人にお願いしたかったのです。霜月さんはRPGが大好きで、またファンタジーが好き。今回のアルトネリコのコンセプトは、そんな民族系多重コーラス曲を多用した伝承詩、という、非常にファンタジー要素の多い企画でしたから、彼女にとってもきっと楽しみだったに違いありません。
実際、今回はゲーム内では4曲歌っていただきましたが、収録現場は本当に活き活きとしてエネルギーに満ちあふれていました。でなければ、毎日12時間ぶっ通しで4曲も歌ってくれなかったでしょう。更には作曲も2曲していただきました。この作曲も彼女の感性に任せ、自由に書いていただきました。

今回、これは全員に言えることですが、歌も作曲も、ゲームのシナリオと私の出したい方向性だけをアーティストさんに伝え、あとは感性に任せました。そうすることで本当にイイモノ、そして誰もが…更にはそのアーティストのファンの方々もが喜んでくれる作品が作れると考えているからです。
そして出来上がった曲達。特にこの霜月さん作曲の曲は、本当に「霜月はるか!」という感じの曲で(どんなだ)、霜月さんファンの皆様も、そしてこれから聴かれる方も、かならず好きになっていただけると思っております。とても大切なシーンで流れる曲で、両曲ともかなりこだわって、シーンへと組み込みをさせていただきました。

最後に彼女のアルバムを紹介。
インディーズ流通ですが、「ユラグソラ」というアルバムがあります。このアルバムは私のお薦め。イリス1で「白夜幻想譚」を歌ってもらおうと決めたのは、このアルバムに収録されている「精霊祀」という曲がきっかけです。まだ聴いたことがない方は、是非一度聴いてみてください。

Hello, everyone! I'm Tsuchiya from Gust. Since Kawachi-san said in his message from the previous issue that we would be talking about the [Songs], that will be the topic we'll be covering now.

There are four singers that appeared in Ar tonelico, and the reasons and ways we had to ask them to do this were all different. While there many secret stories behind the development of the game, in the four next issues, starting with this one, I will talk to you all about how I met each one of the singers.

And to start with the first one of them, this time I will be talking about Shimotsuki Haruka-san.
While I think that all of the Atelier fans should be familiar with her, she was the songstress that served as the figurehead of the Iris series, and we began running the development of the Ar tonelico Project, I wanted to keep her for this too.
The part of the songs in the current Ar tonelico Project, namely the [Story condensed into the Songs played within the world, and something whose main theme is the power of the Songs] concept, actually was defined as we know it when Iris 1 was released... that's what we could say, but strictly speaking, since I worked in the fourth Atelier game: Atelier Judie, while I had struggled to overcome many challenges I had with the sound to produce good songs, naturally, I was still working under the concepts that the Atelier Series had, which meant that I wasn't able to realize the ideals I had. And again, to be able to realize the worldbuilding that supported the game, I would need the best singers I could find.
(And in the first place, even thinking that I would be charged with the task of being the director for this project seemed like something out from a dream).
And well, while I was seeking for a singer for the opening theme to Iris 1, I finally met with Shimotsuki Haruka-san. I knew that she existed, and while she had done many indies albums for other projects, I afterwards heard her own original songs, and I immediately decided to ask her to sing this song. At that time, when I suggested the fixed idea I had of [Requesting her to sing a song for a major production], I remember that I was extremely nervous. The result was that, after the other staff members heard the song, I got the approval, and that was why you all are able to hear her as the singer for the Iris 1 opening theme.
Thanks to the Iris 1 opening theme, she became very popular, and since Shimotsuki Haruka also could be called the reason behind the popularity of the Iris games, there were even people that said that [If Shimotsuki Haruka sings in it, I'll buy it] about Iris 2. While that also was true, since she herself gained so much recognition from the Iris games, I then went and asked her if she could sing even more songs for us.

While we were at that, the current [Ar tonelico] Project surfaced. At the time, since I was working with her, she was the first person I talked to about this. When I talked about the musical concept of the game, she became very interested in it, and immediately told me it was OK.

I think that when the artists show the 100% of their ability, they are actually even crossing to a 120% if they are interested in which they are working. Therefore, I asked this to a person that truly likes fantasy, legends, and world settings based in these two things. Shimotsuki-san really likes RPGs, and also fantasy. The current concept of Ar tonelico incorporates Songs that have been handed down and make use of multiple choruses from various ethnic kinds of music, and since it's a project that uses so heavily it as a fantasy component, I think there is no mistake that she greatly enjoyed working in it.

Actually, while she just was appointed for four of the songs in the game, she always was filled with energy during the recording sessions. If she didn't, she most likely wouldn't have been able to sing these fours songs during 12 hours each day. Furthermore, she even composed two of these songs. They were completely left to her sensibility, and so, she had complete freedom for writing them.

And this time, while this is something that has been told to everyone before in the staff, about the songs and compositions, I told to the artists only two things: what was the scenario for the game, and what was the trend of expression I wanted them to have, and I left the songs themselves to their sensibility, because I think this was a truly good idea, so everyone... and furthermore, the fans of these artists, can be glad that they made these songs for this project.
And so, we completed the songs. Particularly the songs that Shimotsuki-san composed are truly songs that give off a feeling of [Shimotsuki Haruka!], so I think all of the fans of Shimotsuki-san, and all the other ones that listen to them, will really like them. As songs that play during very important scenes, these are two songs that we got very fixated over in which part of the game we should have included them.

And finally, I want to show you all one of her albums.
While it's only sold as a indies one, the album is called [Yuragu Sora]. The song that made me decided to ask her to sing the opening of Iris 1, [White Night Illusion], is recorded in this album, and it's titled [Festival of the Spirits]. If you have yet to hear it, please, try to listen to it at least once.

Yuragusora

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