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こんにちは、土屋です。
ガストのある長野では遂に12月1日、雪が降りました。そして先週は遂に雪が積もりました…。このプロジェクトを始めて2度目の雪です。去年の今頃、まだ設定を作り、凪良さんとキャラ絵を詰めていた頃を思い出すと、随分時が経ったものだとしみじみ思います。あの頃は、一年後の今頃は何をしているかなぁ…ソフトできてるかなぁ…(おい)と、よく想いふけっていましたが。
さて、第5回目に引き続き、歌い手さんにお願いするきっかけをお話ししていきましょう。2回目は志方あきこさんです。

志方さんを知ったのは、実は一年と数ヶ月前です。アルトネリコという企画が走り始めた後、友人から「凄く素敵な歌い手さんがいる」と紹介してもらいました。そのサンプルをMDでいただいたのですが、一発で気に入ってしまって、その返事に「この人プロかなぁ、仕事やってもらえるかなぁ」と聞いてしまったほどです。その後、すぐにネットを検索して、サイト「VAGRANCY」を発見、感想と一緒にCDを注文しました。そしてここで驚くべき事実が1つあったのです。志方さんは私(土屋)の事を知っていたのです。そんなこんなで、志方さんにお時間頂いて、今回のアルトネリコの企画のお話をしました。

志方さん自身、やはりファンタジー世界が大好きで、アルトネリコの世界観をとても気に入っていただけました。純粋な剣と魔法のファンタジーもいいけど、それにプラスしたロストテクノロジーと謎のある世界って更にいいよね!なんて話もしていたくらい。また、ご自身でとても世界観を膨らませるのが上手な方でしたので、私自身も志方さんから様々なモノを頂きました。
世界観を固めている時期にずっと聞いていたCDが「廃墟と楽園(志方さんのインディーズアルバム)」という事もあり、その楽曲イメージからエッセンスを沢山頂いていたりします。例えば、廃墟と楽園収録曲「ロマの娘」はほたる横丁の庶民生活に、「MARE」は塔中腹の氷の瞳、テル族の町イム・フェーナに、そして「Se l'aura spira」「ラヂヲ予報」はホルスの翼の風吹き抜けるイメージ…など、かなり具体的なイメージと直結しています。そして、意外と思われるでしょうが、そんな志方さんに一番最初にお願いしたのは、実は「作曲」でした。もちろんその後すぐ(5分後くらい?)に歌も一緒にお願いしているのですが、それくらい彼女の曲に魅力を感じていたのです。

Hello everyone, I am Tsuchiya.
The snow finally began falling here at Nagoya, where Gust it's located. And so, during the last week, a lot of snow has piled up... This is the second snowfall since this project began. I remember that last year, around this time, I was still creating the setting, and still designing the characters with Nagi-san. I earnestly think that quite a time has passed. At that time, I was wondering where I would be in a year... and if it would be possible to make this into a game... (hey!), and... and that was what I frequently felt back then.

And continuing where we left off in the fifth issue, I will continue talking about how I asked the singers to participate in this project. This time, it will be about Shikata Akiko-san.

Actually, I have known about Shikata-san since around a year ago. After we began working on the Ar tonelico Project, one of my friends told me that [there was an incredibly wonderful singer]. And while he gave a sample of that singer, at the time I was quite pleased with it, and I asked him [This person is a pro, I wonder if she would accept to work with us]. After that, I began looking for information about her in the web, and I found her [VAGRANCY] site, in which, following the impressions I had about her, I ordered one of her CDs. And the truth was it was quite an astonishing thing to me. Shikata- san already knew about me (Tsuchiya). And in that way, it was that I managed to find a chance to talk with Shikata-san, and I talked to her about our current project: Ar tonelico.

Shikata-san herself, as I thought, also likes a lot the fantasy worlds, and as such, the world setting of Ar tonelico also greatly caught her attention. Even if it was just a pure magic and sword fantasy world it would have been okay, but she liked it even more after she heard that this world setting also had the mystery of the lost technologies! Well, the conversation flowed more or less like that. Also, even I received many favors from Shikata-san, because of how skillfully I was handling the expansion of the world setting.
The vision of the world I had just solified forever after I listened to the [Ruins and Heaven] CD (one of Shikata-san's indies albums), because I could draw many inspirations from the images that these songs gave me. For example, one of its songs, [Girl of the Roma], allowed me to imagine how the people of Firefly Alley lived, while [MARE] gave me the inspiration for the middle areas of the Tower: the town where the Teru live: Em Pheyna, and the Frozen Eye, and finally, both [Se l'Aura Spira] and [Radio Broadcast] gave me the image of the wind blowing throughout the Wings of Horus... well, they have quite a considerable connection to how I materialized these images in the game. And well, while it might be somewhat unexpected to thing about this, the main reason I wanted to ask Shikata-san to work in this project was actually because of her [composition abilities]. Of course, I asked her immediately after (around five minutes later?) to sing as well, because I felt that her songs all had a characteristic charm.

Haikyotorakuen

その選択は間違いもなく、アルトネリコでは彼女の素晴らしい曲を沢山、ご本人も楽しんで制作していただけました。この世界オリジナルの言語「ヒュムノスワード」も「難しいから、ちょっと使ってくれるだけでいいですよー」的なお願いをしたにもかかわらず、「相談なんですが、全部ヒュムノスワードで詞を描いていいですか?」という返事が返ってきたり、「楽曲、1ループ5分越えるんですけど、長すぎます?」などなど、頂くお返事は全部大爆走状態…!!
今までで最高と思われるトラック数で作曲した曲まで作っていただいて、本当にハリウッド映画音楽顔負け(いや、通用します)の楽曲がずらっと揃ってしまいました。特にラスボス戦でかかる曲は半端じゃないですよ(ちょっとネタバレ?)!演出の方もガッツリやらせていただきましたので、是非プレイして聴いてくださいね。
前回の霜月さんの時にもお話ししたとおり、志方さんに関しても、彼女の感性に全てお任せしています。シナリオと世界設定、キャラと歌の方向性のみをとにかくじっくり説明して、曲そのものに対する具体的な指示は一切入れていません。そしてそれが結果として、このような素敵な作品に仕上がったのだと思っています。志方さんファンの方には特にオススメしますよ。

アルトネリコという作品の世界観は、志方さんの楽曲と共にあるといっても過言ではありません。それは、アルトネリコ用に作曲していただいた曲のみならず、その前の作品にも大きな影響を受けているという事もあるからです。
そんなアルトネリコのファーストインプレッションアルバム「廃墟と楽園」、アルトネリコが発売される前に一度聴いてみると、更にこの世界を楽しめるかもしれません。

That choice was unmistakably good, because Ar tonelico received many marvelous songs, and Shikata-san also enjoyed a lot working in it. Even on the original language of this world, the [Hymmnos Words], despite I asked her about it in a way like [Because it's somewhat difficult, it'll be okay if you don't use it much], she even came and asked [After what we discussed, it's okay if some of the songs have lyrics that are completely in Hymmnos?], and upon hearing that, my only reply was running frantically around...!!
I think that the sheer number of tracks we have composed and sung are so great now, that they would truly put to shame the soundtracks of all the Hollywood movies released so far (maybe not, but at least it's pretty good).
Especially the song used for the last boss battle, which isn't incomplete at all! (maybe this would be an spoiler?) Since we have given our best in the production of all the music in the project, please, certainly give a good listen to these songs as you play.
Like I said on the previous issue, when I talked about Shimotsuki-san, I also left everything in some songs to Shikata-san's sensibility. I just explained to her some points on the world setting, the characters, and trend of the songs, and I don't think at all that she missed the point in the songs themselves that she made for them, and as a result, I think we have completed successfully our job. We specially recommend these songs to the fans of Shikata-san.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the worldbuilding of Ar tonelico was made alongside Shikata-san's music. That is because the music that was composed for and used in Ar tonelico was also greatly influenced by her previous works, and this isn't limited only to the ones that Shikata-san made.
In that way, I can say that if you want a first impression of Ar tonelico, the album [Ruins and Heaven] can serve that purpose, so you might want to try listening to it once before buying the game. Maybe it will let you enjoy its world even more.

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