The AAG is delighted to announce the presentation of an award to the highly acclaimed musician and composer, Nobuo Uematsu. On January 28th 2017, Project Director, Alex Maine went behind the scenes of the Tri-State Distant Worlds Concert at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey. Distant Worlds is a series of concerts that tour world wide celebrating the music of Final Fantasy, a series produced by Square Enix, formally known as Squaresoft. Nobuo is one of the main composers for the series and is responsible for many of the most notable tracks. Distant Worlds is produced by AWR and conducted by the renowned, Arnie Roth. Nobuo was attending the concert as a special guest and thousands of attendees were delighted to see him in attendance.

Nobuo Uematsu was born on March 21, 1959, in Kochi, Kochi Prefecture, Japan. He started to play music at the age of twelve and taught himself how to play the piano. He started his professional career writing music for commercials after graduating from Kanagawa University after studying English. He joined Square Co., Ltd. in 1986 and began composing music for video games. He parted ways with Square, now Square Enix, in 2004. For those eighteen years Uematsu composed the music for over thirty games including, most notably, the Final Fantasy series. He still collaborates with SE on various projects including key tracks for Final Fantasy XIV.

Uematsu has appeared five times in the top 20 of the annual Classic FM Hall of Fame. In 2012, “Aerith’s Theme”, written by Uematsu for Final Fantasy VII, was voted into the number 16 position in the annual Classic FM (UK) “Hall of Fame” top 300 chart. It was the first time that a piece of music written for a video game had appeared in the chart. In 2013, music from the Final Fantasy series received even greater support and was voted into the third position on the Classic FM Hall of Fame. Uematsu and his Final Fantasy music subsequently appeared at number seven in 2014, number nine in 2015, and number 17 in 2016.

“Eyes on Me” from Final Fantasy VIII, featuring Chinese pop singer Faye Wong, sold a record 400,000 copies and was the first song from a video game to win an award at the Japan Gold Disc Awards, where it won “Song of the Year (International)” in 2000.

“It was an honour for me to meet Nobuo-san this past weekend. Truly one of the most talented and genuine people I have ever met.” Said Project Director, Alex Maine.

“This has been an award that we have wanted to present for many years. The difficulty was that in our infancy an award of this magnitude was hard to arrange. When we saw an opportunity to make this happen, we absolutely jumped at the chance. I’d been working on a fan related event just across the street and when I heard Nobuo would be in attendance, I reached out to our contacts to see if he would be willing to accept the award. It was wonderful to be able to thank him for his work and remind him that his music is admired by millions.”

“The vast collection of music created by Nobuo Uematus is nothing short of amazing. His music is admired by hundreds of thousands and his work is more than just a career to him. That was quite obvious from the moment I met him. He was very interested in the award and took a great interest in the awards inscription. He was so thankful and we were delighted to present this to him.”

The award was presented as part of the AAG Industry awards in recognition of Nobuo’s extraordinary contributions to the video game industry. The AAG would like to thank Arnie Roth and the people of AWR Music for helping facilitate this presentation.