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Note: This biography was written exclusively for Square Enix Music Online by Z-Freak and Chris and is under copyright.


Sas
Date of Birth: March 5, 1967 (Miyazaki)
Musical Influences: Fumitaka Anzai, John Williams, Duran Duran
General Interests: Everything to do with Star Wars
Instruments: Piano, Electone
Join Super Sweep: 2000
Company Role: Composer
Game Works: Street Fighter EX, Folklore, FF Tactics Advance


Ayako Saso was born on March 5, 1967, in Miyazaki, Japan. She had a reasonably extensive early musical education, having taken piano lessons from the age of seven before giving up in favour of joining a brass band at high school. She never did seem naturally inclined to become a composer; while at music school, she disliked composing music the most, and her main ambition was to become a professional Electone organ player. She even won the Silver Prize for a Yamaha Electone Festival contest in 1987 after leaving music school. Still, the foundations of her interest in video game music remained, since she played video games from a very young age and used to arrange game and anime music in her spare time.

Saso joined the Namco sound team in 1989 and first worked on Stealth Bomber for the Arcade. In 1991, Rolling Thunder 2 became her first project to get released on CD. The soundtrack was a mix of jazz, funk, and electronica, in which she showed great versatility with modern genres. In 1992, Saso was selected along with fellow composers Takayuki Aihara and Shinji Hosoe to compose the score of one of the biggest revolutionary titles in gaming history: Galaxian^3: Project Dragoon. This was a shooter, which was done in a huge compartment where up to six players would co-operate to save the earth from the bad guys. It was the first 3D theatre-sized shooter of its kind. Perhaps Saso's undying love for Star Wars and John Williams' music had something to do with the symphonic approach to the music. In 1994, she handled the arrangement for Galaxian^3: Attack of the Zolgear and composed several themes on Ridge Racer 2. 1995 saw her working on Cyber Cycles and Rave Racer, as well as Tekken 2.

In 1997, Saso left Namco to work at Arika. Here, her most significant work were composing the scores to the Street Fighter EX series, along with colleagues Aihara and Hosoe. The result was a captivating blend of jazz, rock, and electronica. As well as this, Saso and Hosoe worked together again to produce two important Square scores for the games Bushido Blade and IS: Internal Section; though Saso's role was small, it added to the diversity and quirkiness of these electronic scores. Also during her time at Akira, she contributed to the score of Technic Beat, worked on several albums for Hosoe's Troubadour record label, and produced her first solo album, DANCE.

When Shinji Hosoe created Super Sweep in 2000, Saso joined along. During her initial years, she has helped to produce two important Square scores. The first was for Driving Emotion Type-S in 2001 alongside Saso and Aihara; though the game was a flop itself, the music was a positive aspect. Fortunately, her second Square project at Super Sweep, composing light-hearted orchestral tracks for Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in 2002, was mostly successful. The score was also composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto, who she previously worked with on Perfect Prince, and Super Sweep newcomer Kaori Ohkoshi, who she worked with to some success on Everblue 2 a year earlier. Her latest major work is the PlayStation 3's Folklore, where she helped craft a cinematic ambient work praised by critics. She also continues to work on a myriad of smaller game projects, collaborative arranged albums, and independent albums.

List of Game Projects for SquareEdit

Year Game / Role Console
1997 Bushido Blade (LightWeight / Square Enix)
Composition / Arrangement with Shinji Hosoe, Takayuki Aihara
PlayStation 2
1999 IS: Internal Section (Positron / Square Enix)
Composition / Arrangement with Shinji Hosoe
PlayStation
2001 Driving Emotion Type-S (Escape / Square Enix)
Composition / Arrangement with Shinji Hosoe, Takayuki Aihara
PlayStation
2003 Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Composition / Arrangement with Hitoshi Sakimoto, Kaori Ohkoshi, Nobuo Uematsu

Game Boy Advance
2007 Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

Reprise from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance ("Painful Battle")

DS
Ayako
PROTIP: 'Ayako Saso composed the "Score" and "Spinning Bird" music that based from Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha.'

Noline

List of Covered AlbumsEdit

Album Title Catalog No.
Battle Garegga Perfect Soundtrack INDV-1010
Darius Remix SRIN-1037
Dark Chronicle Premium Arrange KDSD-00034
Death Meta - Book of Music CHCD-1005
DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou & ESPGaluda Perfect Remix SRIN-1013
Driving Emotion Type-S / Bushido Blade Original Soundtrack SRIN-1003/4
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Original Soundtrack SQEX-10070/1
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, White Melodies of SVWC-7172
Final Fantasy Tactics A2 Grimoire of the Rift Original Soundtrack SQEX-10102/3
F-ZERO GX/AX Original Soundtracks SCDC-00358/9
is: internal section original soundtrack SSCX-10027
Let's Tap Soundtrack SRIN-1057
Makai Kingdom Chronicles of the Sacred Tome Bonus Soundtrack (US) Promotional
Mushihimesama Original Soundtrack CVST-0002
Netherworld Harmony Inaugaration N01SD-CD001
Perfect Prince Original Soundtrack Promotional
Pink Sweets Ibara Original Soundtrack CVST-0005
Phantom Kingdom Original Soundtrack SLPS-20409
Phantom Kingdom Arrange Album SCDC-00434
Street Fighter EX Original Soundtrack PCCB-00241
Street Fighter EX Arrange Album PCCB-00251
Street Fighter EX2 Original Soundtrack PCCB-00322
Street Fighter EX2 Arrange Album CPCA-1023
Street Fighter EX2 Plus Original Soundtrack CPCA-1038
Street Fighter EX3 Original Soundtrack CPCA-1042
Street Fighter Tribute Album CPCA-1083
Technicbeat Soundtrack SRIN-1040
Technictix OMCP-7
Technictix Remix Vol. 1 SRIN-1044
Technictix Remix Vol. 2 SRIN-1049
Technictix Remix Vol. 3 SRIN-1052
Technictix Remix -Remix Disc- Promotional

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