Masashi Hamauzu, born September 20, 1971 in Munich, Germany, is a video game music composer who has worked for Square Enix for nearly a decade. Hamauzu's start for the company came with the creation of a handful of tracks for Front Mission: Gun Hazard (1996) and Tobal No. 1 (1996). He composed music for Final Fantasy X (2001) together with Nobuo Uematsu and Junya Nakano and Musashi: Samurai Legend (2005) with Junya Nakano, Takayuki Iwai, and Yuki Iwai.
His solo works include Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon (1997), SaGa Frontier 2 (1999), Unlimited SaGa (2002), and Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (2006). In a surprise announcement during the 2006 E3 show, it was revealed that Hamauzu would be providing the soundtrack for Final Fantasy XIII.
Hamauzu has also produced arranged albums for a few of his works, including Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon
Coi Vanni Gialli and Piano Pieces "SaGa Frontier 2" Rhapsody. He has prepared the piano arrangements for Final Fantasy X Piano Collections and Yasunori Mitsuda's Sailing to the World Piano Score.
Hamauzu's works are often reminiscent of Chopin, Ravel, and Debussy compositions, resembling classical and ambient music. His music frequently incorporates deliberate dissonance to provide an artistic and mood-setting effect. After pattern and harmony have set in, the unique elegance of the dissonance becomes apparent. The listener's perception of dissonance now evolves into a perception of consonance integral to the music.
Even still, Hamauzu composes music in a variety of different styles, often using multiple styles throughout the various pieces of a soundtrack. This can be easily noticed in the soundtrack to UNLIMITED SaGa. Here, Hamauzu's compositions break barriers between musical genres, mixing classical marches, tango music, electronic ambience, instrumental solos, and jazz.
From SaGa Frontier 2 onward, Hamauzu has primarily worked closely with synthesizer operator Ryo Yamazaki.1