Hayato Matsuo (松尾早人 Matsuo Hayato?, born August 13, 1965 in Kashiwa, Japan) is a Japanese video game and anime composer, arranger and orchestrator. He has worked on titles such as Front Mission 3, Final Fantasy XII, the Shenmue series, and Magic Knight Rayearth. Inspired by his mother, a piano teacher, he graduated from the music composition department of Tokyo University of the Arts. While in college, he composed for the band G-Clef, and occasionally stood in for members. Upon graduating, he went to work under Koichi Sugiyama, the composer for the popular Dragon Quest video game series, arranging his pieces for Dragon Quest anime shows and albums.
In 1991, Matsuo began to work as a video game music composer himself, writing the score to Master of Monsters. Over the next few years, he worked as an independent composer on several games and anime series, including Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen. In 1995, he joined the independent music composition group Imagine. He has continued since then to compose and orchestrate works for over 20 games and anime shows, as well as the television show Kamen Rider 555 and a few pieces as part of original albums.
Matsuo's mother was a piano and electone teacher, and she inspired him to enjoy classical music. She also organized concerts for local children to compose and perform music in, which he took part in. While in school, he was inspired by Yellow Magic Orchestra and Rick Wakeman. He eventually attended Tokyo University of the Arts, where he focused on classical music. While in school, however, he also was involved in more popular music, and was involved with the progressive rock band G-Clef, filling in sometimes for members of the band, many of whom he was friends with. He also provided some music for the band. When he was near graduation, Matsuo was introduced to Koichi Sugiyama, the composer for the popular Dragon Quest video game series. Upon graduating, he went to work with Sugiyama.
Matsuo began his career arranging Sugiyama's pieces for Dragon Quest anime shows and albums. His first work as a composer came in 1991, with the video game Master of Monsters. His first better-known work came in 1993 with Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen, which he co-composed with Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata. Since then, he has worked on over 15 other video games, both as a composer and in the role of arranging compositions for orchestration. His latest work was the orchestration for NiGHTS into Dreams..., while his latest composition work was as co-composer on Final Fantasy XII.
Beginning in 1994, Matsuo has also worked as a composer for anime series. His first was Magic Knight Rayearth, which he considers to be a turning point in his career. His latest is 2007's Les Misérables - Shoujo Cosette. In 2003 he composed the soundtrack for the live-action television show Kamen Rider 555, and in the early 1990s he arranged pieces for orchestration for the Orchestral Game Music Concerts. While his early work was done as an entirely freelance composer, in 1995 Matuso was recruited by Kohei Tanaka to join Imagine. Imagine is an independent music composition and sound effect group for video games, consisting of nine employees. While Matsuo has never released an album of original works himself, he has released numerous original tracks on six albums released on Shinji Hosoe's Troubadour Records label.
Video game soundtracks
- Master of Monsters (1991)
- Mercury - The Prime Master (1991) — with Taku Iwasaki, Seiro Okamoto and Tsushi Yamaji
- Syvalion (1992) — SNES version
- Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen (1993) — with Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata
- Classic Road (1993)
- Sword Maniac (1994) — with Hitoshi Sakimoto
- Super Hockey '94 (1994)
- Classic Road II (1995)
- Tengai Makyō: Kabuki Ittou Ryoudan (1995)
- Master of Monsters: Neo Generation (1996)
- Chou-Mahsin Eiyuuden Wataru: Another Step (1997)
- Dragon Force II (1998) — with Kohei Tanaka
- Let's Smash (1998)
- Front Mission 3 (1999) — with Koji Hayama
- Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber (1999) — with Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata
- Shenmue (1999), orchestration
- Shenmue II (2001), orchestration
- Homeland (2005)
- Final Fantasy XII (2006) — with Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masaharu Iwata
- NiGHTS into Dreams... (2008), orchestra arranger
- Magic Knight Rayearth (1994)
- Saint Tail (1995)
- Golden Brave Goldran (1995)
- Magic Knight Rayearth 2 (1995)
- Landlock (1996)
- Haunted Junction (1997)
- Street Fighter Alpha (1999)
- Spirit of Wonder Scientific Boys Club (2001)
- Transformers: Armada (2002)
- Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor (2005)
- Hellsing Ultimate (2006)
- Yomigaeru Sora - Rescue Wings (2006)
- Les Misérables - Shoujo Cosette (2007)
- Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai (2010)
- Kamen Rider 555 (2003)
- Be filled with feeling (1992) - "Chromatic Beast"
- G.T.R (1993) - "G.U.T"
- Great Wall (1993) - "The Manic Depressive", "A Planet's Death"
- KAKI-IN 1993 SUMMER (1993) - "Salmon Roe"
- T·O·U·R·S (1994) - "Mindful of Midnight Flying"
- 2197 (1999) - "Old Pork"
- (Japanese) Profile at IMAGINE inc.