About Project Destati

Project Destati is a celebration of the rich musical score of the Kingdom Hearts games. The aim of our project is to capture the depth, intensity, and magnitude of Yoko Shimomura’s brilliant compositions that have brought Kingdom Hearts to life over the past decade by reimagining her work for full orchestra. Her famous melodies have carried millions of players from the humble start of Sora’s journey through to the most recent installments of the Kingdom Hearts story, and we hope to bring you the awesome sound that these melodies deserve.

The artists behind it all

We are a team of arrangers, orchestrators, and performers who grew up with Kingdom Hearts. Having played the games ourselves (and having performed much of the music on our respective instruments) we decided to team up to create completely new arrangements of the Kingdom Hearts soundtrack with the lush, complete sound that they deserve.

We were inspired by the work of Zelda Reorchestrated, Pokémon Reorchestrated, The Synthetic Orchestra, Theophany, and many other musicians who have re-created nostalgic musical material and transformed them into entirely new experiences. We hope to do the same with our affinity for the music of Kingdom Hearts.

Kristin Naigus

Kristin is a professional oboist and English hornist hailing from Orlando, Florida, where she performs in a number of symphony orchestras each season. Alongside her classical training and experience, she has harbored a strong love for movie and videogame soundtracks ever since childhood.

Both a gamer and a Disney fan, Kristin’s journey with Kingdom Hearts began in 2005 with the purchase of a PS2 just to play the first installment of the series. Since then, she has enjoyed multiple playthroughs of every game in the franchise, with 358/2 Days and Birth by Sleep holding a special place in her heart for cementing her emotional investment in the story and characters.

When she is not making reeds, rehearsing, or practicing one of her countless other woodwinds, Kristin uploads covers of her favorite game music to Youtube under the name "Field of Reeds".

  • Favorite character: Axel
  • Favorite world theme: The Silent Forest / Sacred Distance
  • Favorite battle theme: Critical Drive
  • Favorite character theme: Roxas

David Russell

David is a 21 year old college student from Barboursville, West Virginia. A classically-trained pianist with over 12 years of experience, he’s been transcribing, composing, and arranging music since 2005.

Following his uncle’s recommendation, he first picked up Kingdom Hearts in 2003 and was quickly entranced by the story. He remembers restarting the game countless times just to listen to Utada Hikaru’s “Simple and Clean” (ultimately recording it on a cassette tape player back in 5th grade just so he could listen to it on the bus ride home!). Collecting all those provisions for Kairi on Destiny Islands, meeting Donald and Goofy for the first time in Traverse Town, the countless attempts to defeat Clayton and his giant Chameleon-of-death in the Deep Jungle, fighting Anti-Sora on Hook’s pirate ship, regaining Sora’s keyblade from Riku at Hollow Bastion, and finally defeating Ansem’s heartless…a game had never been so influential as much as the original Kingdom Hearts.

Naturally, he was ecstatic about Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and, soon after, Kingdom Hearts II. The Kingdom Hearts story kept growing more and more incredible upon learning the backstories of Axel, Roxas, and Xion in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, the struggle and ultimate failure of Aqua, Terra, and Ven to stop Master Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, and the return of a new Organization XIII in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance.

The music in each of these games is so outstandingly well-crafted and wonderfully inviting that it inspired David to learn and master as many pieces as he could during his teenage years. Now, orchestrating alongside Kristin and Sebastian, he is pleased beyond measure to present Project Destati to Kingdom Hearts fans around the world as a musical celebration of this incredible series. Years of experience as a skilled arranger and performer, combined with his familiarity and passion for the Kingdom Hearts soundtrack, David’s combination of skills will be extensively utilized and diligently refined to bring this music to life in a new light.

  • Favorite character: Xion, for sure!
  • Favorite world theme: Hollow Bastion / Sacred Moon
  • Favorite battle theme: Night of Fate / Darkness of the Unknown
  • Favorite character theme: Terra

Sebastian Wolff

Sebastian is a classically-trained pianist based in San Francisco who arranges, orchestrates, transcribes, performs, and breathes music. Most of his musical consumption consisted exclusively of Chopin nocturnes and Beethoven sonatas until he discovered the world of video games—and their melodious scores. His journey into the world of Kingdom Hearts began shortly after the game’s release. Inspired by the game’s scores, he set out to arrange and perform a few songs from it. His 17-minute piano medley quickly became viral, in a time when a million views on YouTube was atypical.

Sebastian’s passion for music extends past the realm of performance: he stays active in the world of rights and licensing, and fights for artists’ rights in a world where technology and music intersect, often not entirely harmoniously. During the day, he works on music-related things with Loudr and the Game Music Bundle.

  • Favorite character: Kairi!
  • Favorite world theme: Hollow Bastion
  • Favorite battle theme: Lord of the Castle
  • Favorite character theme: Riku