By Jared Cyhowski / July 25th, 2012
I’ve always been a fan of the music from Final Fantasy and other JRPGs. A few years ago I came across a website called Final Fantasy Radio, where they streamed an endless amount of music from a range of excellent artists from the world of RPGs. I met the founder of the radio, Robert Tebian Sharrard, on the site’s built-in chat and soon discovered a devoted individual who was passionate in providing an atmosphere for excellent music.
Sadly, Tebian passed away yesterday from a long and enduring battle with HIV/AIDS.
The few times I spoke with Tebian, he was always extremely helpful and informative. A simple question about a particular song would lead to information on the radio itself and the programs he used to create playlists. My understanding is he would spend hours going through songs, finding similar characteristics between them to create a never-ending flow of Uematsu, Mitsuda, Nuss, Huang, and many others. The radio operated on donations from listeners alone, further proving Tebian’s passion for providing a haven for fans of the music.
Final Fantasy Radio started in 2007 “for the voice chat room of the linkshell RGoNots on FFXI-Sylph.” The radio was small at first but over the years grew to “5 lines of music in almost as many formats.” Official soundtracks and fan remixes of excellent quality are listened to by hundreds of people each day from their computers and other devices. The website expanded to feature news articles and interviews, and Tebian even launched a stream channel at Justin.tv.
Many of the streams have been archived and the radio is still functioning, while some of his most dedicated listeners have been discussing a continuation of the radio. Even if Final Fantasy Radio goes off air I have a feeling it will come back in some shape or form in the future.
I didn’t know Tebian personally and I never really watched any of his game streams, but from what I understand he was quite a character. He loved his listeners and viewers, and he cherished the radio as a personal project. We will miss him dearly and the passion he brought to this music genre and life itself.
Thank you for all of the endless hours of fantastic music, Tebian. And may you rest in peace.
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