80: Sephiroth Saves The Symphony

"'[In] arrangements where we've taken very old themes - for instance, even Super Mario Bros. - and orchestrated it for full symphony orchestra, [the audience is] hearing it in a new setting for the first time, in a new arrangement. ... It's very challenging, especially when we have the audience there that knows all these themes and knows all this music really well.'"

Shannon Drake speaks with Arnie Roth, former member of Mannheim Steamroller, and the creative genius behind Dear Friends: The Music of Final Fantasy.

Sephiroth Saves The Symphony

That just made me want to go and find some of these concerts, or be more aware of them when they come by. I live by San Francisco, and I've known about the fact that they've had a few concerts, Dear Friends being one of them. Sadly, Play! is currently no where near California and More Friends seems to be taking a break. However, Video Games Live seem to be having a show in SF in March :D at the GDC, no less!

Too bad the music is still trivial, the arrangements unimaginative and the song selection populistic.

Sure, you can play the rabid fans for quite some time, but where's the artistic progress? I mean, the Terra theme from FF6 for example: sure it's a smooth little ditty that does the job while you're working your way around the world map, but the fact is that it's like 30 seconds long, and it's still repetitive!

I say, either remix the track or choose some more obscure song from the soundtrack that has a little more musical essence.

I should love it if one of these concerts were to come to England, and I can guarantee I'd be straight in line to snap up a few tickets.

Dectilon, I think you just have to accept some people have different tastes to you, you also seem to forget that a lot of music, classical and modern has a good degree of repetition in, if the music is a pleasure to listen to however, then it isn't a huge problem. There are also those pieces (often those used for the longer cutscenes) that do have more variiation, as the composer knows that they'll have a certain amount of time to play with in the cutscene, whereas somewhere like the world map, the player may not spend much time there so the composer may choose to use a particular lietmotif that will grab the listeners attention quickly.

Uematsu is good at this, his games often feature subtle variations on a particular theme, depending on the timing and locale the player is in, something that is especially prevalant in FFIX, with the tune for 'Melodies of Life' being used often in the soundtrack.

Also, have you listened to any of the aranged versions, the FFVI piano collection for instance? They often feature more variation than the in game version, as th composer knows that in-game and out-game music needs to met different needs.


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