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Author Topic: The Legend Of Zelda: Symphony Of The Goddesses  (Read 5085 times)
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JonLeung
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« on: November 08, 2012, 08:31:31 AM »

[The Legend Of Zelda: Symphony Of The Goddesses recap coming soon!...maybe.]

I don't know if I have time soon to write tons about The Legend Of Zelda: Symphony Of The Goddesses which I travelled to Calgary see two days ago.  But absolutely, absolutely recommended.

I will also say that GPS and winter tires are among the greatest inventions known to man, but that driving at over 100 km/h in less-than-ideal road conditions is not a good idea (even with winter tires).

I thank God that I am still in one piece after just learning that lesson, and my car and brother and mother are okay too.

More details about the Zelda concert soon...when I get to it.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 08:31:59 AM by JonLeung » Logged
DarkWolf
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 08:58:51 AM »

I saw a sign for this a month ago.  We're supposed to get this in Portland in March 2013.  It's going to be the weekend after a long convention weekend for me though, so maybe your review will help me decide.
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Peardian
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2012, 06:29:15 PM »

Very nice! I got to see it when it came to Orlando, and it was amazing!
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2012, 06:44:24 PM »

I think I heard this concert is coming to Atlanta? I'll have to make a trip to see it. I won't need any snow tires, though.

I guess that's the nice thing about living in the South. No need for snow tires or the like. Tongue
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JonLeung
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2012, 11:04:19 PM »

Sorry I haven't had a chance to write about this until now.  Probably won't be too fancy of a recap.

But yes, if you didn't already know, I am a huge Zelda fan.  I also quite enjoy video game music, and had actually just seen Video Games Live for the fourth time only two days earlier here in Edmonton.  (If memory serves, it's been shown five times in Edmonton; I didn't go last year, but it felt vastly different than the first three times, which is a good thing.  But enough about VGL for now.)  But I am sure that even if you've never played a Zelda game in your life, you could still certainly enjoy the musical performance.

Getting down to Calgary meant driving for longer than I have ever done before.  For many in Alberta, the drive between Edmonton and Calgary is a common thing to do, but I personally have not had to do the driving myself until now.  My brother does not currently drive, meaning that I had to endure the three-hour drive without being able to swap, though we paused a bit at the town of Red Deer which lies halfway between those cities.  But I'm sure you didn't come into my topic wondering about my road trip so I'll cut to it.

Despite being 20-some minutes away walking distance from where we stayed (by coincidence the same place we stayed eight years ago, but now part of a different hotel chain) to the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, it was a 50-minute drive, because of the big holdup with the parking.  I was cursing at my brother because I really thought we should've walked all along and thought we would now be late.  We finally pulled into the parkade with five minutes to spare and ran in, past other attendees including other cosplayers.  There were many dressed like Link but with varying degrees of accuracy.  There were a number of Zeldas, including a guy in a dress.  One girl dressed as Sheik got many photo op requests, as I noticed before and after the show and at the intermission.  There was also a Saria for sure, and I vaguely recall there might have been like one Ganondorf.  I didn't get as many 3DS StreetPass tags as expected (37, compared to 52 at Video Games Live) but I got one Japanese one, though I recall one of the girls in front of me had an imported 3DS so that was probably it.  Though the majority of attendees were in their 20s and 30s, including a fairly high number of women, there were also much older women and much younger boys.

Oh and it was a little surreal...the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium looks exactly like the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.  As I said I was at the Northern one only two days earlier for Video Games Live, so I noticed it wasn't just the construction of the building but the furniture and decor as well.

Oh yeesh, I should probably talk about the concert itself now...
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JonLeung
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 11:45:19 PM »

If you've been to Video Games Live, then you would find the setup of The Legend Of Zelda: Symphony Of The Goddesses to be similar.  You've got the symphony orchestra on stage, a choir behind them, and one large screen that shows game footage.  There aren't multiple screens or distracting lights and lasers like VGL, but that's quite all right, we needn't be too visually bombarded when enjoying Zelda music...

The screen shows the crest of Hyrule (you know, the Triforce logo with the wings underneath) in between segments.  During the musical pieces, game footage is shown, but it doesn't take up the whole screen, so you usually see the edges of whatever related background that you can see the whole image of when the footage isn't shown for a few moments.

The show begins (unsurprisingly) with the main theme/overture, with footage spanning most of the games.  Then the host appears and talks about how the show will go.  The conductor (conductress?) talked about the music, whereas the host, a Zelda fan and gamer, usually talked about the games.  He even showed off his gold NES cartridge of the original game.

The host explained that there would be four main pieces, each from a specific game in the Zelda franchise.  But before these pieces, we would hear some more shorter pieces, including a medley of dungeon music from various games - which I particularly enjoyed - music from Kakariko Village, a medley of ocarina tunes, and a piece about the three goddesses, with Hyrule and the Triforce's origin story with footage taken almost verbatim from Ocarina Of Time 3DS.

Speaking of which, I don't think much (if any) N64 Ocarina Of Time footage was ever used.  The 3DS version has better textures anyway though.  On that note, the first of the four major pieces was for Ocarina Of Time.  Seemed kind of early to me, if I arranged this concert I would have put it later, but whatever.

The second piece was for The Wind Waker, upon which the conductor pulled out her own Wind Waker-stylized wand.  Since it had been quite some time since I played that game, the music reminded me of that game's greatness, which I had forgotten since mention of that game usually just reminds me of all that sailing...

Then came the intermission.  I had some time to check out the merch booth, but by the time I got close to the front of the lines the T-shirts were sold out, leaving nothing but posters.  I didn't feel I needed a poster so I just stepped out of the line and returned to my seat, expecting more greatness out of whatever the next two pieces would be.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 11:50:18 PM by JonLeung » Logged
JonLeung
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2012, 12:09:06 AM »

The host introduced the next piece as from a much "darker" game.  He said he figured most of us were thinking of one of two games.  Turned out to be from Twilight Princess, and since I'd only played that game once, I was pleasantly surprised by the music I'd forgotten about.  And the game, too...a couple times I found myself going, "oh yeah, that was in that game, wasn't it?"

Since the first three major pieces were each the first console Zelda title for their generation, it came as little surprise that the last one was A Link To The Past to keep up the pattern.  Without cutscenes, the footage was less dramatic visually, but the music was still powerful (or maybe because I love this game)!

Everyone expects an encore at these things.  After bowing out, the conductor and host appeared and said they'd do one more.  So they did The Ballad Of The Wind Fish, fairly fitting considering all the instruments to collect in that game.   Perhaps they didn't think Game Boy footage was that appealing, so no footage from Link's Awakening was shown.

After a longer bowing out, the conductor and host returned again.  The second encore was the music from Gerudo Valley, which many people cheered about.  The music's not bad, but personally I don't agree with the people shouting that Gerudo Valley is the best Zelda tune ever...  And it seemed like an odd way to end the concert with the Gerudo opening the gate for Link to continue on to the desert...

An extended bow, and the host returned to point out that the number three is an important number with regards to The Legend of Zelda games.  So there was a third and final encore, this time a full piece, for Majora's Mask.

After that, the show was over, someone shouted that Obama had won, and we worked our way back to our cars amidst the dozens of Links and Zeldas (and ran into a friend also from Edmonton).  I can't remember exactly how long the show was but I think it was probably over two hours.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 12:13:29 AM by JonLeung » Logged
JonLeung
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2012, 12:25:23 AM »

So do you have to be a Zelda fan or even a gamer to enjoy this?  Apparently not.  There were some older ladies, probably some grandmothers with their families, and I overheard one of them say that they don't get what's going on on screen but they liked the music.

But if you haven't played the games but intend to, then be warned: the game footage is extremely spoilery.  For each of the main games, you're seeing a "Coles Notes"-esque summary of each game, and they seem to really like to show final boss fights and the large chunks of the ending sequences of those games.

So, anyway, yes, if this comes near you, you should definitely see it.  A winter storm came into Alberta, and I almost had a bad scene on the drive back in the pitch black and icy roads, and it was still worth that scare.  Tongue
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 02:44:55 PM by JonLeung » Logged
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2012, 05:39:28 AM »

Sounds like you had a great time. For some reason, although I've played a lot of classic Zelda games (everything up to Wing Waker, with both Wii games sitting on a shelf waiting for me), I don't seem to get excited about its music. And I loved every soundtrack, but unlike pretty much every other game whose music I enjoyed, I can't get into the music without playing the games. Maybe it's because the music always sounded so limited on console hardware; Zelda music, even for the older games, sounds like it's screaming for an orchestral performance and by itself doesn't have the same charm that most "chiptunes" have to me.

I hate the fact that I only found out about it not long ago and missed the Montreal concert by two whole seasons because hearing Zelda music live in this manner would have been wonderful Sad ...
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DarkWolf
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 07:44:43 AM »

Hrmm, if they do LttP and OoT it might be worth going.  Did they do the field music from Twilight Princess?
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JonLeung
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2012, 10:44:07 AM »

I believe they did do the field music from Twilight Princess, yes.

Looking back on it, that was kind of a lame recap, but that's what happens when I leave it for a few days later and then try and write it late at night when I'm exhausted.  Also, typing on an iPad is something I'm still not used to.

But yes, I should have said more about the music itself.  Though it's not easy to describe in mere words what must be heard.  The host even made direct reference to the orchestral CD that comes with Skyward Sword, but said that it's another thng to hear symphonic music live, and he was right.  When I played Twilight Princess, my eyes got all watery when the original Zelda theme played during the credits.  And that was just the music from the game, so I may have gotten a little teary-eyed during the concert itself.  Tongue

The arrangements are beautiful medleys, flowing from one track to the next.  The video footage matched well (just as you would expect, like at Video Games Live, but I still think it's impressive to match live-performed music to pre-recorded visuals).  They do often cut to showing what the orchestra is doing, so there's a recognition of the people involved in the performance as well.

One thing that I almost have to roll my eyes at when at Video Games Live is when Tommy Tallarico goes on about proving that video games, especially video game music, is a legitimate and culturally significant art form, but I guess my "yeah, no kidding, let's move on already" attitude is because I already know it myself and being at multiple VGL concerts I feel he's beating a dead horse.  I guess there does still exists a misconception that video game music is somehow different than non-video-game music, so I don't disagree.  But The Legend Of Zelda: Symphony Of The Goddesses doesn't feel a need to beat that point over our heads, at least not by saying so, but rather by showing us so.  I guess it helps that Zelda games are already beautiful visually (generally), but even if there were no visuals, I'm sure the music alone would make me want to replay those Zelda games.  Even these days when I simply don't have time to keep up with the games I want to play, that playing games more than once is a rarity, I wanted to take on Twilight Princess again.  Or even the whole series, sheesh.

It would almost seem rude to say that I would have liked to hear more of certain things.  Since there was a dungeon music medley, a boss medley would also have been nice.  They played a tiny bit of the A Link To The Past boss music, but I really like that tune so I wanted more.  The Ballad Of The Wind Fish makes perfect sense, considering all the instruments involved, so I'm glad they played that (oddly without visuals) but the handheld games were otherwise grossly underrepresented.  And considering they brought out a Wind Waker-like conductor's wand, they should have had a blue ocarina (and showed it off) when they played the ocarina songs medley and/or for the Ocarina Of Time segment.  I guess even if they had to play those with flutes or other wind instruments instead, it still would have been a nice touch to show it somewhere, somehow, being the titular object in the series' most-known game.  And lastly, the very rousing main The Legend Of Zelda theme was okay when they played it at the beginning, but for some reason I felt it was better performed at VGL, and it would have been nice to hear it played again (perhaps arranged slightly different) as a closing segment.  I don't know if that might be asking too much, but it's one of the most well-known game themes, ever, and deserving of an encore itself.

But again, in short, it was probably the best concert I've ever been to, so hopefully it comes near you if you haven't been to it yet!
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