In a few days' time, the concert hall of the Sydney Opera House will ring again with the chords of The Legend of Zelda's memorable soundtracks for the first time in a decade. Symphony of the Goddesses is the result of a close collaboration between the symphony's creator Jason Michael Paul and Nintendo, and it's an honest recreation of the original music of the games -- "as first-party as it gets", says the producer behind it all.
Jason Michael Paul, probably best known in Australia for the PLAY! A Video Game Symphony series that toured in 2007, is responsible for bringing this Zelda concert to the Opera House, where it'll run for two shows on Sunday 29 October.
Unsurprisingly, he's a long-time fan of Zelda. "Like many, my journey through The Legend of Zelda began at 10 years old with the original gold cartridge and NES. I am particularly fond of Majora's Mask -- a game that has taken on a whole new meaning since I play it with my 10 year old daughter. Skyward Sword is a favorite [too]; Nintendo asked me to produce the 25th Anniversary orchestral CD that was released with the bundle. It was an honor... Breath of the Wild is just simply amazing."
PLAY! had some Zelda in it already, but this new concert is all about Nintendo's most loved series -- it'll feature music from Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild as well as the series' classics like Ocarina of Time. A full orchestra and choir will be accompanied by a "stirring" video made for the performance. Understandably, Nintendo was "very hands on" with the production. "Once the work is submitted and revisions (if any) are made, then we only collaborate further on new submissions. Mr. Kondo and Mr. Aonuma oversee everything and anything that is performed as part of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses -- it is as first-party as it gets."
There are three main elements, the producer-promoter says, in bringing video game soundtracks into reality through an orchestra like Symphony of the Goddesses will have: "...reimagining the scores to sound amazing being performed by an orchestra and choir, hiring truly talented humans that are equally as passionate about Zelda as they are about arranging and composing, [and] using a lot of the themes and melodies and making them sound bombastic and big-sounding."
While it's likely that a lot of the Zelda orchestral pieces will trigger nostalgia and strong memories in listeners, the concert might also add a bit of deviation from the original soundtracks into the mix: "there's a little bit of both", says Paul. The series has already run in Perth and Melbourne. [Sydney Opera House]