Play! A Video Game Symphony

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PLAY! concert series logo

PLAY! A Video Game Symphony is a concert series that features music from video games performed by a live orchestra. The concerts from 2006 to 2010 were conducted by Arnie Roth. From 2010, Andy Brick took the position of principal conductor and music director.

History[edit]

In 2004, Jason Michael Paul was approached by Square Enix to organize a concert for music from its Final Fantasy series. After the concert sold out in a few days, Paul decided to turn video game music concerts into a series.[1] Arnie Roth, who had previously conducted the Dear Friends - Music from Final Fantasy and More Friends: Music from Final Fantasy concerts, was selected to conduct the concerts.[2] Andy Brick, who had previously conducted the Symphonic Game Music Concerts, was chosen as the associate conductor.[3] The concerts are performed by local symphony players and choirs.[4]

Play! premiered on May 27, 2006 at the Rosemont Theater in Rosemont, Illinois.[5] The premiere show featured performances by Koji Kondo, Angela Aki, and Akira Yamaoka,[6] and composers Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda, Yuzo Koshiro and Jeremy Soule were in attendance.[7]

Concerts[edit]

Each concert features segments of video game music performed by a live orchestra and choir, with video footage from the games shown on three screens.[2] An opening fanfare, written by Nobuo Uematsu, is performed at each show.[7] Music from all video game eras is performed at the shows.

According to Paul, the show is a "straightforward music program," designed "to keep the arts alive in a way that is classy."[1]

Performed music[edit]

Music from the following games has been performed at Play!:

Album[edit]

On January 9, 2009, a live album CD and DVD of the concert was released. It was recorded in Prague and was performed by the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra.[8]

Reception and legacy[edit]

The concerts have been well-received. Audiences regularly give standing ovations after each song.[4] Jeremy Soule, composer of the music for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, said that he "consider[s] 'Play' to be the ultimate video-game surround system."[9]

According to Paul, Play! helps to promote the work of composers, as well as "lend credibility to the genre of video-game music."[4] Roth stated that the concerts help to also push the classical industry forward and to "draw new audiences."[4] According to Soule, video game concerts can help to educate old generations "that game music isn't just a bunch of bleeps and bloops."[1] One associate conductor stated that the performance crosses the generational gap, bringing together older and younger generations.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Musgrove, Mike (2006-08-03). "Mario's New World: Symphonies". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Interview with PLAY! A Video Game Symphony producer Jason Michael Paul". music4games.net. 2006-04-29. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  3. ^ "GP Q&A: Video Game Music Grows Up". GamePro. 2007-05-25. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  4. ^ a b c d Colbourne, Scott (2009-04-06). "Gaming's high note". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  5. ^ "Koji Kondo to attend Chicago world-premiere". Anime News Network. 2006-04-17. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  6. ^ "PLAY! A Video Game Symphony - Rosemont Theatre, Chicago (05/27/06)". music4games.net. 2006-06-05. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  7. ^ a b "Nobuo Uematsu to attend Chicago world-premiere". Anime News Network. 2006-04-11. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  8. ^ "PLAY! A Video Game Symphony and the New Year!". Play! A Video Game Symphony. 2009-01-02. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  9. ^ Buckendorff, Jennifer (2008-01-21). "Seattle Symphony playing with video games". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 

External links[edit]