been | The Legend Of Zelda – Symphony Of The Goddesses

At E3 2011, Jason Michael Paul Productions produced a 4 minute overture to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic Zelda franchise. The clip contained footage from the various titles paired with an arrangement of some of the stirringly beautiful themes the series is famous for which, for anyone who’s spent even a moment of their childhood wrapped up in the saga of Link and Zelda, was one hell of a nostalgia trip. Shortly after the event a full concert was announced whose success would eventually lead to the creation of “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses” to which I had the unique pleasure of seeing on the evening of the 14th of August at Auckland’s Civic theatre.

Multiplay Insomnia60 at NEC – Matthew King/iEventMedia

The show begins with the aforementioned overture, conducted with infectious enthusiasm by award winning Australian conductor Jessica Gethin, and performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra with assistance from the haunting Freemason Chorus. The performers are accompanied by the very same footage from the E3 presentation projected upon the back of the stage behind the Chorus.

The closing of the overture precedes an early teary eyed applause from series fans and newcomers alike and is followed by a brief introduction from Jason Michael Paul and a short clip from the one and only Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Not the last we see of the legendary game director as he makes a further announcement towards the end of the show, espousing his love for the series and the personal impact it’s had on him. He’s joined by two further clips, one from designer and current director of the Zelda series – Eiji Aonuma (who began his work with the series during the spectacular “Ocarina of Time”) and the renowned video game composer Koji Kondo.

Each piece of music is expertly choreographed to footage of the particular title it’s inspired from. It’s not just promotional footage either: a good deal of the scenes are actual gameplay meaning someone played through and recorded them for the show (I like to imagine Mr Paul did a start to finish “Let’s Play” of all 30 years worth of games for this himself). The masterful pairing with the swelling and pacing of the score suggests the clips were chosen by someone with a love for the series and, while a couple of clips felt like slightly odd choices, the vast majority of footage fit in sublimely and included enough chicken chasing and Master Sword pulling to satisfy everyone.

The pieces include arrangements from many of the greatest games in the series. Act one begins with a composition of the Dragon Roost Island theme from Wind Waker which, as the piece draws to a close, has the orchestra bathed in crimson light while showing Links dramatic battle with Gohma in the caverns. The stage lighting is used to great effect throughout immersing you even further from the vibrant greens of the Plains of Epona during a piece from Breath of the Wild to the deep blue of the Great Sea during Movement III – The Wind Waker.

I could more than happily talk about each piece in detail but, as Miyamoto says himself that “life, just as in the game, is full of surprises” and the surprises of this show really need to be experienced in person. The show will be moving on to Perth on the 24th of August and Singapore on the 26th before returning to Melbourne for two more shows on the 3rd of September. I implore you, if you’re able, crack open some pots and collect as many Rupees as you can to make it to one of these showings. You will not be disappointed.

Hyah!

 

 

 

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