Friday, April 8, 2011

Distant Worlds: Music and Art from Final Fantasy


Last weekend, a childhood dream of my husband's came true. We attended the New York performance of Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy. This was a monumental event for many people, not just for Ran. A nearly sold out crowd filled the BAM Opera House, listening, laughing, singing and utterly enjoying the beautifully woven chords from their all-time favorite video game series. One thing I have learned over the years: Final Fantasy isn't just a video game. For the technology folk, it is a fascinating historical time line in the developments of computer generated music and artwork. For others, it is simply joy and inspiration. For me, it is the music that I walked down the aisle to at my wedding and the memory of that wonderful day.

This was perhaps the most fun orchestra performance I think I will ever attend. Some people dressed up as game characters, others cheered at their favorite scenes on the projector screen, and most everyone shed a tear at the genius melodies of famed composer, Nobuo Uematsu. Nobuo is touring with the orchestra and was in the crowd that night. He came on stage for the encore performance of One Winged Angel, the Sephiroth theme song, and led everyone in a sing-along (it's a scary song so by "sing-along" I mean we were the part of the scary chorus parts!).

I don't think I have ever seen such a fluid combination of art and technology. Throughout the musical performance, scenes and concept art from the games were scrolling on a large projector screen. I've included some of these images below. There are many, many more examples at http://www.ffcompendium.com/h/art.shtml.

My husband is still glowing from the night. It has also, of course, inspired him to purchase a Play Station 3 so he can play the most recent games.
Chocobos from Final Fantasy X by Tetsuya Nomura
Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII by Tetsuya Nomura
Concept art from Final Fantasy VI by Yoshitaka Amano
Moogles from Final Fantasy IX by Yoshitaka Amano

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