Thursday, November 15, 2012

Distant Worlds ~ Music from Final Fantasy

Bit of an awesome post for you today hopefully (well, if I can effectively put across what I am wanting to...English is hard to master)

We went to Distant Worlds in Edinburgh (or "Edinboro" as the conductor Ernie Roth pronounced it) last week on the 4th November, and it was really awesome to see them coming to Scotland for the first time. So for those of you who may still be wondering what the heck I'm talking about, this is a show that comes to a lot of venues worldwide now, and it involves a full orchestra and choir playing some of the music from the Final Fantasy games over the course of roughly 2 hours.

Now, before I start, I am no music critic or reviewer by any means. However I know what I like. I'll attempt to run through the concert briefly and give my thoughts where I can :)

Me and my girlfriend got to the venue (Edinburgh Playhouse, Scotland) about 45 mins early and bumped into a good friend at the doors (brah love! lol) and made our way through the theatre to where our seats were supposed to be. My first impressions were that the theatre was quite nice! Not the best I've seen, but pretty damn awesome inside! The venue looks so small from the outside...don't know how they managed this kind of Tardis crap! =) But we got to our seats on ze balcony and quickly realised that they weren't kidding when they said that our ones would have "limited legroom." Probably the most cramped I've been in a long time...That was one thing that would annoy me as my legs kept trying to resist the temptation to fall asleep on me. One of the only real flaws for me was the legroom in our seats...that would bug me just a tad throughout the night.

Anyway, after a while of looking around, trying to take pictures of the surroundings, having a look at Streetpass people on the 3DS and chatting, the orchestra started to file in and practice a bit. Pretty awesome when the really crisp projection came on screen;

So HD! As they promised on the website, visuals from the games and some of Yoshitaka Amano's art would be presented throughout the songs.

They started off with the Final Fantasy prelude, the song that is reused in a lot of the openings, endings and menu screens of the Final Fantasy games in slightly different iterations. It was a complete shock to the system to hear such amazing music that I've heard so many times come to life right in front of us. It was so well done at times that I almost drifted away into some kind of daydream where I was watching the projections on screen. At times it was almost possible to forget you were seeing this live, it sounded right out of the games in some cases.

After the prelude, they launched into the opening song of FFVIII, Liberi Fatali. On hearing that starting up, I was really stoked, its a really nostalgic song for me as VIII is one of the first final fantasy games I played. Hearing that opening so many times and watching it was really amazing back then. Squaresoft and Square Enix were always really good at pushing the boat out in terms of visuals. So seeing clips from the FMVs edited together and projected behind the orchestra was really cool. At times, the clips weren't always up to scratch, that was one of the only flaws I could put on the evening (that and the cramped legroom up in the balcony.) What I mean by up to scratch is that they just more or less put together pics from Amano, with no real editing, or transition or even thought behind what ones would be put up. Just random Amano art from some of the earlier detracted just ever so slightly, because of the intricate nature of his pictures, and the distance we were from the screen, it made it quite hard to resolve some of the details and tell what was going in the pictures. Perhaps thats just me and optometrist training coming into play and trying to point out flaws...because really it didn't bug me as much as it might be coming across.
 I was really happy that they played a lot of songs that were from VII and VIII, the first games from the series that I played, as well as some I played more recently. FFVI has some great songs in its OST, and they played both the Opera song, Terra's theme and a couple of others. The Chocobo medley was really good fun, and they put a lot of work into the visuals that went along with it =p More text after the picture break! (Hopefully they're in the right order, I don't like the Blogger picture uploader for multiple images...) Thanks to my awesome girlfriend for the pictures! She has a blog over at Link ~ check it out if you are interested in nail art and other stuff =p

One really cool twist was to find out that there were some high up Square Enix staff at the concert, like the composer of the FFXIII soundtrack, Masashi Hamauzu. Even cooler was to find out that he had been with the company for a long time, and had played a part in the chanting chorus in One Winged Angel. So he actually jumped in and performed with the choir when they did One Winged Angel as an encore. Pretty cool stuff! I'd definitely recommend checking out Distant Worlds if you're remotely into Final Fantasy and it comes near your area! =)


Trigger7 said...

Great post! I saw the Distant Worlds concert a couple of years ago and it is definitely fantastic. Hearing "Aeris Theme" from FFVII, "The Opera" from FFVI and "To Zanarkand" from FFX played by the orchestra was amazing. Nobuo Uematsu was even there at our concert!

Berserk_Alucard said...

Wow, thanks very much for posting! I love your blog, you have really good content =)

Yeah, most of my favourite songs were played, Terra's theme being one of them =p
I just knew they would do One Winged Angel as the encore song as well, people would have been dissapointed if they didn't.
Really glad I finally got to go Distant Worlds, I'd heard a lot from people in America and Canada about the concerts. :)

Trigger7 said...

"Terra's Theme" is one of my favourites too, so I'm jealous you got to hear it! Definitely picked that "One Winged Angel" was going to be the encore, but it was awesome anyway!
Thanks for checking out my blog and I'm glad you like it, I think yours is great too! Keep up the good work.