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Game Music

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Granado Espada: Return to Orpesia Live Event Coverage + Gallery

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I doubt you knew about this. Hell, we didn’t even know about it until the day before it happened. As it turns out, Granado Espada is getting a big update in the near future, and to promote some of the upcoming changes, an event was held in Japan that included some commentary, a live voice acting session with artwork displayed on screens situated around the stage, and a concert headed Osamu Kubota.

Osamu Kubota handled piano and was the emcee for the evening with the new chamber group, GaQdan (recently featured on Hitoshi Sakimoto’s Crimson Shroud soundtrack), founded by artist TaQ, at his back. It was a great evening of music from the amazing Granado Espada soundtrack, including new songs you may not have heard before.

Hit the jump for a quick report and set list.

First, a bit about the setup. The small venue featured a large stage with Kubota and GaQdan, which brought in bass, a drum set, and a small orchestra. The screens wrapping around the stage displayed footage from the game and concert as well as comments from NicoNico Douga where the event was being aired. There was quite a turnout for the event, with over 40,000 people tuning in from around the world.

Here’s a list of the tracks that were performed:

01. “Odyssey
02. “Dejame Volver”
03. “Rhapsody”
04. “Endless Battle”
05. “Nangman Trance”
06. “Discipline”
07. “It’s not Over”
08. “Tears of Witch”
09. “Mother”
10. “Medley II: Ice Symphony ~ Beyond the Mountain ~ Maya”
11. “Fatal”
12. “Cite de Reboldoeux”
13. “Fame or Die”
14. “Aria de Coimbra”
15. “Granado Espada”

As you can see, there are a lot of tracks not featured on the Granado Espada Original Soundtrack Vol. 1, 2, or 3 collections, so it makes me believe there needs to be a Volume 4 at this point!

Starting from the beginning, “Odyssey” got live vocals by Kubota and backup female vocals in Kubota’s made-up language, which was amazing to hear live. Singing was also featured in “Discipline” and “Medley II.” “Medley II” was particularly strong with haunting female vocals in the “Ice Symphony” segment in a more melancholy and subdued arrangement. This transitioned into some funky bass and full out lounge jazz with solos and all for “Beyond the Mountain” before “Maya” came in with dual female vocals, rapid piano work, and decisive brass and string stabs.

“Dejame Volver,” a track I hadn’t heard before, took a more fantasy pop approach with swashbuckling woodwinds and a funky bassline. The addition of live bass to the performance allowed for a lot of this sort of thing, which I enjoyed a lot. “It’s not Over” and “Tears of Witch” also appeared new, with the former coming with a repetitive ascending melody and the latter as an emotional piano/orchestral ballad.

There was “Rhapsody” with gentle piano and decisive brass, “Endless Battle” which was upbeat yet subdued, and one of my personal favorites, “Nangman Trance,” which got a jazzy performance with a nice swing. Kubota’s improvised piano work was a nice touch, and the flute solo, female backup vocals, and rock percussion made for a great rendition. “Fatal” was very calculated and mellow while “Aria de Coimbra” felt like a relaxing vacation.

Kubota had some big shoes to fill with “Cite de Reboldoex” and “Granado Espada,” both pieces performed by famous Korean pianist Kim Jungsung on the original soundtrack. “Cite de Reboldoex” featured more emphasis on strings, and was somewhat more dark and moody compared to the original, while “Granado Espada” closed out the night as a solo piano performance that, while not as smooth as Jungsung’s performance, injected Kubota’s own style, which was great to hear.

In all, I’m glad I woke up at three in the morning to catch this performance. It was awesome to see and hear Osamu Kubota performing live, and some of these renditions were amazing. I’d love to hear this concert on CD or even DVD.

In the meantime, watch for more news regarding Granado Espada: Return to Orpesia.

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