Back in early October the Video Game Orchestra, also known as the VGO, held a performance at the Berklee School of Music to kick off their latest concert tour. The group has its origins in Boston and is lead by Shota Nakama. The Video Game Orchestra has performed at a number of venues including MAGFest, PAX East, and the Boston Festival of Indie Games. At the beginning of this year, they even started their own recording studio and began producing music for some big game titles, one of the most recent being Final Fantasy XIII-3. The group’s style is what band leader Shota Nakama often refers to as rockestral game music. This is essentially a blending of an orchestra and rock band that helps create a whole new style. It’s a combination that works well for game music, especially for a lot of the material that they cover.
The VGO varies in the size of its ensemble, depending on the venue or project they are working on. In performances at Boston’s Symphony Hall they’ve made use of a full orchestra and their rock band, while smaller venues have required them to make due with just the rock band ensemble. For this performance at Berklee Hall, the VGO went with a compromise of the two set ups. The standard rock ensemble was present, but they were joined by a small string section and choir. While there are always a handful of standard pieces that the VGO likes to play at their events, some surprises and new pieces are always being added to the repertoire. What did the VGO have in store this time? Read on to find out. (more…)