Brave Wave has recently announced that it will be releases solo albums for both Saori Kobayashi and Manami Matsumae! Both composers recently attended Japan Expo in Paris earlier this month.
The four guest composers at the VGO show in Boston on October 7, 2012, each managed to squeeze into their busy schedules some time with myself and some of my old friends from RPGFan. Above you’ll find a photo we took with Noriyuki Iwadare and his own guest, Ms. Hiroko Miyaji (wife of the late Takeshi Miyaji, creator of Grandia).
Before you read the interview, try taking this pop quiz. For one of these composers, we ask about all the action one of their earliest work has seen in the “SQ” arrangement series. For another, they are surprised to learn we know what the game Esper Dream is. For yet another, we find out a peer composer they really admire and respect of late is Michiko Naruke. And finally, one of these composers talks about his partnership with a particular game designer who used to work for Square Enix and is now with Level-5. Can you match up these four composers properly *before* reading the interview?
After the jump, check out our short but informative interviews with each of the four guest composers. And be sure to check out RPGFan for their questions and respective answers from each of these VGM luminaries! (more…)
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance has been a highly anticipated game by many Kingdom Hearts enthusiasts such as myself. Aside from being a game for the Nintendo 3DS, I thought that this game was a continuation of Kingdom Hearts 2 due to its name. The game is actually said to be a prequel to Kingdom Hearts 3 with its gameplay and plot previewing the next installment. Its soundtrack is the first in the Kingdom Hearts series to be a collaboration between composers. I was excited by the idea of a collaboration; it gives soundtrack multiple approaches to the same idea or the same theme for the game, much like Mass Effect, God of War, or Final Fantasy X have done. So how did Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance OST cope with three composers? Find out after the jump! (more…)
Though a somewhat lesser “controversial” album than Secret of Mana Genesis, this summer SQ release saw both high praise and heavy criticism thrown upon it.
What’s the deal? What expectations weren’t met? And to what extent is the encroaching fad of modulated bass (dubstep) dominating this album?
For answers to those questions and more, I humbly give you my take on the July 2012 release “Battle SQ” from Square Enix. (more…)
We’ve been ceaselessly promoting the VGO in the past month. Full disclosure: VGO founder Shota Nakama is technically an OSV member, as he has provided many translation services for us over the years. But he is much more than a translator. He’s a guitarist, an arranger, an organizer and producer.
So when the Video Game Orchestra put on their first no-strings-attached show (no Distant Worlds, no association with a convention, no “film and game music in the same concert”), we at OSV were all on board to see it succeed.
And this past weekend, that’s exactly what I saw.
Next week, we’ll have our interview with the four guest composers at the show (Noriyuki Iwadare, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Yoko Shimomura, Kinuyo Yamashita). But for now, after the jump, I’d like to give you my detailed report of the concert, as well as some strange and wonderful encounters I had with industry veterans and fans alike. (more…)
For today’s Original SoundCAST, we have Brenna as host and Patrick as sidekick as we interview the founder and operator for the Video Game Orchestra in Boston, Shota Nakama.
We ask Nakama-san about his interest game music, how it originated, etc. We get more details about the coming show in October, the special guests, the set list, and even a special request from Shota for the fans regarding a planned “Sakimoto Medley.” We also talk shop re: musical performance and building talent, the sights and sounds of Boston, our mutual love for Audun Sorlie, and plans for MAGFest 11 (VGO will be there, but in a “band plus chamber music” form — not the full orchestra).
Download: Original SoundCAST Episode #016
Intro music: “Polywrath” from Danimal Cannon’s Roots
Outro music: “Time’s Scar” from Chrono Cross (Yasunori Mitsuda)
Alright people, we’ve been telling you every last detail we can squeeze out of VGO founder and concert organizer Shota Nakama at every turn of the way. We even have a special episode of Original SoundCast going up tomorrow with more details on the October 7 show, the guests, MAGFest 11 plans, and more.
But today, I have something EXTRA special. Two VIP tickets (great seats plus access to the meet-and-greet with Shimomura, Sakimoto, Iwadare and Yamashita), courtesy of OSV, to anyone who would be able to attend the show on Sunday, October 7 2012 in Boston.
To enter: email me (email@example.com with subject line “VGO Boston Tix!” telling me what, if you got the chance, you’d want to say in person to these four special guests and to the Video Game Orchestra and its founder Shota Nakama. The winner will, of course, get that chance. We’ll be giving both tickets to the winner, who is free to bring a friend or give the ticket to another VGM fan. Please, NO re-selling! These tickets combined are worth $200, making them the most valuable giveaway OSV has done to date.
Start sending those emails, and good luck! We’ll announce the winner on Friday, so the window of opportunity to win is tight!
Meanwhile, you’ll also want to check out the latest announcements at the VGO Kickstarter, which includes the setlist for the show and the expected tracklist for the CD.
We have a couple of very important bits of information regarding the upcoming VGO concert on Sunday, October 7 in Boston. You’ll notice, first of all, that we’ve added a banner for the concert in our site header that will stay in-place until the show has taken place. That’s because we are really excited about this show and want to see it succeed!
Second, and this is really exciting … a fourth guest has been confirmed. We already know that Hitoshi Sakimoto, Noriyuki Iwadare, and Kinuyo Yamashita will be at the show. Now, the above video from Shota Nakama confirms for us that Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts, Legend of Mana, Radiant Historia, Parasite Eve, Super Mario RPG, Xenoblade, and many many others) will be attending the show as well. This is very exciting news!! A reminder that anyone who purchases VIP tickets will be able to attend a special meet&greet after the show to talk with the composers and have items signed.
Speaking of purchasing tickets, there is a discount available that we’d like everyone to know about. If you enter “rockestralgamemusic” as a promotional code while doing online checkout for your tickets, you will receive a 10% discount*!
Finally, we’d like to note that the VGO Kickstarter campaign to have this show recorded and pressed as an official CD (and digital album) is currently at over $10,000, which puts it more than 1/3 of the way to its goal of $30,000 with 21 days left to go in the campaign. If you can’t make it to the Boston live show (or heck, even if you can), do yourself a favor and support this Kickstarter! $10 for the bare-bones digital album, $20 for the CD, and some very interesting rewards the higher your pledge goes! Please check it out! (I’m urging you for very selfish reasons: I want this CD!)
*note: this discount is only applicable for non-VIP tickets.
I have much love for Zuntata (OGR et al). And for shmup fans, Zuntata equals Darius. The latest game in the long-running series, a revival of sorts, was DariusBurst. The OST was released in January 2010, and then, only a few months later, a mammoth album dropped.
That album was DariusBurst Remix WONDER WORLD. The album had two discs, and they were themed. Disc one: “Breath of a living thing,” were more acoustic arrangements. Disc two: “Breath of a machine,” much more on the electronic/synthesized side of music.
A total of 22 tracks, 11 tracks per disc, each handled with special care from talented, well-known VGM personalities. How could it possibly be bad? Here’s a hint: it can’t be. This album is filled with yummy-in-my-tummy goodness.
For more details, including an in-depth look at the track arranged by baiyon (this is baiyon week, after all!), join us after the jump. And stop back later tonight for a review of yet another DariusBurst album! (more…)
3 years ago, I sat anxiously waiting for the orchestra to appear from the sidelines. With a curious gaze towards the stage and the many surrounding me, the shared excitement was palpable, and whispers echoed in the Philharmonic Hall as the seated audience prepared to experience game music evolved. I was at Symphonic Fantasies in the Cologne Philharmonic Hall on September 12th, 2009, and on that night, with tears in my eyes, I experienced what is the greatest video game music symphony ever produced.
Since that day, many shows have come and gone, many concerts have been set up around the world, but the impact that Symphonic Fantasies had on the industry is undeniable; it changed the playing field entirely. Audiences wanted more, deeper arrangements, pure production designs, greater stories. Simple medleys did no longer suffice; Symphonic Fantasies proved that game music, like any music, can become something much greater by understanding its message, its intentions, its soul. But even with a subsequent CD release, the demand was high from the eager fans to experience the concert for themselves. It was therefore that Thomas Böcker took his production and team to Japan at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, and returned home to the birthplace of the orchestral game music concert and the Square Enix video games, to show that the concept had evolved, and the music which so many hold dear, has grown up to become something much larger. The result was 2 sold out shows in Japan, heralded in the press and by its peers as a true achievement not easily matched. It was due to this success, that the decision was made to once again provide fans around the world the opportunity to hear Symphonic Fantasies in the form of an album release.
But is it worth the purchase a second time around? Find out after the jump! (more…)
We’ve just got our hands on one of the most anticipated releases of the year, and given how glorious the packaging is on this one, we just had to record an unboxing video. We flip through the entire book which contains 19 discs of music along with a special 20th anniversary DVD containing the orchestral performance, composer interviews, and a behind-the-scenes making-of video. The book also comes with complete credits for each title, liner notes, and tons of artwork.
The book drops in Japan on September 14, so enjoy this unboxing video two days early and let us know what you think of the set. It’s still available for pre-order from CD Japan and Play-Asia if you’re interested in snagging one after watching the video. Oh, and let us know if you like the new over-the-shoulder video format better than the head-on!
How do you think the Seiken Densetsu Book compares to the SaGa Premium Box from last year? Do you think this set is worth the 21,000 Yen asking price?
And here I was thinking that we were going to get a Front Mission box set next.
Square Enix has announced a 20-disc box set featuring all of the music from the Seiken Densetsu series that will also include the Final Fantasy Gaiden and secret of mana + arrange albums from the franchise. We saw something similar with the SaGa series a couple of years ago, and were incredibly impressed with the collection, but now Square Enix aims to give the Seiken Densetsu series a similar treatment (hopefully this one won’t be rendered obsolete as quickly as SaGa set).
Games that will be featured include Final Fantasy Adventure, Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, Legend of Mana, Sword of Mana, Children of Mana, Dawn of Mana, and Heroes of Mana. This covers music from everyone from Hiroki Kikuta to Kenji Ito to Yoko Shimomura. Of all the massive box sets that have been announced (with the exception of the canceled Genso Suikoden box), this has to be the one I’m most excited about. You can bet we’ll have coverage of this collection as the release date of September 14, 2011 closes in. And start saving, because the box is going to set you back 21,000 Yen!
Are you giddy with excitement about this box? Are you pleased that the arrange albums will be included as well? And what does this bode for the fate of the Seiken Densetsu franchise?