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Arrangers Speak Out On LEGENDS: Comments From The Staff

May 12, 2011 | | 6 Comments Share thison Facebook Arrangers Speak Out On LEGENDS: Comments From The Staffon Twitter

LEGENDS is now only a few weeks away and like the weather that is currently gracing the fine continent of Europe, things are heating up for the Nintendo based concert. Taking place in Stockholm on the 1st of June, LEGENDS will revisit the world of Nintendo’s vast music library, much like concert of 2010 before it, Symphonic Legends. However, this won’t be exactly the same concert as the German audience heard. LEGENDS will be an all new experience, showcasing all new arrangements with familiar tunes and motifs, and for the people who traveled to Cologne last year, the experience of LEGENDS will be just as exciting as it will for the all new ears in attendance.

To give the audience a bit of insight into what to expect and what goes into the process of arranging the legendary music, LEGENDS has for weeks posted updates from the arrangers Jonne Valtonen, Roger Wanamo and Masashi Hamauzu about their thoughts and feelings on the different pieces they are working on. With the final announcement posted, you can now read all the updates in English!

Read all the comments from the LEGENDS staff after the jump!

Lylat Wars and StarWing
(Toward the Celestial Sphere)
Arranger: Jonne Valtonen

The Star Fox-suite is the first piece of the concert, so I wanted to give this arrangement all the qualities of a classic concert opener. The music has to stand on its own two feet, but at the same time function as an introduction and invite the audience to the fantastic journey through several decenniums of legendary Nintendo games.

The arrangement is full of triumphant fanfares and ceremonial sounds, but the music may also be reminiscent of a feeling of an end boss waiting somewhere to be defeated. I hope you all will enjoy this explosion of energy.

Super Mario Bros.
(Retro Suite)
Arranger: Roger Wanamo

Super Mario Bros is gaming history’s most well known theme song and it has naturally been arranged for orchestras plenty of times before. So with my own interpretation of the Super Mario games I want to give the audience something new, something they have never heard before.

The first thing I did was to look for music pieces which had not been used in any prior arrangements. And in the end it turned out to be so many pieces that I was able to avoid using any of the themes that are usually heard – except for one. I think you all know which one. Enjoy!!

(Grünende Flur)
Arranger: Masashi Hamauzu

To make use of an enormous fully realized orchestra is fantastic, but it can be equally fantastic to reduce the orchestra down to a minor ensemble. That’s why this arrangement has been written for a wind quintet – where every instrument fits the round, cute, hard working character of Kirby perfectly.

One of my best experiences from working on this arrangement has been when I was visited by my 10 year old daughter at work. She is usually very critical when it comes to music, and often tells me that I should do this or that, but when she heard this arrangement, she jumped up and proclaimed: “oh, this is Kirby!!”

Super Metroid
(Into Red, Into Dark)
Arranger: Jonne Valtonen

With the original soundtrack for Metroid, the composer wanted to incite the feeling of a living organism. I have taken the same approach with my arrangement by complimenting the melodies with more complex chord sequences and overlapping themes and structure them with my own. Only the main theme is left completely untouched.

One of the strength of the game that I felt was important to portray with my music is the mental battle between Samus and Mother Brain. The interplay between the orchestra, choir and the narrator expresses Samus doubts but also her undeviating determination.

(Kleine Suite für einen großen Tag)
Arranger: Masashi Hamauzu

With this few minute long piece I will put together a day worth of Pikmin’s dramatic and mortal lives. Here there is “Awakening”, “The Intensive Activety” and the “Trumpet March”. You can even hear the melody from the game’s main theme, “Ai No Uta” – or “Love Song” – which became very popular in Japan and the music I first associate with the game.

By making use of the whole orchestra it accentuates the softer, more quiet noises – and then we create the magical world of Pikmin through notes.

(Race for Piano and Orchestra)
Arranger: Roger Wanamo

When I was asked to arrange F-Zero, my very first thought was to seat Benyamin Nuss by the piano. Racing games are all about high speeds and intense competition – and a piano that confronts a whole orchestra creates the ideal combination to showcase these emotions with music.

My piece follows the structure of an intense F-Zero-race split into 3 acts. Certain parts of the track is smooth and straight forward, while other parts contain tight corners and offers great chances for the competitors to sneak in and take the lead spot.

Donkey Kong Country
(Aquatic Ambiance)
Arranger: Masashi Hamauzu

I will never forget the first time I heard the underwater theme from Donkey Kong Country. That why I was extremely happy when I was asked to do this arrangement. It is always fun for me to be able to engage myself in game music that I truly love. It was this comfort that gave me the courage to make this daring arrangement.

If you listen carefully you can hear the game’s intro melody somewhere in the arrangement. This is also the main theme of the very first game – the 30 year old Donkey Kong – and an important theme for me, who has had a nearly life long connection to the series.

Super Mario Galaxy
(Galactic Suite)
Arranger: Roger Wanamo

Unlike the other pieces I am arranging for the LEGENDS concert, The Super Mario Galaxy piece remains orchestrated in its original form. I wanted to keep the original feeling but at the same time create natural bridges between the game’s many themes. I hope the end result feels like a trip through Mario’s universe, and that I accomplished and honor and capture the emotions that is found in the fantastic original compositions so that the fans can relive their gaming moments just by listening to the music.

The Legend of Zelda
(Symphonic Poem)
Arranger: Jonne Valtonen

“Symphonic” Poem tells the Legend of Zelda through a 5 act symphony. It is the story of how Link and the young princess grows up, meet each other and accepts each others destinies, to finally confront their worst enemy.

With this piece I want to inspire the listener to create their own story, the best part of music is that with the less it is explained, the more personal and unique the experiences becomes.

In total there are 100 000 notes written for this very piece, and I have carefully studied each and every one of them. We all know the original music so with my arrangement I am trying to expand Legend of Zelda’s world. I wanna create new places and situations that never before existed. And most of all I want to visit places where I never been myself – maybe places you already have visited.

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