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OSV Exclusive: Meet ZREO’s New Zelda Project, Twilight Symphony

February 3, 2011 | | 16 Comments Share thison Facebook OSV Exclusive: Meet ZREO’s New Zelda Project, Twilight Symphonyon Twitter

If you dig back really far, you may remember a post Gideon wrote about ZREO (Zelda Reorchestrated) arranging every piece of music from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. While that project did not feature a live orchestra, and was mostly a note-for-note transcription of the pieces using high-quality sample libraries, the result was still impressive.  With that in mind, however, you will be completely blown away by what the team is working on next. As you can guess from the title of this post, we’re incredibly excited to be involved with the announcement of their latest project, Twilight Symphony, which will feature arranged music from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

But not only are we helping to announce this project. We also have something for you to listen to. Through this joint reveal with our friends over at Destructoid, you will be able to sample 10 tracks from the album, which aims to re-orchestrate nearly 40 tracks from the game totaling over two and half hours of music.

Hit the jump for our exclusive trailer and for more details about the album.

Let’s get the trailer running here so you can listen as you read the remainder of our preview.

The following five tracks are featured here:

01. “Back to the Spring / Ordon Village”
02. “Light Spirit’s Message”
03. “Gerudo Desert”
04. “Zora’s Domain”
05. “Dark Lord Ganondorf”

While you only have 30 second samples in the trailer above, we’ve heard the tracks in their entirety, and let me tell you that they’re amazing. Even in their pre-final mix forms and without their live components recorded, the tracks bleed quality, making me wish Nintendo had taken the opportunity to beef up more than just a few of the tracks from the game. There are sweet pizzicato strings and woodwinds in “Ordon Village,” swelling choral and organ work in “Light Spirit’s Message,” hard-hitting guitar, brass, and orchestral percussion in “Gerudo Desert,” elegant piano work in “Zora’s Domain,” and of course bombastic orchestra in “Dark Lord Ganondorf,” complete with bell tolls and bassy choir.

That’s one thing the team at ZREO is really doing right this time.  The massive Twilight Symphony team at ZREO, including producer Jeron Moore, lead arranger Wayne Strange, mastering/mixing engineer, arranger, and ZREO founder Sam Ferrara, and additional arrangers Tim Stoney, Eric Buchholz, Leonard Cheung, Nick Perrin and Alex Bornstein are not only using the very latest and most cutting edge sample libraries for this project, but they’re also augmenting this with live performances including small instrument ensembles, the amazing talent of vocalist Aubrey Ashburn (Dragon Age, Devil May Cry 4), and with your help, perhaps a live choir ensemble. The group recently received approval for a Kickstarter project to fund live choral work for the album, which you can support here (this page also has audio samples!).

Going even further, the epic “Overture,” which is based on the game’s title screen and will act as the album’s opening piece, is set to be performed at an upcoming PLAY! A Video Game Symphony concert. Composer and orchestrator Chad Seiter (Fracture , Fringe, LOST and Star Trek) is currently orchestrating Wayne Strange’s arrangement that will be performed by the 90+ member orchestra and choir. Check back at the ZREO and PLAY! A Video Game Symphony websites for more details about when and where the arrangement will debut, but in the meantime, we’ve heard a 7+ minute mock-up, and it’s emotional, sweeping, majestic, and powerful. I can’t wait to hear it live!

That’s all we have for you at the time being. The ZREO team seems to be doing everything right with this release, taking one of the best Zelda soundtracks (which unfortunately never received an official soundtrack release) and pushing it to the level that everyone expected from the game itself. With live instruments, choir, and vocalists along with unique and interpretative arrangements and even a live performance as a part of the PLAY! A Video Game Symphony concert series, this one’s going all the way, and the wait won’t even be all that long.  Expect it sometime during summer 2011.

Watch in the coming weeks for more details regarding the album, and please head over to the ZREO Facebook fan page and become a fan and to Destructoid where you can hear samples from 5 more tracks from the album including many of my favorites such as “Lake Hylia,” “Midna’s Lament,” “Zelda’s Theme,” and “Hyrule Field.”

Tell us what you think of the above samples.  Are you with me in thinking this is what Nintendo should have done with the soundtrack in the first place?

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