Distant Worlds aims to bring the music of the Final Fantasy video games to Edinburgh's Playhouse
Strings stir, cymbals clash as before us an epic battle unfolds as good once again fights the forces of evil. This isn’t an opera or a big budget movie but a scene from Final Fantasy, one of the longest running and most respected RPG videogame series. To fans of the franchise the music is one of the most important elements, adding grandeur to this fantasy world.
‘It has much to do with Nobuo Uematsu's original design of 25 years ago,’ explains conductor Arnie Roth. ‘He utilized a technique, from the very beginning, giving each character a theme or “leitmotif”, which became more beloved to fans over the years, with variations on these themes as each new version of the game was released. He also gave important battles, quests, and environments their own individual themes. Not all video game series give as much importance to the music.’
Roth is a Grammy winning Music Director know for his work within the classical field having worked with The London Symphony Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Diana Ross, Il Divo and many more. ‘We continue to see traditional classical audiences that are impressed at the extremely high standards we maintain on the Distant Worlds concerts,’ adds Roth. ‘I am personally quite thrilled that we will have the esteemed Royal Scottish National Orchestra with us, as well as the National Youth Choir of Scotland.’ They will be joined by vocalist Susan Calloway while Masashi Hamauzu, who composed the score for Final Fantasy XIII, will also be in attendance.
Videogame scores have been getting ever more impressive over the last 20 years, the latest generation of consoles and home computers can process huge amounts of information leading to giant leaps forward in graphics and music. However Roth believes: ‘I do not think one can compare most other videogame soundtracks to the overwhelming size, depth and beauty of the Final Fantasy library of music. It truly stands by itself in that regard.’
Playhouse, Edinburgh, Sun 4 Nov.