The iconic music of the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses comes to Vancouver
The music is obviously a huge part of the attraction to this tour, and it's interesting to think that the fans can see live what they've so often heard digitally. How has this technological reversal of sorts (going from digital to live) affected the way people interact with video game music?
Chad Seiter: I have been asked this so many times and thought a lot about it! I think as we are kids, we have a very powerful sense of nostalgia instilled in us from the classic era of games. These melodies are engrained in our memories and we cherish them.
On the other side of the spectrum, I think the orchestra is such a powerful image. I think when we take these wonderful small, short melodies and expand on them to the beauty of an orchestra, there is an undeniable attraction to the result. People love to hear these great melodies reimagined.
There is an ongoing dynamic to the relationship between Link and Zelda; can you describe how this relationship has developed over the years and how fans have responded to watching it happen?
Jeron Moore: This is an interesting topic. In the fiction of the Zelda universe, Link and Zelda share an eternal destiny. According to the official timeline (see Japanese-only Hyrule Historia), each game represents a different generation of characters – but despite the lapse of time or change in circumstances, Link and Zelda’s inevitable relationship persists in some way – they always discover each other and are sucked into a harrowing tale. Link is always the hero.
Zelda tends to always be the "damsel in distress," with few exceptions. I think as fans, re-discovering these characters within each incarnation of the game, seeing how their differing stories have unfolded over the years has helped to create a special bond. And of course, if anything - the music we’ve come to associate with these characters and their adventures has had an undeniable effect on that emotional connection.
What types of technologies have been used to develop this tour?
Chad Seiter: Well, first off, I have to thank good old manpower! I have a wonderful team -- my wife and orchestrator, Susie Seiter, Wayne Strange, Eric Buchholz, and Tim Stoney. They sat there tirelessly and figured out all the music by ear for me as I was doing the arranging.
They also transferred it into the computer so I could make a synthesized digital mock-up of the orchestra to show to original Zelda composer and Nintendo Sound Director Koji Kondo for his direct approval. It was wonderful working with him, and he would scan sheet music and PDF it to me to make sure I had all the melodies 100% accurate.
On the concert tour itself, we use computers to synchronize the orchestra to the video with something called a “click track.” All the musicians wear headphones, and there is a “click” – the exact tempo of the piece, like a metronome. This allows us to do all kinds of really cool video editing and score the game to picture!
How many musicians are involved in the tour, and how many stops?
Chad Seiter: We use a different orchestra at each one of our stops. We have 66 musicians, a HUGE brass section, and 24 singers at every show. I love to use local orchestras. Usually, I will contact a local resounding orchestra such as the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, or the Orlando Philharmonic. Other times, I will work with a local contractor who will hire local musicians and we have our own orchestra. I am proud to say we have had phenomenal orchestras play on this tour, including the Royal Philharmonic, Orchestra Nova, and the Dallas Symphony. It was even performed in Tokyo, Japan with the Tokyo Philharmonic.
The tour's second stop is in Vancouver. Has this been a destination in the past, and what has the response been from this city?
Jeron Moore: So far, the response has been extremely enthusiastic – tickets are going fast, so I’d encourage those who’ve not yet purchased to get theirs quickly. We’ve been to the Orpheum Theatre in the past w/ our other show, “PLAY! A Video Game Symphony” – which featured a small Zelda segment. I distinctly remember the roar of excitement from the crowd as we performed that suite of Zelda themes during that show, so bringing a show on the scale of “Symphony of the Goddesses” to Vancouver will be a lot of fun. It’s been a long time coming - the team is looking forward to it.
We’re hoping to see loads of passionate fans, cosplayers, and music enthusiasts new and old to The Legend of Zelda. This may be a celebration for Zelda fans, but I consider it also just a old fashioned celebration of good, rousing music with memorable melodies.
How do you see this trend developing in the future, and what can we expect from Zelda, and the symphony, in times ahead?
Chad Seiter: We have designed our show so we can keep on adding new pieces whenever we want. We want to let the audiences know that we listen to their feedback and often times I’ll write arrangements based on fan response. They have all been very supportive and it’s incredibly appreciated. It lets us constantly evolve our show and as a result, I don’t feel like any two shows are the same.
Interested to attend? Get your tickets for the March 14 concert.