Those who have been to any of the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses will know symphony producer, Jason Michael Paul. While the concert may be in its third successful leg and fifth year running, things were not always cheery when Paul started his journey to bring the best of game music and symphonic orchestras.
In a recent article by GamesIndustry, when Paul first started off bringing music to the orchestras with a Final Fantasy symphony, a lot of people in the industry were more than just apprehensive about it. There were people who outright dissed the idea.
“I was getting a lot of resentment,” Paul says. “A lot of backlash and naysayers, and people who would describe this as muzak or elevator music, and those people were the musicians themselves in the LA Philharmonic [who performed the Final Fantasy music].
However, as the idea slowly opened up, even the musicians were slowly brought over to the idea. Afterall, gamers are more willing to show their appreciation to the music whose games they were so passionate about, and the musicians definitely appreciate the support.
“The orchestra members will always be – and I wouldn’t say all of them, but definitely a lot of musicians are unfortunately used to playing standard rep. They are used to playing a lot of the classics. For a lot of musicians, this sort of concert is a treat. They get applause. They get recognised for the musicianship. These audiences roar, and they’re also very quiet and respectful during the performance. So you have a raucous audience, which is very polite when they need to be. And the musicians after the show are all thanking you, because it is such a wonderful experience. I get a lot of satisfaction from that.”
It is after numerous game music inspired symphonies that Paul start to gain the attention of Nintendo, Miyamoto especially, who personally thanked Paul for featuring Nintendo’s music in his shows. He was then given the opportunity to produce the Symphony of the Goddesses tour, which is still touring now, five years since he started.
So what is up going ahead for Paul? According to him, the Symphony of the Goddesses will be taking a little break soon and he is actively working to bring other game music into the concert halls. He is currently in talks with Bethesda and made a proposal for a Super Mario Symphony, any of which if becomes reality will be a very amazing thing. He previously also pitched a concept for Super Smash Symphony, but nothing materialised, which is really such a shame.
“But now we are talking about a hiatus [for the Zelda event]. Here we are on this high where we are doing over 70 shows a year with The Legend of Zelda, and then we’ve got nothing. But I am doing other things. I am working with Bethesda on the hopes of an Elder Scrolls concert. Nothing is confirmed at this point, but I am hopeful.”
“I recently put together a really nice proposal for a Super Mario symphony. And we’ll see. Hopefully it will stick. I also had another concept called Super Smash Symphony, but that’s not going to happen. It’s too complicated.”
The article does bring great inside into Jason Michael Paul’s journey and quest to bring game music into the symphonic realm. If you like to know more about his struggles and experience, you can read the full article at GameIndustry’s site here.