Classically trained musicians will play selections from classic games including Fumito Ueda’s Ico at upcoming Tokyo-area performance.
You could make the argument that the most vibrant outlet for symphonic music, especially where its ability to connect to young listeners is concerned, is video game soundtracks. Most teens and young adults can’t tell Bach from Beethoven, but just about any of them who’ve played a handful of modern era games can hum their favorite orchestrally scored boss fight music or RPG town theme.
As proof of the genre’s potential to resonate with listeners, the Game Symphony Japan concert series has just announced its 23rd performance. The organization, which previously honored landmark PlayStation title Final Fantasy VII, will this time be saluting the combined works of Sony Interactive Entertainment, and by extension its predecessor, Sony Computer Entertainment.
The concert will be held this coming spring in the city of Kawasaki, Tokyo’s neighbor to the south. The program is divided into three sections, with the first featuring music from role-playing games such as Popolocrois, Arc the Lad, and Wild Arms. The second selection of pieces draws from games starring cute characters, with Ape Escape, LocoRoco, and Doko Demo Issho confirmed thus far.
But as any good event planner knows, you save the best for last, so the third set of the concert features the most enticing music, with pieces from Gravity Daze (known as Gravity Rush in some markets) and its soon-to-be-released sequel, Gravity Daze 2. What’s likely to be the biggest draw of all, though, is the other half of the third segment, when the musicians will perform music from director Fumito Ueda’s distinctly artistic trio of unforgettable games: Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian.
▼ The Last Guardian
The 23rd Game Symphony Japan performance will be held May 3 at the Muza Kawasaki concert hall, just a short walk from Kawasaki Station. Ticket prices start at 5,800 yen (US$50), top out at 9,800 yen, and can be reserved online here by a lottery system between now and January 10, followed by general sales also opening here on January 21.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s still feeling a little guilty about playing Ico with the control to hold Yorda’s hand set to toggle instead of continued press.