If they can orchestrate it right, I think it could be a great success. Perhaps they could get Hitoshi Sakimoto's orchestrator Noriyuki Kamikura behind it. He did a good job with another semi-official event, Destiny - Dreamer's Alliance.
Is there any more information on the website? Just for a news article.
Says they're still looking for a lot of staff though, performers, conductors and everything, and they'll adjust the arrangements to suit whatever they can scrounge together. Very unusual.
Oh and beware, there WILL be Saxophones!
It also says they plan to use "almost all of the music from the soundtrack" so that's going to be a LONG show.
And apparently they're coming to the Kansai area, or Nagoya depending on where they can find a representative first (please let it be Osaka, pleeeeeeaaaase) in the 4th quarter of 2010.
In addition to Hoshirabi's FF Tactics concert... (Still slated for Nov 22, 2009)
Poster: http://hoshirabe.sakura.ne.jp/sblo_file … e/ffff.jpg
I also just found out about an upcoming FF 6 (FF VI) orchestra concert!!
Group Name: Little Jack's Orchestra
Date: Aug 23, 2009
Location: YOKOHAMA Minato Mirai Hall
Looks like they've been going since 2004
Last edited by Carl (May 06, 2009)
Thanks Carl! I'll play viola, actually I joined recently so I'm practicing hard.
This time there is no reservation system, so you just come and see without charge...before the hall is filled to its capacity! (though I guess it's large enough)
Last edited by Kago (Oct 20, 2009)
I just came back and feel like leaving my thought before the excitement is over. The concert was overall terrific, and still would've been if they had charged us. The orchestra actually did an FFT dedicated concert years ago, but it was when they were just founded and remained something like a brass band rather than an orchestra so this is their first orchestral concert. For the real orchestra, the founder and co-arrangers spent 1.5 years in the arrangements but she said "it's only 1.5 years" and their FFT suite was still a work in progress, which indicated how high and ambitious her aim was. They even had cosplayed Chemists as the staffs and they all were good-looking. The arrangers were basically Ransei, the founder, and Sayuri Koshino and I was generally impressed with Koshino.
The program was split into the four chapters of the same names as the game (plus, the prologue) and every item was a medley of multiple tracks and chronologically ordered in accordance with the game's story. It appears a medley form is getting common among the game music concerts and I think it's reasonable, as most game music loops in less than 2 minutes (unless it's Sakuraba) but it's a bit too short for a concert. It had a risk but worked wonders here.
To my regret, however, I selected the wrong seat. That was, one of the front line, which was close to the worst, or perhaps the worst, of all the possible choices, as I couldn't see anything but the nearest violinists and the ass of the conductor. That just sucked. The orchestra actually had the several unusual instruments such as saxophones and euphonium, but I eventually couldn't find them and recognized their sounds that much. Another reason why I regretted was because the seat I should have selected later turned out to be around the ones used by Sakimoto and Iwata!
The prologue medley consisted of "Bland Logo~Title Back", "Backborn Story" and "P.R Movie", and it was a verbatim arrangement but also was the tutti all the way to the end, which wasn't so good to me. Granted, they were a 60+ orchestra and didn't want to make performers bored, but they still didn't need to be always bombastic. Part of why I didn't enjoy that renowned Symphonic Fantasy as everybody else was because of the chorus that I felt walled the orchestra. There was also a balance issue, namely the loud percussion and brass and I was stating to worry the overall direction of the concert.
In the first chapter "The Meager" started, though, my unrest was gradually eliminated. The "Chapel" and "Enemy Soldiers Attack" medley was surprisingly good despite being from the two average tracks and I was wowed how they introduced the additional part with a key change and added a coda. My surprise continued. In the next two medleys, some of Iwata's tracks I was never a big fan of became quite impressive. I had been getting tired of the plodding and repetitive strings accompaniments found in orchestral VGM in general (of the recent cases, the 6/8 part of FFXIII boss theme, as much as I really like this track, makes me really irritated), and although the same thing could be said for Sakimoto to an extent, much of Iwata's tracks in FFT was just it. However, with the real orchestra, it immediately sounded bouncy and rhythmically effective and I finally appreciated Iwata's melodic sense. And "Trisection"...
There were still three chapters left, but as I'm sleepy and will be busy, I just sum up: I was honestly skeptical given their amateur status, but I was wrong. Much of their arrangements were superior to the original tracks (different than Kazuhiko Toyama's Press Start works which, verbatim or otherwise, almost always sounds inferior ) and I found little issues with their performances. If anything, a couple solo of the horniest and oboist were dubious and there was one cellist who tended to make a noise when bowing, but that's tolerable. I worry they incur a big loss this time, and will be more than happy to pay for the future concert, but as long as SQEX is behind, holding a paid concert would be hard, I suppose.
This sets a higher standard of VGM concert, and I think those professional should work harder. Anybody in Press Start didn't wow me as much as Sayuri Koshino does, while she doesn't receive money...
Back from the concert today as well. This was a free, fan-performed concert so I know I shouldn't be too harsh but I came away completely unimpressed. As with the Little Jack Orchestra FFVI concert I had set my expectations low, but whereas the FFVI concert was an awe-inspiring, unforgettable experience this one very much felt like the amateur concert that it was.
Performance-wise the orchestra for the most part did a respectable job but the brass section was really struggling, to the point that I found myself wishing it wasn't included in the arrangements at all. (I know this is a volunteer-based effort and they are happy to take anyone they can get but the brass really did bring the performances down.) FFT is a pretty bombastic soundtrack so I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that the quieter moments with more solo instrumentation - where the orchestra wasn't struggling to keep up so much - were by far the best.
Including three intermissions and the obligatory encore the concert was three and a half hours, which is too long for an unproven amateur orchestra to expect an audience to sit through. The organizers' decision to include in the concert almost every track from the OST might seem impressive at first, but 50+ tracks of short, looping game synth tracks just don't make the transition well to a live orchestral concert without some serious magic behind the arrangements, which the stop, go, stop, go nature of most of the concert's medleys didn't constitute. I'm sure deciding which themes to include and which to forgo is a difficult choice for a concert like this but it's one I hope the organizers will decide to make the next time around, as it would lead to not only a concert program with more impact but probably to improved performances as well.
To be fair to the orchestra there's the issue of the source material as well. I bought the FF Tactics OST around the time of its release and sold it not too long after, and hearing the music again had me remembering why. Granted a few of the melodies managed to remain familiar after all this time, but even in live orchestral form I generally found the compositions formulaic and lacking the imagination found elsewhere in the FF series, whether in Uematsu's classic compositions or in Sakimoto's own for FF12.
I'll refrain from continuing on as the concert was a volunteer effort and the time and effort the performers devoted to the show should be acknowledged, but it was definitely a concert by gamers for gamers, and only for hard-core gamers of FF Tactics at that. My most positive experience from the show was the recollection it induced of just how special the Little Jack FFVI concert from a few months ago was - it truly did set a high standard for game orchestral concerts, one that I hope the much younger Hoshirabe group will be able to follow in their future performances.
Last edited by Adam Corn (Nov 22, 2009)
Ugly Bob wrote:
Apoplexy (awesome with an awesome name!)
Run Through the Plains
are some of the best battle themes ever and I would love to hear them orchestrated! I second a recording, even if it is just a cam!
rumor has it that they're planning a medley arrangement of RUN THROUGH THE PLAINS with BLOODY EXCREMENT