**Disclaimer: I was NOT compensated in any way for providing this review. I simply found something I loved and wanted to share because sharing is all the way caring! **
This week's posting is not my usual music education piece, but sometimes something hits you in all of the feels and you just can't keep it to yourself.
Part I: Background Information
This review is of the musical production The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses that I attended January 21, 2016 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, TN. This was my first time having an opportunity to attend...and I LOVED it! As someone who has enjoyed the various Legend of Zelda games first-hand, I wanted to attend this program and, thanks to a wonderful Christmas gift from my family, it happened. First, there is the wonderfully talented Nashville Symphony alongside the Nashville Symphony Chorus - both of which are PHENOMENAL ensembles. Under the direction of KELLY CORCORAN, all of the musicians worked together to create an event that pleases both gamers and musicians alike. However, you don't have to be a gamer to enjoy this production. The music can stand on its own. The music, coupled with the action shots from the games, is truly an event for the ears, the eyes, and the inner self - a spiritual, musical, and magical experience!
Part II: The Show
The music...I can't say enough good things about the music. The production is split into 4 movements: Act 1, Interludes, The Symphony, and Act 2, with a special encore at the end (No spoilers! Just go see it!) With titles such as 'Gerudo Valley,' 'The Creation of Hyrule,' and 'Temple of Time,' you will find music that spans the almost 30 years of the Legend of Zelda franchise. Haven't played the games? No worries! You will still enjoy the music and the visuals that run alongside it. With each tune, there is a video that plays in time with the music that features scenes of game play and story cut scenes. It is all so enchanting and fascinating, like watching an action movie with live symphony accompaniment. My personal favorite is 'Boss Battle Medley.' As a gamer, I spent many hours - sometimes days - trying to tackle those dreaded bosses. Hearing the music from those battles brought back a lot of fond memories of triumphant victories and devastatingly crushing defeats! The brief video commentary from Koji Kondo and others between movements creates an atmosphere of excitement and expectation and definitely a lively time in the show!
The energy behind the music was equally matched by the audience. The crowd was ELECTRIC! Audience members were encouraged to dress as their favorite Legend of Zelda characters, and there were quite a few awesome cosplayers in the audience of ALL ages. There were various manifestations of Princess Zelda and Link all over the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. I should have dressed as Princess Zelda. My daughter would have thought I was a crazy woman, but it would have been a ton of fun! There was also such a mass camaraderie within the audience as people exclaimed 'Ooooh" 'Ahhh' and 'Yesssss!' in unison response to songs and action scenes on the big screen.
Part III: Final Thoughts
Living in Nashville has allowed for me to experience music in so many ways, and I have played video games for as long as I can remember. The music of Symphony of the Goddesses brought back so many fond memories of the characters, scenery, and story lines that I engaged with as a young kiddo playing the day away on my Nintendo console. My daughter has never played a Legend of Zelda game (sad, but true). However, she DOES play the violin. For me, taking her to this production was about more than enjoying video game memories - again, she's never played a Zelda game. However, as a violinist, she was intrigued by the thought of going and it gave me a chance to educate her on the ways of the Triforce. The music not only impressed her, but also inspired her to want to be a better musician so that she could one day play the music she heard that night.
Video game music has evolved over the years, and Koji Kondo, known for both the Zelda and Super Mario Bros. musical scores, played a huge part in this evolution. Video game music became more than just static, filler noise in the background. It became the equivalent of a soul-stirring movie soundtrack, evoking moods, emotions, and visuals all throughout. Would I see this again? ABSOLUTELY! Should YOU go see it! YES AND AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! As of this posting, there are still some tickets available to the Nashville May 20th performance, so click HERE to get your tickets before they sell out! Not in Nashville? Please check the schedule HERE for performance tour dates. You will NOT be disappointed! Take your kids to see the symphony. Relive your own childhood video game days. Totally immerse yourself in a multi-sensory musical experience. You will be so very glad you did!
Have you seen the show? Let me know in the comments what you thought! Planning on going? Share your pre-show excitement or questions!
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