On Friday August 4th Kelly and I drove down to Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA to go to another non-traditional symphony performance. We went to see Play! - A Video Game Symphony. The show was almost sold out, just a few single seats left. Very much a different crowd than a usual night at the symphony. The normal conductor came out and mentioned some other shows since the crowd was not a normal one.
The entire National Symphony Orchestra as well as a choral group was on hand for the performance. There were three large screens setup to show both the performers as well as video from the various games. The conductor travels with the show so he knows the material very well.
Almost half the show was Square/Enix games and primarily Final Fantasy ones. The strange thing was that all but one of these games had no video footage. It was especially odd since this show is a follow-up to one that was only Final Fantasy so one would think that the rights issues would be resolved. They did show footage of Blue Dragon which is an upcoming game.
The rest of the show was an array of older games such as Super Mario Brothers and Sonic the Hedgehog to newer games like Metal Gear Solid. The older games had new re-scored pieces since the originals were not very symphonic. The newer games were more direct renditions of the original game music. They premiered music from Prey as well as Blue Dragon at Wolf Trap. I am not sure if they will do them at other shows.
My favorite music was from Halo. I just never got into the Final Fantasy games so that music didn't do as much for me. Super Mario Brothers was my second favorite and followed up Sonic. It is too bad they didn't do some of the older PC music like that from Wing Commander or 7th Guest.
It was a really enjoyable evening. Wolf Trap is really great place for things like this. It was a bit warm but otherwise pleasant.