Sunday, June 13, 2010

Final Fantasy at the Stockholm Concert Hall

Yesterday was dedicated to the Final Fantasy Series at the Stockholm Concert Hall (Konserthuset). I was part of a panel in the afternoon, and in the evening I had one of the most intensive musical experiences in my life.

The panel was organised by Goodgame, and moderated by David Westerlund. My co-panelists were Annika Bergström Olofssdotter (Nordic Game / Founder of SuperMarit), Matilda Lorentzon and Caroline Henningsson (students who wrote the essay about including Final Fantasy XIII).

We talked about reasons for how FF as a series has been able to attract an audience for twenty years, about games as culture, music in games, game research, and some of what we do at Gotland University. The audience was great - it felt like chatting with friends. Really interesting questions were raised, and we all kind of giggled at the same places in the conversation. It was an honor to get to meet this crowd. I brought Vivi along as well:

Vivi konserthuset IMG_3556


The concert in the evening was amazing. At one point - during Dancing Mad from FFVI there was Oskar Ekberg playing the organ, a full choir and the philharmonic orchestra blasting out music in unison.
organ choire and orchestra IMG_3589

It was such an experience to hear the different battle themes (the victory theme and other pieces that I have heard thousands of times through crappy TV-speakers) played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Oh, and there was the fantasic song of the soprano Jennie Abrahamsson, and the solo by Per Skareng on guitar (at which point I was moved to tears, literally).

In the end of the concert the whole audience (the concert hall was filled to the last spot) rose as one man and gave standing ovations until the composer Nobuo Uematsu appeared on stage. In the final piece he joined and sang with the Stockholm Music Gymnasium choir, here he is in the top right corner:
Nobuo Uematsu top right corner with the choir IMG_3615

Here is a link to more pictures I took during the concert.
Here is the program, cut from Konserthuset's webpage:

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor Arnie Roth
Run from Stockholm's Music Gymnasium
Jennie Abrahamson
soprano
Per Skareng
guitar
Oskar Ekberg
organ

Uematsu
Final Fantasy Series, Prelude European premiere!
Uematsu
Final Fantasy VIII: Liberi Fatali
Uematsu
Final Fantasy Series Victory Theme European premiere!
Uematsu
Ronfaure from Final Fantasy XI European premiere!
Uematsu
Main Theme from Final Fantasy VII European premiere!
Uematsu
Prima Vista Orchestra from Final Fantasy IX European premiere!
Uematsu
Dear Friends from Final Fantasy V
Uematsu
Vamo 'alla Flamenco from Final Fantasy IX
Uematsu
JENOVA from Final Fantasy VII European premiere!
Uematsu
Opening from Final Fantasy VII
Uematsu
A Place to Call Home / Melodies of Life from Final Fantasy IX European premiere!
Uematsu
The Man with the Machine Gun from Final Fantasy VIII
Uematsu
Suteki da ne from Final Fantasy X European premiere!
Uematsu
Dancing Mad from Final Fantasy VI European premiere of the new arrangement!
Hamauzu
The Promise out of Final Fantasy XIII World Premiere!
Hamauzu
Fang's Theme from Final Fantasy XIII World Premiere!
Uematsu
from Final Fantasy Medley XIV World Premiere!


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