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