WOTB: Zelda At NintendoWorld!
The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour has been making quite an impression in the video game community since they debuted last year. Last week, they arranged a unique 7-piece symphony for a special occasion at NintendoWorld.
Fans were lined up all the way down the other end of the sidewalk eagerly waiting to get into NintendoWorld the other day. A special event was held the day after the Nintendo Wii U press conference (videos here) was held and it couldn’t have been at a better time. As the streets were flocked with Zelda fanatics, why not put on a special show to celebrate the work of Nintendo?
The production has been going on for some time now and we’ve covered the full orchestrated symphony already last May, but this was something different. The doors of NintendoWorld were locked up and no one was allowed inside as they prepared for a truly interactive and engaging Zelda experience.
The night’s program began with a 30-minute introduction to the ocarina, the musical instrument that made Nintendo’s fifth installment to the franchise one of the most memorable. Besides being one of the most well-made and polished games of its time, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has made its way into our hearts by bestowing Link with the Ocarina, an ancient wind instrument that acted as the key ingredient to many of the game’s scores. At the event, David Ramos, an ocarina virtuoso, told us about how Zelda inspired him to pick up the instrument and why he’s been playing it ever since.
The whole presentation was hosted by Jeron Moore, the producer and creative director of the Symphony of the Goddesses show. About 20 minutes prior to opening the doors, Jeron emerged from NintendoWorld carrying swag bags for the first 25 or so people waiting in line. The bags contained items such as official Symphony of the Goddesses T-shirts as well as a limited edition ocarina for the fans to practice along with Ramos’ presentation.
Oh yeah, the presentation! The presentation that David led us through started off with an introduction to the ocarina and it’s presence in modern history. He explained how it came into the Ocarina of Time’s concept and demoed some songs from the game. As David played, the audience was swept off their feet as the songs took us back to our initial experience of the game in 1998. Damn, we’re old. One of the best parts was the latter portion of the presentation. David gave a basic ocarina tutorial on how to play songs from the game. All those who received swag ocarinas in line had their lips puckered and fingers gently wrapped around their newly acquired novelty. Those who were not fortunate enough to be amongst the first 25 people to receive an ocarina were able to pick some up for sale for a minimal price along with posters, t-shirts and other Zelda memorabilia. David pointed out, during his tutorial, that all the songs from Ocarina of Time consisted of only 5 notes, so it was really easy for ocarina newbies to play some of their favorites.
As soon as the presentation was over, Jeron invited all the guests attending the presentation to the second floor of NintendoWorld. Once upstairs, we were greeted with some playable Nintendo consoles fitted with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the latest installment of the series. Until the musical performance began, the guests were welcome to walk around the floor at their leisure and enjoy what NintendoWorld had to offer.
One of the most impressive things there was a giant Zelda display showcasing the franchise as it evolved over time. Included were all the original games of the series, ranging from the golden NES cartridge of the first game all the way up to today. Gameboy games were there as well as any kind of memorabilia you could think of. There were video game strategy guides, advertisements from 1990, the official “Hyrule Historia” in Japanese demonstrating the legend’s official timeline as well as Shigeru Miyamoto’s personal Master Swords and Hylian Shield that appeared in his 2004 E3 announcement. This display was enough to make any Zelda fan drool over the glass casing for hours.
Once everyone was gathered upstairs and sitting down, the musical performance was introduced. The man responsible for arranging all the pieces was Chad Seiter. He personally put together all of the works in the Symphony of the Goddesses performances and worked side by side with Koji Kondo, the original composer of all the iconic Legend of Zelda music, himself. Rather than experience the music with a 66-piece orchestra, Chad downsized the headcount and created a much more intimate experience in the process.
A handful of violin players, a harpist, a flute player, cello and double bass were all that were necessary for the evening. Conducted by the beautiful Symphony of the Goddesses meastro, Eimear Noone, it was a recipe for a perfect experience. The crowd was quiet, the conductor’s hands were up in the air and the string players had their bows ready at hand and eyes focused; it was time to begin. The performers played songs from the tentpole titles: A Link to the Past, Twilight Princess, Ocarina of Time and of course original Legend of Zelda to name a few. It would be useless to try and describe the entire performance; unfortunately, you had to be there to get a full understanding of it.
Fortunately, we’ve put together some video coverage of the event (check the video down below) and you could get a feel for what you may have missed. The audio quality was in-camera and not a full mix so you guys will be able to get a good idea of what it was like, but I wouldn't say it did it justice.
At the end of the performance, the crowd cheered as the main organizers (Moore, Seiter and Noone) took a bow. Pleased with the overall experience, the guests got up and headed downstairs for the last bit of Zelda fun. Cosplayer Li Kovacs (otherwise known as PikminLink) was dressed up in Skyward Sword Link attire and took photos with the fans. Moore, Seiter and Noone also lent their hands at autographs for those who wanted their ticket stubs, posters or pictures signed.
Overall, it was truly a magical experience and unique to say the least. No franchise has ever had such an impact with music alone as did The Legend of Zelda and those organizing the Symphony of the Goddesses performance really understand and appreciate every note of it. Hats off to the Symphony of the Goddesses tour as they’re keeping the Legend of Zelda spirit alive in all of us. If you haven’t done so already, click this link here to check tour dates and make sure you don’t miss up on the opportunity. For now, enjoy the video and leave a comment down below telling us what you think.
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