This one’s completely passed me by until today, but big fans of symphonic arrangements of Final Fantasy music will certainly be interested to learn that a new concert is coming next May. Dubbed Final Symphony, the concert will take place on May 30th at the massive Barbican Centre in the City of London, and will feature music from Final Fantasies VI, VII and X.

The concert is officially licensed and will see collaborations with both Nobuo Uematsu and Masashi Hamauzu (indeed, the website promises a meet and great with the two series composers), and as it is not intended to compete with Distant Worlds, there will be some differences between the two productions: Final Symphony will not utilise video screens displaying game footage and cutscenes, and the music will be restructured into “entirely new, elaborate arrangements.”

Digging around the internet, I found an interview with producer Thomas Boecker conducted by Square Enix Music Online’s Chris Greening. The interview (conducted this past May, which goes to show how far behind I am on this one), gives us a bit of an insight into what we can expect. When asked by Mr Greening why the production would focus on just a few games, rather than follow Distant Worlds’ focus on the entire series, Boecker replied, “Currently, the music from Final Fantasy VII performed in concerts focuses on battle themes… But that game describes a dystopia with a strong, mature story rarely found in games to this extent, with complex characters… I feel that the game’s dark, romantic, melancholic, and hopeful story needs a better orchestral presentation to express what this game is all about.”

Dark? Melancholic? Oooh, please let there be an ‘Anxious Heart’ movement in there somewhere!

He continued, “So Final Symphony is indeed about telling the stories of the games, or the focus on certain scenes or happenings featured. The balance is very important to us, so that we can capture the atmosphere of the games. We believe that said balance can be only achieved by limiting the number of featured Final Fantasy parts to three.”

Personally, I quite like the idea of a greater focus on a smaller subset of Final Fantasy games, and it helps that VII and X are probably my favourite soundtracks from the series. I also love a great deal of the music from VI, and am hopeful the lack of battle themes won’t preclude the arrangers from performing an epic rendition of Kefka’s signature piece, ‘Dancing Mad’.

Either way, I’ve got my tickets booked, and I’d suggest if you’re interested you do so too.

Final Symphony official website:
http://www.ffsymphony.com/

Read SEMO’s interview with Thomas Boecker here:
http://squareenixmusic.com/features/interviews/thomasboecker8.shtml

Read my review of this month’s Distant Worlds at London’s Royal Albert Hall:
https://pushstartgaming.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/distant-worlds-london-a-celebration-25-years-in-the-making/

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