I had the pleasure of viewing rePLAY: Symphony of Heroes two nights ago (Sept 6, 2014) at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (Toronto, CA) and it was definitely an audible eargasm even if you aren’t a gaming fanatic. Video game music, like many movie/television or trailer scores, has found some of the most compelling, emotional, and beautifully written audio drama scores today. Don’t be led astray by video game soundtracks even if it might have a connotation of being geek chic (maybe?). It seems as though gaming isn’t always taken seriously but there’s a wealth of game scores that truly lift the whole audiovisual experience of what gaming involves. I mean, you might be able to watch a movie or play a game without sound and find limited enjoyment in it but it’s not quite the same, right? Can you imagine how Super Mario would feel if the main theme never existed? It becomes more than just a achieve success in beating the game mentality (even though that’s important too), it comes back to what music is and the purpose it serves—and I’ll let you decide what that means to you.
But unlike my usual Music Monday’s where I pair a book with a song, this post is more of my thoughts on the concert.
rePLAY is different than its predecessor, Play! A Video Game Symphony, which made its debut in 2006; and was the first video game-oriented concert I attended. Unlike Play!, which solely focused on the music, this revamped concert series incorporates a greater sense of a narrative element to the viewer. As an audience, we were told (by a narrator) that we are a hero of a story but will soon discover ourselves and experience our limits and the perils of the journey through the eyes of other heroes before us (i.e. protagonists of popular franchises). This was a neat integration to tie the concert together but it does make me wonder if there’s any flexibility in the arrangement choices to fit each chapter. I’ve compiled a rough title and franchise arrangement for each chapter. The venue [regrettably] did not hand out programmes, so I’m basically doing this all from memory, Google, and those who I attended the concert with. That being said, the list provided may not be fully accurate and is subject to change.