The Symphony of the Godesses brings the classic franchise to life
People remember the first time they played a Legend of Zelda game. All it takes are those first few sounds of a horse galloping. The piano strikes in, followed by the strings, and then finally the winds, and suddenly you’re six years old again with your cool older cousin showing you Ocarina of Time.
That music is perhaps the shortest path back to a childhood where a broken stick was The Master Sword. That music gave dimension and spirit to 2D and 3D sprites, so the ear of a concert producer like Jason Michael Paul makes something like The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses a few degrees better than nostalgia.
“It’s just a joy,” Paul says. “We have a well-oiled machine in production. It’s very tight at this point, having done all those 280 shows worldwide, so we love it. We hope that we make it look easy because we put a lot of work into this production.”
The performance features live music executed by local and international musicians. It’s a four-movement symphony that draws from the titular videogame series, and uses scenes from the games on the big screen. Pieces from The Wind Waker, Majora’s Mask, Ocarina of Time, and more have been selected to represent more than 30 years of The Legend of Zelda’s history.
All of the music is approved by Nintendo, most notably Koji Kondo, the legendary composer behind both The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. Arranged with a classical taste in mind, Paul says it’s about bringing new people to the symphony.
“That’s been the goal,” Paul says. “That’s been my best reach in my medium, and my objective from day one—to hopefully bridge the gap between a younger generation and classical symphony goers.”
Paul got his first taste of The Legend of Zelda when he was 10, playing Zelda on that old gold cartridge. He’s still a little shocked that he’s producing worldwide concert events for Nintendo.
Paul initially met Kondo in 2006 at another event that that Paul had produced, entitled PLAY! A Video Game Symphony.
“Mr. Kondo performed at one of our concerts and that’s where our relationship began,” Paul says. “With PLAY! A Videogame Symphony, that featured music from Nintendo’s catalogue. Mario and also Metroid as well as The Legend of Zelda. Then fast forward to 2010 and they were beginning plans for the 25th anniversary concerts.”
The original show opened in 2011, and has been continually updated as the iconic series has progressed over the past several years.
With The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, rePlay: Symphony of Heroes, and an upcoming project with National Geographic, Paul is busy but says he’s still looking to cross a few more iconic musical arrangements off of his list.
“There’s a lot of Nintendo properties that I’d like to do a show with,” Paul says. “Whether it’s a number of first party I.P.s, or whether it’s within a Super Mario, or a Metroid, or Kirby for that matter. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to update the world to let them know what my next project is. Hopefully it will be with Nintendo.”
Bring a friend. It’s dangerous to go alone.
Fri., Dec. 1 (8 pm)
The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium