Grand Rapids Symphony Presents “rePLAY: Symphony of Heroes,” Feb. 7
January 19, 2015
Grand Rapids Symphony
616.454.9451 x 4
Today’s video game music has come a long way from the electronic ditties, beeps and buzzes of “Space Invaders,” “Tetris” and “Super Mario Bros.” As video games have gained mainstream acceptance, their music has grown to incorporate lush and dramatic orchestral scores composed by some of the world’s most prolific composers. At “rePLAY: Symphony of Heroes,” the Grand Rapids Symphony will present an immersive experience linking music from revered video game franchises with high-definition gameplay footage. This one-night-only performance on Saturday, February 7, 8:00 p.m. at DeVos Performance Hall is part of the Nestlé Gerber SymphonicBoom Series.
The concert will be conducted by Miriam Burns, who is on staff with the New York Philharmonic and is the music director of a handful of orchestras around the country. “There is no doubt in my mind that the success of a particular video game is in direct proportion to the quality of the music behind it,” said Burns of today’s gaming industry. “There is nothing like experiencing the game on a huge video screen, in a concert hall with a live symphony orchestra.”
A unique aspect of “Symphony of Heroes” is its fluid narrative inspired by Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey.” Campbell proposed that many myths follow a basic pattern of 17 stages describing a hero’s call to adventure all the way to a mystical return to share their wisdom. “Symphony of Heroes” presents each of these stages in its own chapter, starting with music from “Journey” and ending with a suite from “Halo.”
Burns says there are many highlights from this cyclical program, but her hands-down favorite is “Liberi Fatali” from “Final Fantasy VIII,” composed by Nobuo Uematsu. “The music is gripping in its depiction of war and drama, and captures the feeling of being in the middle of battle similar to the musical language of Prokofiev. Downright frightening!” she says.
Concertgoers will also hear music from “God of War: Ascension,” “Metal Gear Solid IV” perfectly synced with gameplay footage on a screen floating above the orchestra. Movements of repose such as “Lair” (an elegy) and the lighter fare of “Kingdom Hearts” will provide contrast. Members of the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, led by Assistant Director Sean Ivory, will lend a dramatic impact to the performance.
Tickets start at $32 and are available at the Symphony office, weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 300 Ottawa NW, Suite 100, (located across from the Calder Plaza), or by calling 616.454.9451 x 4. (Phone orders will be charged a $2 per ticket service fee, with a $12 maximum.) Tickets are available by phone in the evening and on Saturday by calling 616.885.1241. Tickets are available at the DeVos Place Box Office, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on the day of the concert beginning two hours prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased through Ticketmaster, 800.982.2787, online at GRSymphony.org or in person at Ticketmaster outlets: select D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Stores and Walmart. Tickets purchased at these locations will include a Ticketmaster service fee.
About the Grand Rapids Symphony
The Grand Rapids Symphony was officially organized in 1930 and is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Led by Music Director David Lockington, ten concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are presented each year, touching the lives of some 170,000. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community service programs. The Symphony’s Affiliated Organizations include the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses. The Symphony also provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony please visit GRSymphony.org.
This activity is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.