Movie scores usually span a few hours at most. Scores for video games such as “Final Fantasy” can last hours upon hours, especially when gameplay in some of them runs for 40 hours or more.
Video game fans and, especially, fans of music should love “Distant Worlds,” a concert that celebrates the music written for the role-playing video game series.
Kristopher Koehler, 34, was surprised when he heard “Final Fantasy” music on the radio, which was promoting the concert. He expects to hear those tunes at a convention or something, not in Omaha.
“I’ve always felt that the soundtrack and the scores to the games really built up the story and experience,” the Omahan said. “It wasn’t just a necessary background (music).”
Koehler has played almost all of the games, starting with the original “Final Fantasy,” which he had on Nintendo. He always felt that the music was an important part of the games.
“It gets you in the moment,” he said.
The concert, tonight at the Holland Performing Arts Center, will feature music that has been released on soundtracks and inspired countless other composers. The concert also will mark the birthday of Nobuo Uematsu, who single-handedly composed the music for the first nine games of the series and worked with other composers on subsequent titles.
Uematsu will be in attendance for the performance, which is on his 54th birthday. Uematsu lives in Tokyo and only occasionally attends “Distant Worlds” performances, but decided to come to Omaha as it’s his birthday and he was at an anime convention last week in Kansas.
“Distant Worlds” will include music from most of the 14 games in the series as well as a live choir and video from the various games in the series. The concert’s music director, Arnie Roth, will direct a symphony orchestra through “Final Fantasy’s” battle and victory themes, main theme and others pieces.
“I have a particularly soft spot for ‘Aerith’s Theme,’ but from a musical standpoint. It’s not just the loss of the character in the game, approaching this from a musician’s standpoint, it is one of the most beautifully constructed pieces of music that we do in terms of melodic development and the intimacy of the statement,” Roth told the Daily Joypad gaming blog. “Working with all the great composers, these kinds of compositions are unique where it’s really tightly constructed. ‘Aerith’s Theme’ sits very well on its own as a musical piece, but who doesn’t love ‘One Winged Angel’ or ‘Liberi Fatali?’”
The concert also promises a “special birthday surprise” for Uematsu.
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