The LPO’s 2011/12 classical season at Southbank Centre kicks off in style with something a little bit different. We’ve had music from films and TV, but now the LPO are bringing the Greatest Video Games Music to the Royal Festival Hall.
Experience total orchestral immersion in the worlds of Angry Birds, Elder Scrolls, Zelda, Super Mario Bros, Sonic the Hedgehog, Little Big Planet and more.
An album of the music will be released in the autumn and conductor Andrew Skeet has given us a run-down of the first day’s recording.
Andrew Skeet and the LPO
Just finished day one of recording with the LPO. Phew! Bit of a marathon but it was very cool. I guess none of the players knew what to expect really and at this stage they are only hearing part of the story because we have yet to add in brass and woodwind and of course the percussionists (without whom no games music would be complete!) They were brilliant and enthusiastic and even helpful after pretty much 11 hours of recording.
So, we were in Angel Studios on Upper Street in Islington, which is like a little brother to Abbey Road and Air Lyndhurst I suppose in that it is a little more compact and bijou but none the worse for that. Excellent studio and very friendly and at least there is somewhere decent to eat and drink after a session which is very important …. But it was a really full room with about 48 string players plus some brass and woodwind in the evening. Luckily the air-con was working. Oh and piano and harp of course – and me conducting.
It was incredible to hear all the music coming to life; Metal Gear Solid starting its epic journey, Fallout surprisingly exciting (in a filthy, sleezy sort of way) given that it was not my favourite going into the sessions. What else was good? My new arrangements of Angry Birds and Tetris certainly amused me and there was some absolutely glorious string playing from the guys and girls in Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Uncharted. It’s going to big and beautiful when it’s all done.
Now I have to force myself to get back in front of the computer and start sorting out the stuff for the big sessions on the 22nd August where we have the whole damn lot of them together in one room making some fine noises. This is when it all gets very epic with some Final Fantasy favourites, some Warcraft. Also I met the American composer Jason Graves last week and very excitingly he has agreed to send me over a suite from his score for Dead Space which is weird and wonderful. I haven’t played this game but apparently it is super scary and even the usually phlegmatic 20 year old Joss, who is a sort of consultant for me on this, says he never plays it at night time. Just too scary – and Jason’s score is a lovely mixture of wild and dark string effects but also some beautifully lyrical writing. Can’t wait!
Right, back to doing battle with Legend of Zelda Theme before heading off to hear some Ravel at the Proms after which as usual I shall have to do some “not worthy” soul-searching about my orchestration because as everyone knows it doesn’t get any better than Monsieur R. (…. well it depends on my Super Mario Bros orchestration turns out – maybe I’ll give the old boy a run for his money yet!).
You can hear these new arrangements live in concert with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 2 September 2011 at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. Get tickets here.
Filed under: Contemporary Classical, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Resident Orchestras, Royal Festival Hall | Tagged: Andrew Skeet, Classical, classical music, contemporary classical, London Philharmonic Orchestra, LPO, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre | Leave a Comment »