The Video Game Orchestra sends gamer audiences into rapture

by Toby Manhire / 12 February, 2013
"For my generation, there's nothing more nostalgic than video-game music," says orchestra director.
At the Symphony Hall in Boston, “the audience stood in rapture as the orchestra launched into the theme from Final Fantasy VII”.

On stage were The Video Game Orchestra, the brainchild of the Japanese-born Shota Nakama.

The 31-year-old’s orchestra, comprising musicians from more than 20 countries, is on a roll, reports the Asahi Shimbun, having toured the collection of tunes from well known video games in China and the US.

"For my generation,” he tells the Japanese daily, “there's nothing more nostalgic than video-game music.”

And the hours players spend glued to the games means the soundtracks become very familiar.

"Not even your favorite songs could withstand that repetition," Nakama says. "It becomes ingrained deep within you."

Explains reporter Hiroki Manabe: “When members of the digital generation hear the music of a videogame, it makes them recall how it felt to reach the game's climactic stage. And when performed by a full concert orchestra, the emotional response is amplified.”

Some of the comments beneath clips on YouTube bear testimony to that, he adds.

Such as: “When I heard the first guitar chord, I turned into a blubbering wreck."
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