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The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Interview

by | @Konman72 | on April 6, 2017

If you’re a Zelda fan then you likely already know about The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. The concert series takes the iconic music from the series and presents it live with a full orchestra and video presentation. The show began a few years ago and has grown quite a bit since then. They just announced their full worldwide 2017 tour dates, and we took this opportunity to have an interview with the producer behind the show, Jason Michael Paul.

Check out the full interview below, which features tons of info including the fact that a CD release is coming.

The Zelda symphony series began way back in 2012. At first it looked like a one-off event, but has become a yearly tour that travels all around the world. What were those early days like? 

JMP: We were very uncertain of what the fan reaction would be. We were just trying to make the early shows the best possible so that we could convince Nintendo of the potential success. The initial success definitely provided confidence that this is a global phenomenon that needs to be experienced by all Zelda fans throughout the world. That has been the mission ever since.

What prompted initial discussions of this symphony series?

JMP: My other show PLAY! A Video Game Symphony featured music from The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong and Metroid. I had been working with series composer and sound director Koji Kondo on that concert series. The 25th Anniversary celebrations rolled around and it was the perfect timing. They asked me to produce the London, Los Angeles and Tokyo 25th Anniversary concerts and to produce the orchestral CD that was bundled with the Skyward Sword release.

How were the initial songs chosen? 

JMP: Koji Kondo collaborated with my team and we mapped out the vision for the show and imagined accompanying visuals. We were convinced that Zelda was worthy of a symphony. And with that, we created Symphony movements, etc.

The Zelda series has so much iconic music. How did you get it down to what was finally put into the show?

JMP: Koji Kondo and franchise producer, Eiji Aonuma ultimately approved everything that is a part of the show. We presented them with music and accompanying visuals, and that was the basis for the process of developing the show.

What is the process behind creating new music for the show? 

JMP: It depends on where it will be presented as part of the program. We work through the game and select the iconic music that is most fitting in the show.

Since it debuted we’ve seen a few new Zelda games, and Breath of the Wild just came out. What goes into adding a new suite or song to the show?

JMP: With Breath of the Wild we were working with limited source material to get things ready in time for the 2017 tour. We borrowed from the music that was revealed at E3 2016.

There have been a few CD releases of Zelda music before, but there hasn’t been an official CD or digital release from the Symphony of the Goddesses. Are there any plans for this?

JMP: Yes, this news will be released soon. We will begin with a pre-order at www.zelda-symphony.com

You work with local orchestras for many of the shows. How has the reaction been from those musicians? 

JMP: They are used to it. Many love to perform this show. It is touching for them to be appreciated by my company and the audience who is enthusiastic and appreciative of their performance.

The Zelda fanbase can get pretty excited at these events. Have the musicians been surprised by getting huge applause and standing ovations from a totally different crowd?

JMP: At first, they were surprised. The fans are enthusiastic, but polite and well behaved and applaud at the right times.

What do you see in the future for the Symphony of the Goddesses? 

JMP: We are touring through December 31, 2017. From there we shall see!

How long will it go, and do you have any major changes in the works?

JMP: The show has a new movement from Skyward Sword, a Breath of the Wild medley, the return of Ballad of the Windfish and Gerudo Valley. Add in updated visuals, and this is the best iteration of Zelda Symphony yet!

Has it been tempting to pull from any other Nintendo properties? Pokemon has a traveling symphony already, but can we expect a Mario symphony any time soon?

JMP: I hope to have the opportunity to make another show as successful as Zelda Symphony. It has been a tremendous amount of work but I am apt to handle it.

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