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Posted August 14, 2017 by Daniel Kizana in Feature
 
 

Interview with Symphony of the Goddesses Creator, Jason Michael Paul


The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is at last coming to Australian shores for select dates in Perth and Melbourne, as well as a recently announced Sydney performance. The show is a symphonic and visual journey through The Legend of Zelda‘s musical history, meticulously curated and arranged by creator Jason Michael Paul. A pioneer of the symphonic concert industry, Jason is attributed with being the first to bring video game music to the masses, and has enjoyed enormous success in the past with shows such as Dear Friends – Music from FINAL FANTASY and PLAY! A Video Game Symphony.

Rocket Chainsaw caught up with Jason, as the Symphony of the Goddesses team prepares for the Oceanic leg of the tour.

Rocket Chainsaw: Are you excited to bring the show to Australia? 

Jason Michael Paul: In the past, I’ve been fortunate enough to do a handful of shows at the Sydney Opera House, but nothing aside from that. That’s why I’m really excited for Perth and Melbourne.

RC: Tell us about your roots as a gamer.

JMP: I’ve had the pleasure of being a gamer my whole life. My experience with gaming started at a young age, when I was first introduced to Pong and the Atari. Then I got the NES and, of course, that gold The Legend of Zelda cartridge. That’s where it all began, at 10 years old… 30 years ago!

RC: How did you make a start in the gaming industry?

JMP: When I first became a professional, I was working on various projects in Sony’s Marketing and Sales departments, and handling a lot of their E3 events and media presentations.  I was also working with Luciano Pavarotti and the Three Tenors as a production manager, so I was getting a lot of  touring experience in the Classical arena.

I started working with Square, around the time that they were merging with Enix, and they asked me to produce a concert devoted to Final Fantasy. I had been travelling to Japan a lot, I was learning the language, and I had a real fascination with Japanese culture, so I was aware of video game music concerts. I’d never come across one with the visual aspect, though, and I felt that would be my competitive edge. That was when I presented the idea to Square Enix for Dear Friends – Music from FINAL FANTASY, and the rest is history.

RC: What sparked your ongoing relationship with Nintendo?

JMP: When Nintendo approached me about The Legend of Zelda, it was initially just three concerts for the 25th Anniversary event. We saw, from the success of those three concerts, that we really had something here. So, we came up with The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, and it became a touring attraction. Six years later, we’re still touring, bigger and better.

RC: Has the show been changed or updated since its creation?

JMP: The show is totally different now, and has been re-worked entirely. We’ve added a 5th movement, we have all new interludes, we’ve updated the Twilight Princess visuals, now that they’ve been re-released in HD. Now that we know where Skyward Sword is in the timeline, we’ve moved that to the first movement. Also, we have a beautifully done Breath of the Wild arrangement, with music and footage.

I decided to work with Jessica Gethin, an Australian conductor, who is Principal Musical Director of the Perth Symphony Orchestra. She brings a really youthful energy, and a great connection with the audience. A female conductor goes against the norm of the symphony world. A lot of women are overlooked because of traditions in our industry, so I think it’s great to have a female conductor for our show. It feels more progressive.

People seeing the show in Australia, New Zealand or Singapore are getting a brand new program.  I can say, 100%, that this show is the best its ever been.

RC: Do you have anything planned once this tour is wrapped up?

I have other projects that I’m working on as well. I can let the cat out of the bag; I’m working with Bethesda. In the near future, you could be seeing The Elder Scrolls in concert!

RC: We’re huge fans of The Elder Scrolls! Does this mean you’ll be working with Jeremy Soule?

JMP: Jeremy is a friend, and we’ve consulted on some projects in the past. His music is amazing and he’s a very talented composer, so I’d love to keep working with him.

 

Check out upcoming Australian tour dates for The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses below:

Check out the upcoming Australian tour dates below:

24 August – 7:30PM           Perth, Australia                  Riverside Theater           Buy Now

3 September – 3:30PM       Melbourne, Australia         Hamer Hall                      Buy Now

3 September – 8:00PM       Melbourne, Australia         Hamer Hall                      Buy Now

29th October – TBA           Sydney, Australia               Sydney Opera House     On Sale 28th August

 


Daniel Kizana

 


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