Game On Symphony – Video Game Music live in Concert

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World of WarCraft composer and conductor Eímear Noone and the Munich Radio Orchestra enchanted us with classics and brand new video game music.

The approximately two-hour concert took place in the BR-Funkhaus in Munich and it was presented by the BR-KLASSIK podcast “Levels & Soundtracks”. Podcaster Fridl Acht hosted the evening in charming fashion. Between the varied video game themes, various aspects of the video game industry were lively discussed with video game editor and streamer Maurice Weber and Audio Supervisor at Rocket Beans TV, streamer and drummer Michael “Krogi” Krogmann – such as the controversial Starfield, whose main theme was performed in all its epicness, or the relationship to video game music. Eímear Noone gave brief insights into composing video game music and the musicians of the Munich Radio Orchestra answered questions such as “Which instrument is the most expensive?” (Spoiler: It could be an instrument in the shape of a Triforce) and “Are they all insured?”.

A varied evening that was very entertaining, especially due to the fantastic presentation of numerous video game themes. While at the beginning and at the end predominantly big franchises such as Super Mario in a really magical medley, Tetris, for which the singer Alma Naidu sang in Russian to match the folk song Korobeiniki which inspired the song, and Prince of Persia following the release of the latest entry The Lost Prince were performed, they were broken up by songs from smaller titles such as Journey and ABZÛ, written by BAFTA winner Austin Wintory. Nascence and Apotheosis with their rousing soundscapes, epic fanfares and quieter melodies from thatgamecompany’s game gave us goosebumps throughout their performance. Eímear Noone has composed several tracks for World of WarCraft, so it’s no surprise that we’re listening to an impressive suite, a compilation of several pieces written by the Irishwoman. The intensity of “playing air guitar with an orchestra,” as Noone described conducting, reached its climax here.

Fans of Bethesda role-playing games also got their money’s worth (even though tickets were handed out for free through giveaways from what we understand), after all, the main themes from Starfield and Fallout 4 were played. Evil tongues would claim that the long epic presentation was the best thing the game has brought us so far, but despite all the legitimate criticism, many gamers still have a lot of fun with the space RPG to this day. Both themes were composed by Inon Zur, who also contributed music to the 2008 reboot of Prince of Persia. However, it appeared that the theme from the film adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was playing, but we wouldn’t stake our lives on that.

Conductor Eímear Noone, singer Alma Naidu and the around 60-strong Munich Radio Orchestra impressed with a huge repertoire and took us into magical worlds – from the popular main theme of Final Fantasy to the dark swamps of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and finally the Disney fairytale Kingdom Hearts, the concert catered to every taste. The acoustics in Studio 1 of the venerable BR-Funkhaus were great and the lighting technology largely contributed to the dense atmosphere. Of course we would’ve liked to have heard the iconic music from franchises like The Legend of Zelda, The Last of Us, Mass Effect, Halo or Red Dead Redemption, but at least there is more than enough material for another evening like this and we would certainly welcome that. ARD streamed the entire concert live on Twitch and wants to make it available on demand in the ARD Audiothek. It may be only available in Germany since ARD is part of the German public service broadcasting.

Bayerischer Rundfunk provided us access to the concert.