The Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World Tour- Premiered in Los Angeles at the Dolby Digital Theater in Hollywood, California.
Though we’ve had to wait for what seems to be over a decade for Kingdom Hearts III, the franchise has grown tremendously through correlated games, a Manga, and now the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra! Saturday night, June 10th, 2017, the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour premiered in the Dolby Digital Theater in Hollywood California. The night was filled with enchanting music and captivating visuals that came together in masterpiece greater than the sum of its parts.
The Kingdom Hearts Orchestra delighted audiences with about 17 musical pieces that spanned across all 7 titles of the game. The night began with Dearly Beloved (Kingdom Hearts 2) and finished with Kingdom Hearts musical composer, Yoko Shinomura, joining the orchestra on the piano to play Fantasia Alla Marcia over end credits of the orchestra. Earlier in the evening, Miss Shinomura opened the night to thank the fans, because their passion, dedication, and desire helped bring the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra, and her personal dream, to life. She was very grateful for all the support and genuine appreciation of the work, and her contribution to the Kingdom Heart series.
The music a pure delight. I am not sure there is any other way to put it. It was beautifully performed by a world-class orchestra that was so in sync that all 70 plus members made a single sound when they turned the pages of the sheet music. Their synchronization almost seemed computer programmed. I am always in awe of how each instrument is distinct from the others, but in unison, it is completely unique sound.
What really separates the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra from other classical orchestras is obviously its source material being a video game. This not only explains the use of a visual component but in a sense requires it. Kingdom Hearts Series Director Tetsuya Nomura, chose the visuals to complement to music, creating an audio/visual performance that recaptures the emotions players felt while playing the series. It’s a magical experience of nostalgia that is at the same time new. The memories of playing the game and getting a new bit of story came rushing back again and again until the credits rolled and the audience is left thinking, “What’s next?”
That’s when Testsuya Nomura addressed the audience. Cracking a few jokes and coincidentally remember E3 was this week. He let the audience know that although he was here, he was not here for E3. This caused an audible sound of painful disappointment from the audience. However, he did bring the new trailer and he was premiering it to the audience! The Dolby Theater erupted in cheers and applause, that disappeared just as quickly when the first images of Sora falling through the sky appeared on the screens.
The night was magical; beautiful music, beautifully updated visuals for many of the games, nostalgia, and a reignited passion for Kingdom Hearts. Minus, Dearly Beloved (Kingdom Hearts 2), the combination of the orchestra and the visuals were perfect compliments that really reached and heightened the emotions of playing the game. Dearly Beloved did not use visuals from the game, and instead used video footage of reality that did not quite match the tone and emotions of the song. It was still a beautiful audio piece, but in contrast to the rest, did not remind me of rushing to finish my homework to continue my adventure with Donald and Goofy.
Music is the heart of a project. It has been proven time and time again. The Kingdom Hearts Orchestra is a shining embodiment of that. Yoko Shinomura’s composition resonated with fans and has become a fully realized stand alone performance. It was a beautiful exchange of admiration and gratitude from both the fans and creators of Kingdom Hearts, and a realization of a shared dream come to life. I can’t compare the performance to classical orchestras, but at least for video games go, the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra is a masterpiece. Fans of Yoko Shinomura’s music, Kingdom Hearts, or video game based orchestras in general, have to catch this performance!.
The Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World Tour- is set to open in New York, New York June 24th, 2017 at the United Palace Theater.
Tickets are available at: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/1188665-kingdom-hearts-orchestra-new-york/
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