Posted in Games, Music

Final Fantasy: A New World concert review

This is a bit late but with all the Fantasia film reviews and Just for Laughs review, I decided to delay this for a bit.

A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY is a new concert of final fantasy music. Last year it sold out at Otakuthon. It returned this year with two showings at Montreal Comic Con on July 3. The New World concert differs from Distant Worlds in that music is composed for a chamber ensemble while the latter is performed by a larger symphonic orchestra. Along with conductor Arnie Roth, there were 11 musicians. The instruments were piano, guitar, a string quintet (2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello, 1 double bass), a woodwind trio (a flute and the other instruments I wasn’t sure, maybe a clarinet and tuba, or some type of horn) and another person who did various percussion instruments and electronic keyboard.

With regards to the repertoire, you can pretty much listen to all of it on their website. I didn’t do that before going to the show but even though the pieces chosen were not ones that I cared about, they were enjoyable to listen to live except for some pieces where the higher pitched notes on the violin sounded too close to nails on a chalk board. However, I can certainly think of less popular pieces that have yet to be played at these concerts that I would like to hear over most of the repertoire of New World.

They were also selling Distant Worlds and New World CDs. Each was $15 except for Distant Worlds III which was $20 and as of now is not officially available in North America. I own the first two Distant Worlds which are great and I bought III but having listened to it, I was underwhelmed. It’s good music but like with New World, nothing that I would have picked over other lesser known pieces. They also had game soundtracks. I went to the second showing of the concert and by then they had already sold out of FF7 CDs and after the second showing ended, only a couple of FF8 CDs remained. These CDs cost a whopping $45 each, not much less than what they are selling for on amazon.

Here are some of my favorite pieces I would like to hear in future concerts.

Airship themes in general, I’m not sure if one has ever been done in concert, I always liked the ones from FF7 and FF9.
The Place I’ll Return to FF9
FF9 themes of Freya, Vivi and Kuja or just a general FF9 character medley.
Awakened Forest FF9
Mistaken Love FF9
You’re Not Alone FF9
Trance Kuja Battle theme FF9
Compression of Time FF8
Ending theme FF8
The Great Warrior FF7
Eternity: Memory of Lightwaves FFX-2

If Square could get a Chrono Cross concert going, that would be spectacular. Square could probably do music concerts for many of their RPGs.

It would be awesome if other companies considered concerts. I would totally go to a concert of Okami music.

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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