Encore! NorrlandsOperan Symphony Orchestra revisits a past hit when it once again plays well-known music from computer games. MC and gaming enthusiast Orvar Säfström's recommendation to the audience? Bring tissues.
Orvar Säfström: "NorrlandsOperan's Symphony Orchestra looks forward to performing for a different kind of audience." So reads the first line of the press release distributed prior to the computer game music concerts held under the title Settings almost three years ago. And a new audience it was, for sure. Despite programming three separate performances, the demand for seats was so high that extra standing-room-only tickets had to be made available at the last minute.
"This is the first time in my entire professional life that I've felt like a rock star," an emotional violinist told me after the final concert's thunderous applause, extra numbers and seven or eight curtain calls were over. The games music also gave rise to strong feelings among the audience. "It's not just about nostalgia and love for the games themselves, but about the recognition of an otherwise overlooked form of culture.
Naturally, over and above that, it's also quite simply about great music. That's why it's really great when music lovers, with no experience whatsoever of computer games, come together with hardcore gaming enthusiasts and online fanatics In this meeting, as in the meeting between the public and the orchestra, new opportunities for expressing curiosity and finding mutual respect emerge - two things we see far too little of in our world today."
Score and its forerunner Settings are about allowing computer game soundtracks to stand on their own merits. Video screens, smoke machines and people on stage dressed as Super Mario can create a wonderfully entertaining show, for sure. However, inexorably, these also shift the focus away from the music, which is what these concerts should be about. The last time we held this concert, we made grown men cry openly with our Commodore medley, even without the help of light shows or flickering visual displays. Make sure to bring tissues with you this time.
Director: Charles Hazelwood
Presenter: Orvar Säfström
NorrlandsOperan Symphony Orchestra