December 2, 2023


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Con Spirito: Game Sounds |  The KIEL experience

Con Spirito: Game Sounds | The KIEL experience

Anyone who thinks of orchestral concerts immediately has in mind Beethoven and Brahms & Co. It’s rare for a musical template to come from Angry Birds or Assassin’s Creed.

Regular readers of already know that the Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra is eager to experience. Of course, she always shines with the “real classics”, but always performs extraordinary works that should not belong to the standard repertoire of very few musicians.

This applies more on days when a Con Spirito party is on the programme. The musical journey to (to many) new worlds, made possible by various sponsors, was devoted to the theme of “Sounds of Games” yesterday evening. Music that comes from video games.

Anyone who still fundamentally associates Tetris, Super Mario, and FIFA with video games should refrain from hasty cynicism. It’s not just really big game productions that can easily and easily compete with blockbuster Hollywood blockbusters and Netflix series in terms of budget. Game studios have always paid great attention to music. Because music creates the atmosphere. Music awakens feelings. The music helps move the story forward.

What may not be obvious to many video gamers: no matter how artificial the worlds of video games are, the music that sounds when you ride through Hyrule or walk through Midgard is usually handcrafted. Full orchestras are often used. The jump from Handel to Hayes, who worked as an author on “World of Warcraft,” for example, is much less than one might think.

Under the direction of Eckhard Steer, who is a big fan of video game music but not the biggest gamer himself, and run by a video game journalist and editor as well as a moderator with Rocketbeans, many favorite tracks have been heard. From the huge suite from “The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind” to the variety of the Angry Birds series, so to speak, are at the other end of the scale.

A highlight of the evening was a performance by pianist Benjamin Nuss, who joined the orchestra on several pieces from the Final Fantasy series.

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Those who want to explore music in video games in a whole new way might start that night when the orchestra played Austin Wintory’s “Apotheosis” from Journey. Journey is available for Playstation, Windows PC and iOS and the music in this game not only serves all the previously mentioned effects. As a player, you find yourself in a desert, and without really knowing why and where, you embark on a journey guided primarily by music.

It was also clear that evening: You don’t have to be able to do anything with Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Telemann to keep warm with orchestral music. In addition to the now well-known offerings of movie music, video games can also offer a springboard. Even if the Ostseehalle did not sell out, it soon became apparent when looking at the audience: such excursions to other musical worlds certainly act as a magnet to attract people to the hall who do not have a concert subscription to the Philharmonic Orchestra. Gladly more of this!

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