This Saturday, July 15, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) will be performing the music of popular video game Legend of Zelda. This concert will surely appeal to fans of the game and music lovers alike. The game, distributed by the Nintendo Corporation made its debut in 1986, and has maintained a loyal fan base for over 30 years, so the concert should draw from multiple generations.
I recently spoke to Melissa Herr, the president of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and chorus member. She seemed very excited about this concert. Members of the BPC will be joining the BPO for this special performance. “I always invite my adult daughters to attend a concert, and they don’t seem interested, but when I told them about this concert, they were very excited, ‘oh my gosh, when is it?’ they said”. This response shows an appeal to the millennial generation, which, one would hope, would introduce a whole new audience to the BPO.
Melissa and I also discussed Koji Kondo, the musical composer for Nintendo, who has been with the corporation since the early ‘80s. In addition to the Zelda score, his body of work also includes Super Mario Brothers. “He was born in 1961, so he is from an older generation, someone who had other musical connections,” she says. His influences range from progressive rock, Deep Purple, Emerson Lake and Palmer, to classical composers such as Sergei Rachmaninoff. These influences are reflected in his work. “He drew on his classical inspiration for Zelda’s Lullaby,” Melissa says. He used the concept of leitmotif to identify Zelda musically – “the characterization through the recurring use of a musical theme, her signature tune.”
She also explained the ‘Zelda chord’, “it’s the use of melodic lines, mixed with unusual harmonic progressions, making it interesting, vibrant. Infusing energy, and metrical changes, something that is not expected.” The rhythmic nature energizes gamers.
Melissa is encouraging all fans of the game to attend. “The game will be shown on a screen, and synched to the live performance. I think the audience is going to go wild!” That’s quite the excitement for someone who has never played Nintendo.
The event is sponsored by 103.3 The Edge, and tickets can be purchased here: www.bpo.org.