Greatest Video Game Music – update

November 9, 2011

The Greatest Video Game Music download album was released on 7 November 2011.  Currently available on itunes and amazon globally, it will also appear on Rhapsody, spotify and other platforms towards the end of November.

The CD will be released on 21 November in the UK, and dates close to this around the world.

Recorded in September 2011 just before the Video Game Heroes concert, this is a collection of greatest video game music, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

   

Tracklist:

1. Advent Rising: Muse 
2. Legend of Zelda: Suite 
3. Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2: Theme 
4. Angry Birds: Main Theme 
5. Final Fantasy VIII: Liberi Fatali 
6. Super Mario Bros: Themes 
7. Uncharted – Drake s Fortune: Nate’s Theme 
8. Grand Theft Auto IV: Soviet Connection 
9. World of Warcraft: Seasons of War 
10. Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty Theme 
11. Tetris Theme 
12. Battlefield 2: Theme 
13. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion 
14. Call of Duty 4 – Modern Warfare: Main Menu Theme 
15. Mass Effect: Suicide Mission 
16. Splinter Cell: Conviction 
17. Final Fantasy: Main Theme 
18. Bioshock: The Ocean on his Shoulders 
19. Halo 3: One Final Effort 
20. Fallout 3: Theme 
21. Super Mario Galaxy: Gusty Garden Galaxy

Amazon download includes bonus track:
Dead Space: Welcome Aboard the U.S.G. Ishimura

iTunes download includes bonus track:
Final Fantasy XIII: Hanging Edge

Buy from Amazon (UK only) and support the London Philharmonic Orchestra (at no cost to you). Simply click through to Amazon via the LPO website before you shop and a small percentage of your purchase will be donated to the Orchestra.

Click to  support the LPO when you buy from Amazon UK

Let us know what you think on Twitter: @LPOrchestra


Greatest Video Game Music – album release date

October 17, 2011

The Greatest Video Game Music CD and download album will be released on 8 November 2011.  Recorded in September 2011 just before the Video Game Heroes concert, this is a collection of greatest video game music, performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

   

Tracklist:

1. Advent Rising: Muse 
2. Legend of Zelda: Suite 
3. Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2: Theme 
4. Angry Birds: Main Theme 
5. Final Fantasy VIII: Liberi Fatali 
6. Super Mario Bros: Themes 
7. Uncharted – Drake s Fortune: Nate’s Theme 
8. Grand Theft Auto IV: Soviet Connection 
9. World of Warcraft: Seasons of War 
10. Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty Theme 
11. Tetris Theme 
12. Battlefield 2: Theme 
13. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion 
14. Call of Duty 4 – Modern Warfare: Main Menu Theme 
15. Mass Effect: Suicide Mission 
16. Splinter Cell: Conviction 
17. Final Fantasy: Main Theme 
18. Bioshock: The Ocean on his Shoulders 
19. Halo 3: One Final Effort 
20. Fallout 3: Theme 
21. Super Mario Galaxy: Gusty Garden Galaxy

Amazon download includes bonus track:
Dead Space: Welcome Aboard the U.S.G. Ishimura

iTunes download includes bonus track:
Final Fantasy XIII: Hanging Edge

Click to pre-order the CD from Amazon

Buy from Amazon and support the London Philharmonic Orchestra (at no cost to you). Simply click through to Amazon via the LPO website before you shop and a small percentage of your purchase will be donated to the Orchestra.

Click to  support the LPO when you buy from Amazon


Video Game Heroes: concert day and the aftermath …

September 8, 2011

Conductor Andrew Skeet looks back at the Video Game Heroes concert:

Friday 2nd September.  Gig day.  I like gig days.   There’s a certain amount of fear but unlike recording days you know there is one shot at it and no agonizing over whether this take is better than that or whether you’ve really captured something worthwhile.  So you just get on with it.  It was a funny day though because in the morning Radio 6 (I love you!) played a few extracts – early mixes of a couple of the tracks.  In particular what they did I think was to play original 8 bit (bleepy) versions and then cut straight into my orchestral ones which was not a bad idea and made me look good!  Then loads of other radio stations who heard that in the morning starting ringing either the PR company or even my mobile directly when I was trying to chill a bit on the big day, even once when I was trying to get a little trim in the barbers and then the BBC World service just as I was about to go on stage.  Bit late for publicity at that stage!  Also I did an interview with Nintendo that day which I was terrified about because I know about music but I’m by no means a games expert (mind you I’m thinking about rectifying that over the next two years with my good friend Joss – time to be 21 again!) but they were in fact gentle with me and didn’t ask me too many awkward questions!  Apparently this interview can be viewed via the Wii … although quite why anyone would break off from their exciting game of COD Black Ops or whatever to watch me droning on is beyond me – but perhaps they will.

The gig itself was pretty amazing – it went down really well with the audience (standing ovation darling!) and the orchestra played magnificently.   It was great to see which ones the audience liked and what sort of reaction there was to the funny ones and how absorbed they seemed in the whole thing.  Great audience.  (It nearly got off to a very bad start though because my friend, the composer Anthony Phillips, who was there told me that I was literally centimetres from completely knocking myself out on the conductors podium metal bar with my very first rather enthusiastic bow!!

I was lucky to have a few old friends in key roles on that day – not least of which the wonderful Rabbit (aka Wayne Sargeant) on front-of-house.  In other words he has a massive mixing desk with almost every instrument in the orchestra coming in separately!  Scary stuff.  There are very few people in the world I think who can really make an orchestra louder without making it sound worse at the same time.  Much, much worse usually!  This was a triumph in that respect I think because well placed spies in the audience told me it sounded like the LPO (best orchestra in the world) but a bit louder, which is what I wanted.  Also we had a total crazy genius on lighting, Richard Knight, who, once I had persuaded him not to simulate machine-gunning me through the head while I was conducting (his idea for Battlefield!!!), came up with the most amazing yet subtle lighting design which really helped with all the different twists and turns.  The least funny thing that happened from my point of view was when the wonderful choir (who were truly truly amazing) didn’t come in at the beginning of the last piece Liberi Fatali from Final Fantasy.  Since they begin this on their own this was a problem!  Once I had recovered from my heart attack I tried again thinking I might have to sing it myself if they don’t see me this time … but phew, they came in.   The joys of live performance!!

Anyway I could go on listing the various great individual performances (brass wow!, drums wow!, strings wow! conductor – a bit dodgy in places …) but onwards ….

Now we’re mixing and editing the album for all this in Angel Studios.  This is exciting partly because I don’t have to do very much in a way – just sit there and admire the awesome skills of Steve Price and his assistant Jez as they go through every little tiny piece of the tracks and bring it all together gradually.  The thing is of course it already sounded good.  You’ve got a great orchestra in a lovely room with at least 70 grand’s worth of microphones hanging up.  It should sound good!!  But somehow Steve still finds ways of making it far far better after that and it was incredible on Tuesday night to sit down and check out the first 16 mixes coming off the desk.  I think we have something very special emerging and I think these are going to be the very best versions of these wonderful pieces of music yet  recorded.

I feel really spoilt on this job – everyone involved has been so brilliant and supportive and let me get on with it.  If people don’t trust you, you can’t do this kind of thing because you end up second-guessing what they want and you lose touch with your own instincts.  Probably we didn’t get everything right but we entertained, and hopefully moved, a large number of people some of whom had never been to an orchestral gig before and we had a great time ourselves.  What more could anyone want!

Sign up for email alerts when the album is out at www.lpo.org.uk/heroes

Join the conversation on twitter (@LPOrchestra) and facebook: www.facebook.com/londonphilharmonic


Video Game Heroes: the album

September 6, 2011

The London Philharmonic Orchestra has been in the studio recording many of the game soundtracks that were performed live at the Video Game Heroes concert on 2 September.

The album will be released as download only in autumn 2011. 

If you’d like us to send you an email alert when the album is released, you can sign up at www.lpo.org.uk/heroes  .


Video Game Heroes – the set list

September 2, 2011

Here’s the full set list for Video Game Heroes – 2 September 2011 at the Royal Festival Hall.

There are still a few tickets left, so do join us if you can!
Booking information

Andrew Skeet conductor and arranger
Iain Lee presenter
Richard Knight lighting designer
London Philharmonic Orchestra

Set List 

Advent Rising: Muse Tommy Tallarico
Elder Scrolls: Oblivion Jeremy Soule
Call of Duty: Main Menu Theme Stephen Barton & Harry Gregson-Williams
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2: Theme Hans Zimmer & Lorne Balfe
Legend of Zelda Koji Kondo
Super Mario Bros. Theme Mahito Yokota & Koji Kondo
Little Big Planet: Orb of Dreamers: The Cosmic Imagisphere Daniel Pemberton
Splinter Cell: Conviction Michael Nielsen, Kaveh Cohen, Amon Tobin
Battlefield 2: Theme Joel Eriksson
Final Fantasy: Theme Nobuo Uematsu

Interval

Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty Theme Harry Gregson-Williams
Dead Space: Welcome Aboard the U.S.G. Ishimura* Jason Graves
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune Greg Edmonson
World of Warcraft: Seasons of War Jason Hayes
Halo 3: One Final Effort Martin O’Donnell & Michael Salvatori
007: Blood Stone: Athens Harbour Chase* Richard Jacques
Bioshock: The Ocean on his Shoulders Garry Schyman
Mass Effect: Suicide Mission Jack Wall & Sam Hulick
Fallout 3: Theme Inon Zur
Tetris Alexey Pajitnov
Super Mario Bros. Gusty Garden Galaxy Koji Kondo
Final Fantasy: Liberi Fatali Nobuo Uematsu
Angry Birds Ari Pulkkinen
Enemy Zero: Last Movement Michael Nyman

*Exclusive new versions written for tonight’s concert

The album will be out in the autumn.  Register for album updates here: www.lpo.org.uk/heroes


Watford and the setlist ….

August 26, 2011

This is only going to be a shortish blog because I have set myself the (possibly too ambitious) target of deciding on the setlist for the concert next week by lunchtime. Just to bring everything up to date; I came back from holiday at the weekend (although since I left 35 degree sunny Bordeaux for this rainy nonsense I’m wishing I hadn’t) and went pretty much straight into the BIG recording day with the orchestra at Watford Town Hall with Sam Okell from Abbey Road recording. I’ve never seen so many good mics in one room – Neumann city for those interested in such things. Overall charge on this project on the recording side is the wonderful Steve Price from Angel but he was not free on this day and Sam fortunately was able to do it for us. It is unbelievably important to get the right person behind the desk (or upturned crate in this case!) for these things because they need a ton of technical & musical knowledge but also the ability to quickly communicate to me how it’s all coming together when I’m out there conducting. Steve and Sam are both terrific on all fronts.

Anyway it was tons of fun to have the whole orchestra together in the refitted Watford Colosseum – the loudest room I’ve ever been in I think! A big highlight was recording music from Dead Space which had been specially arranged for us by composer Jason Graves; also the Final Fantasy pieces were spectacular and Legend of Zelda was hairs on the back of the neck time with some John Williams-esque fanfares and also some incredibly beautiful woodwind solos. It was also great to have some old friends of mine from The Divine Comedy playing bass and drums on a couple of numbers – we recorded Super Mario Bros Gusty Galaxy and decided to do it in the style of Neil Hannon crossed with Dynasty (the idea of Neil in big shoulder pads was enough for everyone to get the right vibe!)

Then yesterday the choir – the final session. Lots of fun; I love working with choirs and hardly every get asked to. It’s the way it goes – I know a lot about singing so never get to work with choirs, I know nothing at all about orchestral playing so I’m always getting asked to work with orchestras! What’s going on there?

Today … the setlist!!! So difficult, so many possibilities but I’ve got to do it. Everyone from the lights man, the sound man, the presenter, the presenter’s agent, the orchestral marketing dept, the boss, the teaboy, the drummer … is screaming for this list. Well, politely enquiring I suppose would be more like it – it is a classical orchestra we’re talking about.

So … Super Mario Bros theme goes beautifully into Orb of Dreamers from Little Big Planet – but is that too much cheese in one go? Nah – cheese is good but we should probably follow it up with something serious … like Legend of Zelda!!! I’m losing some perspective here I think …

Andrew Skeet, Conductor

Find out more and book tickets for Friday 2 September at lpo.org.uk/heroes


Video Game Heroes – bowing and scraping!

August 12, 2011

Great day in Angel studios  – day two of the recording.  What a mixture – a morning of brass & woodwind, an afternoon of percussion and then drums and bass in the evening.  This was a tricky day for everyone logistically and I suspect I was not all that popular for a number of reasons!  First Angel is a slightly tricky studio to get large instruments into because of the stairs and not very big doors and then the percussion list for this was pretty epic as you’d expect I hope.  We had pretty much everything you could hit or scrape and we did hit AND scrape most of it.  This was such a fun session and the guys couldn’t have been more helpful.   There was very little setup time between sessions and one minute the room at Angel was full of percussion and the next it had all gone and we had a drum kit on a riser at the far end.

The morning was equally spectacular with mighty brass fanfares, woodwind flourishes and generally epic behaviour.  Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune made us all feel like heading off for the New World there and then, Fallout Theme just got even more grimy and wonderful and both tracks from Call of Duty were wonderfully heroic.

Putting the drums and bass on in the evening was brilliant because it started to pull things in a less conventional direction for certain tracks and I started to realise how wonderfully diverse this album is going to be.  A lot of video games involve some of adventure or exploration and I started to feel that we were, ourselves, right in the middle of an epic journey and I hope we can take that into the gig itself.  It should be interesting but we’ll only get one life so if we fall off in the middle it’s all over!

Andrew Skeet, Conductor

Find out more and book tickets for 2 September at www.lpo.org.uk/heroes


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