Symphonic Fantasies: Night at The Barbican

I'd never been to a classical concert before however I am a big fan of the music behind Square Enix's Final Fantasy games. Nathan, a friend who I used to work with mentioned back at the start of the year that the London Symphonic Orchestra were set to perform a show in October at The Barbican Centre in London.

Titled Symphonic Fantasies, the Orchestra was set to play varies compositions from some of Square's most iconic RPGs, Kingdom Hearts, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger and of course Final Fantasy. Also on offer was a guest appearance pre-concert talk from famed composer Yoko Shimomura (Street Fighter II, Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga and Kingdom Hearts).

We both couldn't resist, and along with friend and work colleague Alex we went ahead and purchased both the concert and talk tickets. Into the diary it went.

So on Thursday the three of us headed down to London. Alex had previously seen a Distant World concert however as previously mentioned me and Nathan had never been to a classical concert before. The pre-concert talk with Yoko Shimomura was really interesting as, I'll be honest, hadn't realized how many videogames she'd been involved in. She does in fact have a track or two in the upcoming Final Fantasy XV, although it originally was composed purely for a trailer/section of gameplay for the game while on display at a Tokyo Game Show a couple of years ago.

So how about the concert itself?  I'm not that great at describing or reviewing music, however what I can tell you is that I'll be keeping my eyes open for more. The acoustics of the hall were fantastic, and the orchestra themselves were awesome. You could really feel the high reaching notes, especially during fan-favorite tracks such as the pulsating One Winged Angel. I couldn't help chuckling to the Final Fantasy composition as they orchestra kept crossing over to the Chocobo theme during a number of the build ups to some of the most iconic of choruses.

Another factor that made the concert so good was the choir. Not only did they sound really good as a singing choir, it was also down to the little 'sound effects' they could pull off during some of the tracks, such as the sound of the wind and the droplets of rain.

All and all, a fantastic night was had by all. I'd recommend keeping an eye on for new dates and further information.