Level-up your Elven Bard character this week with rePLAY!: Symphony of Heroes, a multimedia presentation concert featuring The Florida Orchestra together with the USF Chamber Singers. With selections spotlighting the atmospheric orchestrations of such mega-hits like Portal 2, Halo, Bioshock, and Journey, rePLAY! appeals to gamers and classical music aficionados, alike. Executive producer Jason Michael Paul spoke to me about the history and future of rePLAY!, as well as some of his favorite games.
Brian Frederick: Mr. Paul, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for me. How would you pitch this show to an audience of gamers who aren't into orchestra, and how would you pitch it to folks who like classical music, but perhaps not video games?
Jason Michael Paul: Just imagine your favorite video games being performed live with over 100 musicians in perfect harmony with gorgeous visuals. These modern composers who are behind some of the biggest video games of all time are relevant and churning out music that will open your eyes and heighten your senses like never before.
BF: How did the idea for rePlay Symphony of Heroes come to be?
JMP: After the success of our recent Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour, I wanted to create a new show that is a reboot of our Play! A Video Game Symphony that debuted in 2006 and toured through 2013. rePLAY: Symphony of Heroes is an exciting new concert series that celebrates the artistic side of video games depicting memorable moments from some of the most popular and beloved video games of all time, including Journey, The Elder Scrolls, Halo, Final Fantasy, God of War, Metal Gear Solid, BioShock and more.
BF: You have a lot of fantastic pieces representing a myriad of games in your show. How does the involvement of the many companies involved come together?
JMP: The involvement is really me reaching out to my contacts with the various licensees and getting their blessings to include their games as part of rePLAY.
BF: Is putting a show like this on anything like taking on a Boss Battle?
JMP: Trying to win over an audience and gain their acceptance. Getting a positive reaction from the fans is a victory. Seeing the interest translate into sales is a victory! My goal is to spread the word as much as possible so that people don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to see this once-in-a-lifetime show.
BF: What is your favorite game involved in your shows so far, and what game would you love to be represented?
JMP: Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, BioShock, Elders Scrolls are all favorites. It is hard to have just one favorite! In regard to what game I would love represented in the show...I would love to have Mega Man as part of the concert series.
BF: After this world tour, what does the future hold for you, and this amazing gaming concert series?
JMP: There is no end! I will continue to produce shows whether it is focused on multiple titles or on just one title, as is the case with my FINAL FANTASY and Zelda concerts. I also want to produce more recordings to continue engaging fans beyond each show.
The art and music behind the juggernauts of the video game industry are often overshadowed by concerns of violence, or Mario being inattentive boyfriend, so rePLAY!: Symphony of Heroes sounds like raid-boss with tons of loot.
rePLAY!: Symphony of Heroes, Sat., April 19, 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, 400 1st St S, St Petersburg, 33701, $45, www.replay-symphony.com