Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Zelda Concert Not So Legendary

Not to be terribly repetitive, but our class discussion on the venue and audience expectations during a classical musical concert left me thinking about the example I had brought up.

A brief refresher: Indelibly dorky though it may be, a few months ago I attended a classical concert in San Francisco that covered none other than the most famous compositions of Nintendo’s “The Legend of Zelda” video game franchise. While I certainly did not dress formally for the occasion, (as I did not expect the other nerd-fueled concertgoers to) I did expect a certain degree of respect towards the orchestra. Instead what I found was a constant smattering of applause, deep throated cheers, and cries of outrage during each piece of a medley, effectively ruining both the otherwise deep acoustics and general enjoyment of the concert. The compositions alone, when reviewed in tandem and without the vocal audience’s opinion, were at times superior to the original tracks. However, this review stems away from the music itself, for the voluminous surroundings were hardly conducive to hearing the true intricacies of the tracks and dominated the hall as a whole.

Though I could recognize that perhaps not all Zelda fans were attuned to the general mannerisms of a classical concert, I could hardly excuse them, for this had been my first time as well. Afterward, I had hoped that other fans across the globe were a bit less crass during the act, and so I took to Youtube to find the pieces that I had hoped to enjoy live. What I found instead was:


and while looking for an alternate version, the discourse on the comments of


seems to reflect my disdain for the uncultured freaks who hashed out twenty-five dollars to ruin my experience.

Regardless, when looking at the group for whom the concert was marketed, I could hardly find this surprising. Given that the general players of “The Legend of Zelda” video games are young men my age and a few years above, I’d say that we share in a minimal level of experience in concert couth. Instead, I don’t think it too farfetched to pin more of the fault on the symphony themselves for not expressing the standards expected for those sitting in the velvet chairs before them. Perhaps then I would have been spared the nerdgasmic shrieks of the balding forty-something in front of me. I’d say that my self-respect took a bit of a hit that night.

Fortunately, in a marketing ploy to sell the newest in a series of Zelda games, Nintendo chose to bundle a selection of songs from the symphony onto a music CD to be included with all initial releases of “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.” Devoid of the howling and yelps of the crazed pack of Zelda devouts, I was able to listen to the incredibly enjoyable playlist uninterrupted. (Unfortunately, it didn’t contain the “boss medley” track, which I had searched so diligently for.) Given my experience with the symphony, I don’t think I’ll be signing on to attend the encore tour.

But I digress about my somewhat feigned disgust (but clearly somewhat genuine passion) and concede that the concert was, at least, composed with the best intentions.

-Robert Mata

[ Proof that the concert is, indeed, a real thing: http://zelda-symphony.com/schedule ]

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