December 12th, 2009. On that day, the world was changed forever. Or at least that was the feeling in the room as the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra and the Elmhurst College Concert Choir performed the premier of the new arrangement of Dancing Mad from Final Fantasy VI, as scenes from both FFVI and Dissidia were played on the large screen. Other premiers included a new arrangement of J-E-N-O-V-A, and an English version of Suteki Da Ne from Final Fantasy X sung by Susan Calloway.
We have known for awhile now that this particular concert was to play host to the world premier of music from Final Fantasy XIV. Conductor Arnie Roth introduced the piece, which was comprised of two songs, the first of which I’m sure is incorrectly spelled, “Twilight over Thamalon” and “Beneath Bloody Borders”. The lights dim, and the familiar Tokyo Game Show trailer graces the large screen. This was a premier only in the notion that it had not been performed live anywhere in the world, the music was very familiar as they proceeded to play the music used in the TGS trailer. It was a bit of a disappointment, however the battle theme did extend past what we’ve heard in the trailer so that was a plus, along with the titles of the two songs being revealed.
Read on for my thoughts on the rest of the concert!
Susan Calloway performed several songs including Melodies of Life, Suteki Da Ne, Kiss Me Goodbye, and Distant Worlds. While all of these were performed beautifully, I couldn’t help but notice that the last line of Distant Worlds was… well it was incorrect. It was kind of a blow at the end of the song and lowered the bar quite a bit for my vocal expectations. Luckily she delivered with the other pieces later in the night.
Finally the show had come to its end with the performance of Terra’s theme. At least, it would have if they hadn’t of planned for the special performance of Advent One Winged Angel featuring Nobuo Uematsu himself on the organ. After the brilliant ten second piece “Victory!” was played, Nobuo Uematsu and the Chicago Mages did their thing alongside the orchestra and choir. Arnie and Nobuo gave cues to the crowd so they could pitch in during some of the chorus. It was a very exciting atmosphere during the first performance, and again when they played the song for a second time.
Distant Worlds is currently done with performances for 2009, but is already starting to plan out for 2010. Some locations that are planned include Seoul, Stockholm, San Francisco, San Diego, and a return to Chicago at the end of the summer. Next month Arnie Roth will be in Stockholm to record Distant Worlds II: More music from Final Fantasy which will be released sometime around June.