Distant Worlds – 18/05/2019

Today’s #dearjune prompt is Music so I thought I would talk about the Distant Worlds concert that I went to see at the Royal Albert Hall on the 18th May 2019.

For those that don’t know Distant Worlds is a series of concerts based around the music of the Final Fantasy series of video games which was started by conductor Arnie Roth and long time series composer Nobuo Uematsu in 2007.

This was my fourth occasion of attending the concert. I believe the first occasion was 2012, followed by 2014, 2017 and now 2019. On my first occasion of viewing the concert I had actually started to fall out of love with the Final Fantasy series of games, this was before Final Fantasy XIV : A Realm Reborn was released, but I had always loved the music of Final Fantasy ever since playing my first Final Fantasy, VII, and heading to the internet to download Midi versions of the songs from the game. Through the years even as my love for the games themselves may have waned I had always found the music to be one of the best parts of the games.

Nowadays I’m very much entranced by the most recent MMO variant of the game Final Fantasy XIV and so I was perhaps looking forward to this concert more than any of the others I’d been to. I knew that Susan Calloway, the voice of each of XIV’s vocal theme songs would be attending and I was super excited to hear her rendition of Dragonsong, the theme from the first expansion Heavensward, little did I know that she would also be singing Answers, the original theme from A Realm Reborn which for me is even better.

Both Dragonsong and Answers were part of a jawdropping first act of the concert which also featured the emotional love song Suteki da Ne from Final Fantasy X with original vocalist Rikki singing in full traditional Japanese dress. The first act then closed with the showstopping Dancing Mad from Final Fantasy VI utilising the Albert Hall’s built in organ.

When the concert returned from intermission it was with great anticipation for a promised Final Fantasy VII themed section. I was particularly hyped for this given the origins of my love for the series music and the concert did not disappoint beginning with Opening – Bombing Mission and Cosmo Canyon themes before bringing a tear to the entire auditoriums eye with the powerfully emotive Aerith’s Theme, finishing with the bombastic One Winged Angel which had the entire crowd chanting the word “Sephiroth”.

The concert was a brilliant night out and just made me want to play all of these games again and listen to all the music once more.

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