What’s this? An ensemble of consoles?
Nope. These days, video games take their soundtracks seriously with full orchestras and cutting-edge composers recording epic scores that leave 8-bit chiptune in the dust. Now, an amateur orchestra is bringing these impressive sounds to the capital live.
But I can just play them in my bedroom. Why should I bother watching these guys?
Because these aren’t your average concerts. The group’s first performance will be themed around role-playing games with clever arrangements of soundtracks from Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, Elder Scrolls and Octopath Traveler.
Yep. There’ll also be a choir and screenings of game footage as they play. Plus, they’ve promised live game playthroughs, support from Foley artists (people who create sound effects) and narrations from voiceover artists at future shows.
How did all this come about?
Clarinettist Galen Woltkamp-Moon and conductor James Keirle formed the group to show a wider audience just how impressive video game music can be. Now they’ve assembled a 50-strong orchestra ranging in age from 18 to 74.
So, there’s more to the Final Fantasy 7 theme than I realised?
Exactly. The performance aims to show the impact music really has on the experience of playing your favourite game. Plus, it’s a teaching orchestra that coaches new players. Maybe it’s time to test those nimble fingers out on more than just your PS4 controller?
Hear the London Video Games Orchestra at Theatre Peckham on Sat Jun 15. Tickets are £15.
Octopath Traveler is out now for Nintendo Switch and Steam.
There’s more where that came from. Find three more alternative orchestras in London.
Find more great events happening in London this month with our June guide.