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REVIEW: DISTANT WORLDS – MUSIC FROM FINAL FANTASY

Melbourne Arena, Saturday August 24, 2019.
Review: Elyce Phillips

In the world of gaming, there are few franchises that have as beautiful a soundtrack as the Final Fantasy series. This was made even more apparent hearing the music performed live by the 100-piece Distant Worlds Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. The Melbourne-sourced musical talent, led by conductor Arnie Roth, played a spectacular two-hour program, enhanced by accompanying graphics from throughout the history of the series. The audience was also treated to a special appearance from Yoko Shimomura, the composer behind Final Fantasy XV.

The first half of the program explored the music of Final Fantasy in great breadth, playing tracks from throughout the 32 years of the franchise. Highlights included a medley of character themes from Final Fantasy VI and ‘Zanarkand’ from Final Fantasy X. In the second half, the Distant Worlds Philharmonic paid tribute to crowd-favourite Final Fantasy VII, playing a stunning array of music from the beloved game.

It was a truly special experience to hear these soundtracks brought to life with such skill, sitting in an arena filled with people who had grown up with the games. The Distant Worlds Philharmonic elevated the music of Final Fantasy to a whole new level.