GamesBeat A chat with the man behind The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses November 6, 2012 8:00 PM Louis Garcia 0 This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff. Fans love the epic, emotionally charged music from The Legend of Zelda role-playing franchise. I recently chatted with Jason Michael Paul, creator of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses live-concert series, to ask him what makes Zelda's music so special, what his dream project would be, and what the future might hold for video game music concerts. Louis Garcia: Why do a show focused on Zelda? Jason Michael Paul: I just think that with a 25, now 26-year, history, Zelda is one of the most [storied] franchises. We saw the success of those concerts [Paul previously created Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy and Play! A Video Game Symphony], and it was kind of [a] necessity that we do a concert to continue on. It’s more or less a natural progression. There’s only two franchises worthy of getting their own concerts: Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda. Garcia: What is your relationship with the video game series? Paul: I’m 35, so it’s my generation. I grew up playing video games. That’s what I used to do as a kid and I still do. I downloaded an emulator to play the NES [Nintendo Entertainment System] classics while I’m traveling. Garcia: What do you think shows like this do for fans and also those who aren’t as into video games? Do the concerts push the medium to more cultural acceptance? Paul: Yeah, definitely. You don’t have to be a video game or Zelda fan to appreciate the music or progress. It’s a wonderful show that appeals to everybody. Garcia: How do you choose what music to play? Paul: I work hand in hand with the creators of The Legend of Zelda game. Koji Kondo, our music director … we go though the music and figure out the best way to present the show. We’ve taken all the games … essentially we’re doing a retelling of the story of The Legend of Zelda. That’s how we’ve structured it. We have it done in a way that we do everything in sync with the visuals and the actual music. That’s the difference with our show. It’s in sync. Everything has a purpose. Garcia: Having had a number of shows, how do you feel about what you’ve put together? Paul: I’m extremely proud of it. For the first time, I can actually watch the show. I never get tired of watching it. I get the most satisfaction from the fans’ reactions. That, to me, is the best part. I haven’t gotten one bad review, knock on wood. The praise I’ve gotten from fans and everyone is great. Garcia: I understand your company produced the CD that comes with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Will you be working on more projects with Nintendo? What would be a dream compilation or concert to put together? Do you have another gaming saga you’d love to work with? I have some things brewing in my mind. Play! A Video Game Symphony features Mario, Metroid, Zelda…. My dream would be a Nintendo all-star concert where I focus solely on Nintendo properties, whether Kid Icarus or Kirby. That’s really what I want to do. I also think The Elder Scrolls series is worthy of a concert devoted to it … and I have a close relationship with Jeremy Soule, the composer of that game. So who knows? The orchestral CD was — out of all the things I’ve ever done — that was the highlight of my career. To do a project like that for Nintendo and have it release with a marquee title. It was a great opportunity to showcase my talents. I was very pleased with the final product. I kind of put together a who’s who of the entertainment industry to make it happen. It’s a labor of love. Right now we’re really catching steam. Take full advantage because this concert is not to be missed. Pictured above: Eimear Noone conducts Minneapolis musicians during a dress rehearsal attended by members of the press, the Twin Cities' Orpheum Theatre.