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Live at Symphony Hall / Video Game Orchestra

Catalog Number N/A
Barcode 888295070126
Release Date Apr 11, 2014
Publish Format Commercial
Release Price 12.00 USD
Media Format CD
Classification Arrangement, Vocal, Live Event
PublisherVideo Game Orchestra / /
Phonographic CopyrightVideo Game Orchestra / /


Composed by / Yoko Shimomura / , Yasunori Mitsuda / , Jonathan Coulton, Satoe Terashima / , Noriyuki Iwadare / , Gerard K. Marino, Nobuo Uematsu /
Arranged by / Shota Nakama / , David Saulesco, Noriyuki Iwadare / , Naoto Kubo /
Lyrics / Jonathan Coulton*
Performer / Video Game Orchestra /
    Guitar / Shota Nakama /
    Bass / Louis Andre Ochoa
    Drums / Takuma Anzai /
    Percussion / Noriko Terada / , Ethan Pani, Rich Chwastiak, Matt Sharrock
    Keyboard / Haruka Yabuno /
    Electric Violin / Chris Baum
    Solo Vocal / Ingrid Gerdes
    Orchestra Conductor / Yohei Sato
    Concertmaster / Sho Omagari /
    Violin I / Sho Omagari / , Yi-Hsiu Liu, Angel Valchinov, Yura Hyun / , Chang-Lung Lin, Natsuki Kumagai, Felix Chen, Patrick Shaugnessy, Tudor Dornescu, Alsksandra Labinska, Momoko Matsumura / , Sarah Peters, Michael Rau
    Violin II / Julia Okrusko, Li-Mei Liang, Harry Chang, Tara Mueller, Kenneth Mok, Daniel Koo, Nelli Jabotinsky, Shu-Fang Du, Konstaintin Rybakov, Rita Wang, Mu-Ying Tsai, Li Lao
    Viola / Chen Lin, Debbie Apple, Cait O-Brien, Ting-Ru Lai, Kevin Hsu, Susan Chu, Justin Ouellet, Oliver Chang, Hye Lim Shin
    Cello / Ignacy Grzelazka, Robert Mayes, Drew Comstock, Kett Lee, Mike Dahlberg, Ro Rowan, Jiwon Suh / , Yina Tong
    Double Bass / Chao Chen, Andrew Chilcote, Yi-Jung Su, Eddie Kass
    Harp / Sena Hornby
    Flute / Kazuyo Kuriya / , Alex Stoyanov
    Piccolo / Kazuyo Kuriya /
    Oboe / Akane Inoue / , Miri Kudo /
    Clarinet / Linus Wyrsch, John Dioati
    Bassoon / Vince Ocampo, Tzu-I Lee
    Trumpet / Andrew Gushiken, Matt Ebisuzaki, Loo-Kit Chong
    Horn / Chuta Chulavalaivong, Paige McGrath, Nick Rubenstein, Sarah Sutherland
    Trombone / Johnny Elizondo, Mary Tyler
    Bass Trombone / Jessica Smith
    Tuba / Jobey Wilson
    Timpani / Jonathan Hess
    Soprano Choir / Shadi Ebrahimi, Alyssa Koogler, Sarah Moyer, Noel Smith
    Alto Choir / Von Bringhurst, Abbe Dalton, Lauren Frick, Allegra Martin
    Tenor Choir / Elijah Hopkin, Henry Lussier, Nathaniel Smith, Martin Thompson
    Bass Choir / James Dargan, Justin Hicks, George King, Jonathan Mendoza
Creator / Shota Nakama /
Producer / Shota Nakama /
Production Manager / Wen Hsu
Production Assistant / Ivan Lin, Poya Chang, Maho Azuma /
Mixing Engineer / Alex Levy, Warren Brown (Epilogue Audio)
Mastering Engineer / Falk Au Yeong
Recording Engineer / Nick Squire, John Weston
Assistant Recording Engineer / Igor Stolarsky, Dan Schwartz
Additional Recordings by / Igor Stolarsky, Yuki Kishida / (Keyboard), Livan (Additional Piano)
Additional Recordings at / Futura Productions
Concert Publicist / Audun Sorlie
Photographer / Thomas J. Dougherty (Nickeledge), Ryuhei Asai
Jacket Design / HIRAKU
Booklet Design / HIRAKU
Special Thanks / Sean Lewis, Hitoshi Sakimoto / , Yoko Shimomura / , Noriyuki Iwadare / , Kinuyo Yamashita / , Yasuhiro Takamatsu / (Square-Enix Inc.), Yukiko Kusano (Square-Enix Inc.), Rika Okabe (Game Arts Inc.), Hiroko Miyaji, Takahiro Nishi / , Anna Ejiri, Robert Khoo, Khahil White, PAX, Jonathan "JoCo" Coulton, DJ Frontalot, Protoman, Mini Bosses, Noguchi-san, his crew, Patrick Gann, Stephen Merick, Morimasa Tonaki, Yoko Tonaki
Liner Notes / Shota Nakama /

Disc 1

01 Theme of Street Fighter 2 3:18
02 Chrono Trigger 4:51
03 Still Alive 3:26
04 Vampire Killer 4:25
05 Final Fantasy Tactics Medley 8:36
06 The End of the World 5:11
07 Theme of Grandia 4:50
08 God of War 4:10
09 The End Begins to Rock 4:27
10 Final Fantasy VII Suite 16:54
Disc length 60:08



"To me, VGO is like my child. It was back in the summer of 2008 when I was in my last semester finishing up my film scoring degree at Berklee College of Music, I came up with this crazy idea (I did not think it was crazy, but everybody thought it was) while listening to the soundtrack from Chrono Cross composed by Yasunori Mitsuda: create a live group to perform video game music. Next day, I was already asking my friends if they would be interested to play in this new group, soon-to-be-called Video Game Orchestra. After a bunch of declines and laughs-at-my-face, somehow I was able to gather about 25 people to perform at a small chapel in Boston. That's how everything began.

Five years from then, we have a rock band, full orchestra and choir, making incredible music, rocking thousands of people out with our signature "rockestral" video game music arrangements and even recorded for the actual soundtrack of the latest Final Fantasy, Lightning Returns - Now THAT is crazy. I am from a small island called Okinawa and came to America at the age of 18, dreaming about, "Oh man, I am so going to be a huge rock star!" 13 years later, I guess I am a step closer to it? Maybe a bit more than a step, especially after this live album that I am the most proud of.

This album was recorded live at Boston Symphony Hall on October 7th, 2012, and it includes some of the most beloved video game music of all time, with extraordinary performance and sound quality. This is the best video game music concert album out there, guys. I thank all of you who supported us - the musicians, engineers, staff (especially Wen), fans and those backers who helped fund this CD on Kickstarter. This is for every one of you. Here I present, Live at Symphony Hall!"

- Shota Nakama, VGO Creator/Producer

I - Theme of Street Fighter 2
     Composed by Yoko Shimomura / Arranged by Shota Nakama

    "Originally, I made this arrangement for the small version of VGO for performing at events like PAX. For this concert, I expanded the score since we had the entire orchestra backing up the rock band. The real challenge was how could I make it sound like a stand-alone song because the original version is less than a minute long! So I added the extended, epic bVI-bVII-I progression introduction where I shout out to the audience. After the theme, the amazing solo battle between our violinist and keyboardist kicks in and they are on fire here! Getting out from the battle, the song approaches its end with the recap of the theme, now harmonized, with the crazy guitar and bass unison lines making it even better!"

    © 1991 Capcom

II - Chrono Trigger
      Composed by Yasunori Mitsuda / Arranged by Shota Nakama

     "This arrangement features pretty much the same instrumentation as Street Fighter 2 except adding the orchestral percussion section to it. This is one of my favorite arrangements I have ever made because it really musically describes our signature style, "rockestral" video game music.

      The song begins with a funk groove type of thing where the bass, drums, and percussion are playing 16th note figures, followed by this quieter section where you can hear the beautiful violin melody played by Chris Baum, along with the piano and string section. Then suddenly, you are in the world of rockestra. Chris bursts out his energy and the entire group comes in to give a huge hit going into the next rock section. During the second half of the solo section, I used a motif from Radical Dreamers, the ending song of Chrono Cross, which is a sequel to Chrono Trigger. If you catch that without reading this note, you are a true Chrono fan."


III - Still Alive
       [Lyrics &] Composed by Jonathan Coulton / Arranged by Shota Nakama

     "Firstly, thanks to Jonathan Coulton for creating such a cute, fun song. The whole orchestra plays in it, but it is more strings centered and kept quite simple overall to not destroy the "cuteness" of the song.

      Still Alive has been the closing song of our recent concerts because it is such a perfect sing-along song that fills the room with joy. Other than this song, are there any songs from video games that the entire audience sings along with? I believe Still Alive is the only one so far, and this was the perfect conclusion to this magical night."

     © 2007 Valve Corporation

IV - Vampire Killer
      Composed by Satoe Terashima / Arranged by Shota Nakama

     "If you were a Castlevania fan, you might notice that the intro B-3 organ line is from Bloody Tears, another well-respected song from the series. The line is probably enough to tell you this will be an epic symphonic metal song, following the tradition of the Castlevania soundtracks.

     This arrangement of Vampire Killer came together very quickly. Ever since I decided to arrange this piece, even before writing anything down, I pretty much had everything laid out in my head, note for note. You can totally hear the European metal influence here from my favorite bands like [Helloween], Stratovarius and Rhapsody of Fire, and the fast unison at the end of the solo on the Bach progression after another incredible solo battle between the electric violin and keyboard is as European metal as it can get. Nothing gets better than this."

     © 1986 Konami Digital Entertainment

V - Final Fantasy Tactics Medley
     Composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto / Arranged by David Saulesco

    "Knowing his versatile composition skills, I asked David Saulesco, who is quite an accomplished video game composer living in Europe, to arrange the music of Hitoshi Sakimoto from Final Fantasy Tactics. I gave him a few guidelines like requesting him to throw in some fragments of Final Fantasy 12, not use the band section and focus on only the orchestra and choir because Sakimoto-san' s music really calls for pure orchestral arrangement, make it epic (as I always tell people whom I work with) and so on. After 3 days, boom, he sent me this fantastic arrangement that you would absolutely enjoy listening to."


Ⅵ - The End of the World
VII - Theme of Grandia
        Composed & Arranged by Noriyuki Iwadare

      "When I contacted Noriyuki Iwadare, the composer of the Grandia series, to attend the concert as a guest, he quickly replied to me saying, "I am going to quickly put together something and send you the scores!" That was totally an unexpected and pleasant surprise! So these pieces are both re-orchestrated by lwadare-san himself especially for this concert. Our concertmaster of the night, Sho Omagari, enhances the piece even further with his beautiful solo in the middle of the Grandia theme. By the way, the Live at Symphony Hall was actually the first time ever that the music of Grandia was officially performed at a live concert in the US. You are listening to something very special here!"

    © 1997,1999 GAME ARTS/ESP

VIII - God of War
   IX - The End Begins to Rock
         Composed by Gerard K. Marino

      "I loved the brutality of God of War both in its game play and in the music. The composer Gerard Marino told me he really loves epic rock style as he once was a shredding metal keyboard player. You can definitely hear the metal influence everywhere and even the theme, which does not have a rock band, rocks out, or maybe I should describe the beginning as if you suddenly encounter a massive titan, with its gigantic arm, crushing you hard. It sounds that big. The second part, The End Begins to Rock, is an alternative version of the song that the composer created for Rock Band, and this is as metal as a song from video game music can get. You would totally understand what I am talking about here once you hit play. Then you unleash your inner beast calling you to bang your head and grip your middle and ring fingers making the devil's horns with a glorious, mean rock face."

    © 2007 Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

X - Final Fantasy VII Suite
     Composed by Nobuo Uematsu / Arranged by Shota Nakama & Naoto Kubo

      "The longest piece from the VGO repertoire! I created this a while ago and I was thinking to myself "How can I tell people the story with the music?" First thing I did was to choose the most well known pieces from the game, but as I was selecting them, the pieces fell into the right places in my head. Shortly after, the entire medley concept was already there.

       We performed this for the first time back in 2010 when the group was a little bit smaller. The orchestra was still a chamber orchestra size so naturally for L@SH, the score had to be expanded. My composer friend, Naoto Kubo, whom I went to school with, helped re-orchestrate this, and the collaboration worked out quite well for sure! The ending is the recap of the famous Final Fantasy theme with the distorted electric guitar taking the melody part ... so epic. Originally this arrangement had Still More Fighting and JENOVA, but we had to cut them due to time constraints. Perhaps we can add them back next time so we can play the "full" version of it!"


Video Game Orchestra


  Guitar: Shota Nakama

  Bass: Louis Andre Ochoa

  Drums: Takuma Anzai

  Percussion: Noriko Terada

  Keyboard: Haruka Yabuno

  Electric Violin: Chris Baum

  Solo Vocal: Ingrid Gerdes


  Conductor: Yohei Sato

  Violin I: Sho Omagari, concertmaster
               Yi-Hsiu Liu
               Angel Valchinov
               Yura Hyun
               Chang-Lung Lin
               Natsuki Kumagai
               Felix Chen
               Patrick Shaugnessy
               Tudor Dornescu
               Alsksandra Labinska
               Momoko Matsumura
               Sarah Peters
               Michael Rau

  Violin II: Julia Okrusko
                Li-Mei Liang
                Harry Chang
                Tara Mueller
                Kenneth Mok
                Daniel Koo
                Nelli Jabotinsky
                Shu-Fang Du
                Konstaintin Rybakov
                Rita Wang
                Mu-Ying Tsai
                Li Lao

  Viola: Chen Lin
            Debbie Apple
            Cait O-Brien
            Ting-Ru Lai
            Kevin Hsu
            Susan Chu
            Justin Ouellet
            Oliver Chang
            Hye Lim Shin

  Cello: Ignacy Grzelazka
            Robert Mayes
            Drew Comstock
            Kett Lee
            Mike Dahlberg
            Ro Rowan
            Jiwon Suh
            Yina Tong

  Double Bass: Chao Chen
                      Andrew Chilcote
                      Yi-Jung Su
                      Eddie Kass

  Harp: Sena Hornby

  Flute / Piccolo: Kazuyo Kuriya

  Flute: Alex Stoyanov

  Oboe: Akane Inoue
            Miri Kudo

  Clarinet: Linus Wyrsch
                John Dioati

  Bassoon: Vince Ocampo
                Tzu-I Lee

  Trumpet: Andrew Gushiken
                Matt Ebisuzaki
                Loo-Kit Chong

  Horn: Chuta Chulavalaivong
           Paige McGrath
           Nick Rubenstein
           Sarah Sutherland

  Trombone: Johnny Elizondo
                  Mary Tyler

  Bass Trombone: Jessica Smith

  Tuba: Jobey Wilson

  Percussion: Noriko Terada
                    Ethan Pani
                    Rich Chwastiak
                    Matt Sharrock

  Timpani: Jonathan Hess


  Soprano: Shadi Ebrahimi
                Alyssa Koogler
                Sarah Moyer
                Noel Smith

  Alto: Von Bringhurst
          Abbe Dalton
          Lauren Frick
          Allegra Martin

  Tenor: Elijah Hopkin
             Henry Lussier
             Nathaniel Smith
             Martin Thompson

  Bass: James Dargan
           Justin Hicks
           George King
           Jonathan Mendoza

Creator & Producer: Shota Nakama

Production Manager: Wen Hsu

Production Assistant: Ivan Lin
                                Poya Chang
                                Maho Azuma

Mixing Engineers: Alex Levy & Warren Brown (Epilogue Audio)

Mastering Enginner: Falk Au Yeong

Recording Engineers: Nick Squire
                                John Weston

Assistant Recording Engineers: Igor Stolarsky
                                              Dan Schwartz

Additional Recordings at/by Futura Productions
                                         Igor Stolarsky
                                         Yuki Kishida (Keyboard)
                                         Livan (Additional Piano)

Concert Publicist: Audun Sorlie

Photographers: Thomas J. Dougherty (Nickeledge)
                       Ryuhei Asai

Jacket & Booklet Design: HIRAKU

Special Thanks: Sean Lewis
                        Hitoshi Sakimoto, Yoko Shimomura, Noriyuki Iwadare, Kinuyo Yamashita
                        Yasuhiro Takamatsu & Yukiko Kusano (Square-Enix Inc.)
                        Rika Okabe (Game Arts Inc.)
                        Hiroko Miyaji, Takahiro Nishi, Anna Ejiri
                        Robert Khoo, Khahil White and PAX, Jonathan "JoCo" Coulton, DJ Frontalot, Protoman, Mini Bosses
                        Noguchi-san and his crew, Patrick Gann & Stephen Merick
                        Morimasa & Yoko Tonaki

Kickstarter & Notable Backers!

Mohammed Taher / Stephanie Simpson-White / Geran Smith / Cuauhtemoc Yescas / Penny Arcade / John / brendan sheehan / Island / Isaac a€ Will It Worka€™M Dansicker / Kenneth Benoit / Scott Feuerstein / Greg Ashcroft / Thomas J Dougherty / thekenbaughman / Neil Chatterjee / erinkoconnor / Jia-Chi Yao / Steven Lord / Alvin Ao / Jeremy Scott / Harrison Salzman / Jay / Ytterbium / Nate Horsfall / Andrew Lafko / James Oikawa

Jason Roop / Crescens / Jonathan Rodgers / Joe Kozachek / Jin Lem / fred / John Unterseher Jr / Christian DuAYe / Dustin / David Dryden / Rikki Nilsen / Kaelu / Tom Loughead / Chris Ling / George Bieber / Jordan Sekiya / EmbryonJen / Chris / Nicholas Thaera / Antonia Ursa / Skye Souter / Margaret-Hannah Wing-Yan Emerick / Adam Page / Edwyn Tiong / Kenneth Moy / Joshua Savage / Yuyuke / Kim / Matt Chan / Andrew Kwon / Stefan Schuler / Thomas Schwake / Logan Arias

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