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Adam Corn Dec 3, 2013 (edited Apr 11, 2015)

Arnie Roth and Nobuo Uematsu have a new Final Fantasy concert series in the works, "A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy".  As opposed to the large orchestral event Distant Worlds concerts, this one focuses on performances by smaller ensembles in smaller venues, with original arrangements to match.

2015 Concerts
Feb 05: St. Paul, MN
Feb 06: ""
Feb 07: Ann Arbor, MI
Apr 17: Calgary, Canada
May 08: Ottawa, Canada (Comiccon)
May 15: Milwaukee, WI
May 17: Rosemont, IL (Anime Central)
Jul 19: Vancouver, Canada (Anime Evolution)
Jul 24: Cleveland, OH

2014 Concerts
Feb 15: London, UK (series debut)
May 16: ""
May 17: Rosemont, IL, USA
May 18: Omaha, USA
Aug 23: Montreal, Canada
Oct 31: London, UK
Nov 30: Paris, France
Dec 12: Houston, USA


LONDON - From the producers of the internationally acclaimed concert tour Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY, comes an entirely new FINAL FANTASY musical experience to be presented at London's historic LSO St. Luke's Jerwood Hall (161 Old St.). 

A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY features the stirring compositions of composer Nobuo Uematsu and other composers from the FINAL FANTASY video game series, including a special performance of FINAL FANTASY VI: Dark World performed by Uematsu and Grammy® Award-winning Music Director Arnie Roth with string ensemble.

For A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY, Music Director Roth has devised a reimagined FINAL FANTASY concert: a pure live music experience specifically designed to take advantage of the superb acoustics and musical intimacy of LSO St. Luke's 400-seat live performance venue, featuring world premiere arrangements for string quartet, piano and guitar solos, duos, trios and other mixed groups of instrumentalists.

"In this unique new concert experience, A New World will introduce audiences to a new selection of beloved music from FINAL FANTASY on a personal and intimate scale that has yet to be experienced."

Joining Roth on stage will be an ensemble of world-class musicians including Schallplattenkritik Award-nominated Navarra String Quartet, and Steinway Piano Competition-winner Benyamin Nuss (known to FINAL FANTASY fans for his performances as part of the Distant Worlds concerts, and for his recent solo recording of Uematsu compositions).

Concert Information

A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY will be presented at London's historic LSO St. Luke's Jerwood Hall, Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2 and 7 p.m.   Tickets for the concert only are priced at £50. VIP tickets, which include admission to a post-concert meet and greet with composer Nobuo Uematsu and conductor Arnie Roth are priced at £100.

Tickets go on sale Monday, Dec. 18: http://ffnewworld.com
http://facebook.com/ffnewworld

Namorbia Dec 4, 2013

Does it say anywhere that it's a tour? I do hope they do more concerts, because this is a very fun idea.

I've seen a couple of chamber orchestra performances of VGM in Japan and they were really great and different. The feeling is more like a band playing and all the instruments are easily distinguishable. It's a different experience than pompous orchestra arrangements and sweeping string sections.

I'm really looking forward to the setlist. I'm sure they'll do some old "fan favorites", but I hope the new arrangements will be interesting.

Adam Corn Apr 25, 2014 (edited Apr 25, 2014)

Namorbia, you got your tour (a bit far from you, though).
More concerts for "A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy" have been announced, following up on the London debut.

May 16: Rosemont, IL USA (Anime Central convention)
May 17: ""
May 18: Omaha, NE USA (two shows)
Aug 23: Montréal, Canada (Otakuthon convention, two shows)

Arnie Roth will be performing at all shows as conductor and violin soloist, as will Nobuo Uematsu as keyboard soloist. Benyamin Nuss will be performing in Rosemont and Omaha as piano soloist but hasn't been announced for the Montréal shows.

It's a smart move timing these shows to coincide with anime conventions, when there should be no shortage of willing fans.  Any prospective attendees out there?

Adam Corn Aug 28, 2014

An 18-track, 68-minute live recording from the London premier of "A New World: Intimate Music from Final Fantasy" is available on CD from Amazon as well as digitally through all the major outlets, including in lossless FLAC from Bandcamp.

In addition, two new European shows have been announced at the official site:

Oct 31: London, UK
Nov 30: Paris, France

jb Aug 28, 2014

I ordered the physical just because it's easy and cheap but I was not particularly impressed with the arrangements and overall performance. Very weak from what we've come to expect from live orchestra arranged ff music.

Adam Corn Aug 28, 2014

I just gave it my first full listen and there's a huge gap among the quality of tracks in the album.  There are a handful of very nice new arrangements - generally the ones that actually adhere to the "intimate music" theme - and there are some that sound like a mediocre amateur orchestra concert.

On first impression I'd be more inclined to just buy the better tracks individually from Bandcamp but I do need to give it more listens.  I will say that the latter half of the album - specifically from track 8 onward - is far better than the first, so first-time listeners do give it a full listen before giving up on it.

Ramza Oct 3, 2014

jb and Adam, which individual tracks do you think worked best with this style?

I want to have a few listens before I consider plunking down any cash for this (digital or physical).

Thanks!

jb Oct 4, 2014

I wasn't particularly impressed with the album as a whole and the only tracks I thought worthwhile are the solo piano ones by Nuss. (4, 8, 10, 16)

TerraEpon Oct 4, 2014

Well the FFVII Battle Theme one is similar, if not the same, as the FFVII piano collection.

I think my favorites are One Winged Angel, Rebel Army Theme, Zanarkand, Fragments of Memories (I think it's the same arrangement as on FITHOS... album but of course for solo strings instead of string orchestra), The Decisive Battle, and most of all The Promise/Biinded by Light (which is not solo, it has a violin too). I'd have to listen to the album again though....

Ironically, 16 (Eruyt Village) is probably my leave favorite....

Schala Oct 4, 2014

jb wrote:

I wasn't particularly impressed with the album as a whole and the only tracks I thought worthwhile are the solo piano ones by Nuss. (4, 8, 10, 16)

That's interesting, because I wasn't awfully impressed with Nuss' Uematsu tribute album that he released some time ago. Have you listened to that one? How do the London performances compare?

Adam Corn Oct 4, 2014 (edited Oct 17, 2014)

I didn't care much for the Nuss-Uematsu piano album either.  I'm getting more enjoyment out of A New World but that's not purely from piano pieces, and again the quality is extremely mixed.

My four-star tracks are 8, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 16.  As I mentioned earlier, try listening from track 8 onward on Bandcamp and you'll be like, "Hey, this is pretty nice."  Then listen to tracks 1 to 7 and you'll be like, "Oh."

It's absurd that they lead their "intimate music" album with "One Winged Angel", and is a good indication of the lack of thematic focus and consistent artistic direction.  Not to mention a small ensemble performance of that piece is bound to pale in comparison to the numerous full orchestral-choral ones unless the arrangement is imaginative and unique, which this one absolutely isn't.  It's one of several tracks that the album would have been better off without.

jb Oct 4, 2014

Schala wrote:
jb wrote:

I wasn't particularly impressed with the album as a whole and the only tracks I thought worthwhile are the solo piano ones by Nuss. (4, 8, 10, 16)

That's interesting, because I wasn't awfully impressed with Nuss' Uematsu tribute album that he released some time ago. Have you listened to that one? How do the London performances compare?

I haven't heard the tribute album and wasn't even aware there was one.  You're talking about this, right? .  I generally avoid remix/tribute/fan work because the quality scale varies so greatly.  When I buy something by an already established artist vgm artist I know (generally) what I'm getting and there doesn't leave much room for disappointment.

I think my dislike for the album comes from the orchestra, namely.  I think it's primarily a string orchestra or something? I'm not musically inclined or anything so I can't pinpoint exactly what I'm talking about but there just doesn't seem to be a lot of depth to the songs they're arranging for strings, and in general there's just a lack of representation from some instrumentation.  A lot of the songs, namely battle oriented ones (One-Winged Angel, Fight With Seymour, The Decisive Battle etc.) just feel incomplete when it's just a very small scale orchestra.  Listening to One-Winged Angel it sounds ... flat ... Like I can hear the main theme instrumentation in the front but the background instrumentation that plays the accompanying whateveryouwanttocall it gets drowned out by whatever random string/trumpet/drum they're focusing on.  Maybe it's recording, maybe it's arrangement, maybe it's performance.  The piano ones obviously don't suffer from that because it's just piano except track 8 which I think Arnie Roth plays some stringed instrument on with Nuss.

Ramza Oct 5, 2014 (edited Oct 5, 2014)

jb,

http://vgmdb.net/album/19350 -- this (EDIT -- oh, you linked to OSV's review ... yeah that's the one)

Quality varies, I have a review up of it on RPGFan. IMO, "Serpent Trench" from FFVI was *glorious* (and really isn't found elsewhere, is it?)

Thanks everyone for their impressions of A New World. I'm going to see if I can scrounge up funds for it. Between what y'all said and the bandcamp audio, I think this is something I could get into. Nuss tracks especially. Sad about Eruyt Village though, wish that had come out better.

Adam Corn Jan 17, 2015

First "A New World" shows of 2015 are coming up in February. Details and ticket links at the A New World home page.

Feb 5: St. Paul, MN
Feb 6: ""
Feb 7: Ann Arbor, MI

Adam Corn Jan 26, 2015

TerraEpon wrote:

Ironically, 16 (Eruyt Village) is probably my leave favorite....

Ramza wrote:

Sad about Eruyt Village though, wish that had come out better.

What exactly is the problem with Eruyt Village? smile  I think it might be the prettiest piece on the whole album. In fact I make it a point to skip the final two tracks that follow because 1) They aren't very good and 2) Eruyt Village closes the album so beautifully.

Which is odd because looking at my ratings for Final Fantasy XII Piano Collection, which is where the arrangement comes from, I actually have it three-starred on that album but five-starred on A New World. Listening to both now I think it's because the A New World Version has a more delicate performance and a better recording. (Ironic in that the recording quality generally is one of the weak points of A New World.)

Probably having some time away from the OST versions helps as well - the arrangement is admittedly pretty different from the original.

Adam Corn Mar 24, 2015

Two July 19 shows in Vancouver, coinciding with the Anime Evolution expo. (Concert tickets are sold separately and don't require expo passes.)  [tickets]

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