Thursday, December 12, 2013

Final Fantasy 'Distant Worlds' concert series announces 'A New World' spin-off tour

Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy is a concert experience unlike any other.  Lead by a conductor who moonlights with Mannheim Steamroller (yes, that Mannheim Steamroller), the orchestral tour launched way back in 2007 and is still going strong seven years later.

The arrangements that it pulls from Final Fantasys old and new continue to delight fans, pack orchestral halls, and even inspire engagements - but one of the biggest limitations of Distant Worlds is that it, y'know, requires hundreds of musicians and a music hall capable of holding all of them.

This has somewhat limited what cities the tour can play in, but that's set to change next year.

Tour organizers recently announced the debut of a new, 'intimate' tour called A New World: Rich Music from Final Fantasy - an ambitious attempt to bring Final Fantasy music to life on a smaller, more personal scale.

Conductor Arnie Roth recently spoke about A New World in an interview with Gamerscape, where he teased that there would be "almost no overlap" between the repertoire of Distant Worlds and A New World.  Instead, the new tour will focus on "string quartet, piano and guitar solos, duos, trios and other mixed groups of instrumentalists".

This is good news for long-time Distant Worlds fans, but bad news if you were counting on a string quarter arrangement of "To Zanakarand".

Nobuo Uematsu and Arnie Roth

Roth didn't mention what cities would be on A New World's itinerary, but he did say there are "many cities, smaller concert venues, universities, colleges, and conventions" which can't accommodate a full-blown Distant Worlds concert.

While it's unlikely that every local Con or College can afford to book A New World, it's still a bright ray of hope for those who have been disappointed by a lack of a Distant Worlds performance in their hometown.

A New World kicks off in London on February 15, 2014 at St. Luke's Jerwood Hall. Tickets for the performance are a flat-rate £50 (~$82) with VIP tickets - which give you a chance to meet Uematsu and Roth - going for £110 (~$180).

Expensive, certainly, but can you think of a better way to spend spend Valentine's Day weekend than snuggled up with your sweetie while listening to music like this?