A Symphonic Wrap Report
Hello, this is Voltenyne from the community team!
As you may know, the FINAL FANTASY XIV Orchestra Concert 2019 -Eorzean Symphony- was held in Japan on September 21 and 22, so today I'd like to provide a quick rundown of the event!
The concert took place in the Pacifico Yokohama National Convention Hall, located in Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan. An impressive 5,002 people can be seated in the hall, and thanks to our Warriors of Light, all four performances were completely sold out!
Similar to a certain high-level instanced dungeon, much of the convention hall interior was pure white. (Good thing the floors weren't the same color!) There was also an enormous stained-glass window directing the sun's rays into the crowd below.
Attendees were then greeted by a message board with song recommendations from the development team! See below for translations of each message!
Producer and Director - Naoki Yoshida
Songs of Salt and Suffering
When I would log in and aimlessly wander about, I'd always find myself in the Lochs, listening to this song. (*laughs*)
Sound Director - Masayoshi Soken
The main melody of Stormblood, which was used all over the place. "Not again!" I highly recommend listening to the part of the Stormblood trailer where it transitions from the Kugane cityscape to the Stormblood theme!
Global Community Producer - Toshio Murouchi
The Measure of Our Reach
I remember when I first heard this in Yoshi-P's office, I mentioned "This sure sounds like a national anthem," to which he replied, "That'd be because it IS a national anthem." This song amazed me because it showed the number of different genres that Soken and the Sound Team could produce music for.
Translation Direction & English Localization - Michael-Christopher Koji Fox
Once again, there were nothing but amazing tracks in this selection.
But if I had to pick one, I guess it would be "The Measure of Our Reach." I mean, you may sing a national anthem countless times throughout their life, but very rarely do you have an opportunity to actually write one! (*laughs*) May you enjoy the pressure of an authoritarian regime and the absolute nationalism conveyed through this song!
Main Scenario Writer - Banri Oda
You can vicariously experience the life of the person named Yotsuyu through this medley. Just listen to it and allow the emotions to flow.
Main Scenario Writer - Natsuko Ishikawa
Crystal Tower Medley
I'm taking this opportunity to recommend the same song I did two years ago! It was listed as "Out of the Labyrinth" during the 2017 concert, but this time it's the "Crystal Tower Medley," so I'm looking forward to how it has changed! As a side note, the Japanese name for the 5.0 main scenario quest "A-Digging We Will Go" was a reference to the 2017 song title. I felt the reference was fitting since Out of the Labyrinth plays during the quest!
I hope that today's performance will become a precious memory in your future!
Quest Designer - Saki Takayanagi
The peace and softness of this song always cleanses my heart. I like to reminisce while listening to this song after a long day of adventuring. ...Perhaps most importantly, sometimes I find that I'd fallen asleep while listening to this song... In a way, I don't need a pillow or blanket when this song is like a futon by itself!
Lead Battle Content Designer - Masaki Nakagawa
As the lead battle content designer, I must select this song! It's a song full of memories of Stormblood. It gets me pumped up! Hope you enjoy today's orchestra concert!
Lead Battle System Designer - Tsuyoshi Yokozawa
Songs of Salt and Suffering
It conveys a quiet sort of strength! I often went AFK in the Lochs.
Lead Level Designer - Arata Takahashi
This song was prevalent throughout the Stormblood series. It empowered our spirits and brought excitement to the main scenario. I'm not very good at the instanced battles that come up in quests from time to time, and I usually have to try 2-3 times before I clear them. But I get this extra-powerful feeling of accomplishment when I manage to complete them, and this song really captures those moments.
Non-Combat Content Designer - Yosuke Hayashi
From the Heavens
If I ever were to debut as a fighter, From the Heavens will be playing when I enter the arena. If I ever were to become the last boss of an RPG, From the Heavens will be playing in the background. I would be laughing maniacally as I fire a massive laser beam at the party of adventurers!
Art Team Lead - Takeo Suzuki
For me, this is the song that signified the beginning of A Realm of Reborn.
When I heard this song for the first time in a while, I remembered back to six years ago. I was making the finishing touches to the Black Shroud and Gridania to prepare for the alpha version of FFXIV ARR. Gridania in particular was going to be showcased alongside the other two city-states, so we deconstructed the cityscape that had been created for ARR, and made adjustments as we pieced it back together again with the Background team. At first I was worried if players would like the new appearance and functionality of the city-state, but I gained more confidence after the alpha and beta versions.
That's my memory of that time...
Art Team Lead - Shinya Ichida
From the Heavens
I listened to this theme very many times during the production of the Patch 4.4 trailer. There's a powerful pressure that emanates from the sheer grandeur of the song. When I watched Omega's transition for the first time, I remember getting goosebumps from the combination of the song and animation.
Lead Character Concept Artist - Yusuke Mogi
Omega and Crystal Tower
I was in my first year of junior high when FFIII was released...
Character Concept Artist - Ayumi Namae
A New Hope
I feel a rush of excitement every time I listen to this piece.
The voices of the choir towards the end give me an intense feeling.
Character Concept Artist - Hiroyuki Nagamine
Tsukuyomi is a character I feel a very strong sense of attachment to.
Background Artist - Yoshiki Takanashi
Scale and Steel
The request the Background team received was: "A turbulent surface of water, then an enormous wave rolls in and surges over the wall, completely submerging it underwater. Finish it off with a big explosion!"
At first, I wondered, "Can we even create something like this?" I still have many memories of looking over the storyboard and going through trial and error to create this particular scene with the cutscene team.
Background Artist - Shida Masato
This soothing piece will lower your body temperature by two or three degrees. I have an attachment to the Central Shroud, as it was one of the areas where I helped decide the art direction in A Realm Reborn.
Sometimes I feel like taking a stroll through there.
Arranger - Yukiko Takada
The Open Box
Every time I listen to this piece, it brings back memories of a particular night during development. A certain somebody went for a walk in the nighttime city, singing with a recorder in hand... when they returned, the Ruby Sea theme had been finished. The box of Soken is always full of surprises!
Next to the message board were the artworks of the various patches from A Realm Reborn all the way to Shadowbringers.
The gorgeous flower displays were generous gifts from our Warriors of Light and affiliates. Thank you very much!
The pamphlet distribution booth was extremely busy! With the size of the crowd there, one would think they were exchanging items for tomestones!
Of course, the merchandise area was also bustling! Below are some of the items that were available for purchase!
One of the items was a music box with a Moogle conductor that would turn as the music played! How adorable!
The orchestra performed the following songs in the first half of the concert.
Part 1: A Realm Reborn / Heavensward
・A New Hope
・Scale and Steel
・Crystal Tower medley
The conductor was Hirofumi Kurita, who also conducted the 2017 concert. The Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra performed the songs, and the Tokyo Nikikai Opera Foundation provided the chorus.
We also had Susan Calloway join us to sing Dragonsong!
The first part of the concert concluded with the Crystal Tower medley. You can see G'raha Tia in the footage that was shown on screen.
Part 2: Stormblood
・The Measure of Our Reach
・Songs of Salt and Suffering
・The Open Box
・From the Heavens
The second part of the concert began with The Measure of Our Reach, the anthem of the Garlean Empire.
Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida and Sound Director Masayoshi Soken joined in for the chorus!
Susan Calloway returned to the stage to sing Revolutions!
The main part of Painted Red was performed by Kin'ya Sogawa on the shakuhachi.
As the name implies, Tsukuyomi's Pain describes Yotsuyu's hardships, and the performance likely moved many of her fans to tears.
For The Open Box, the theme of Shisui of the Violet Tides, Sound Director Soken joined the orchestra on his otomatone. Fun fact, his biography on the Japanese Wikipedia page now includes his role as an "otomatone performer"...
Finally, the second half of the concert concluded with From the Heavens. The song was heard during Alphascape V4.0 (Savage) and provided a grand finale for both the Omega raid series and the concert!
・A World Apart
・The Worm's Tail
・??? *See below.
The encore began with the classical FINAL FANTASY piece A World Apart, and was followed by The Worm's Tail, which plays in the latter half of the battle against Shinryu. The conclusion of the performance was met with a storm of applause and cheering as the audience rose to give a standing ovation!
But it didn't end there! Although Kurita left the stage after the encore, he returned and motioned towards the screen. The concert hall exploded with excitement once more as the Shadowbringers logo appeared!
The orchestra played Invincible while the screen showed Emet-Selch. He is extremely popular on social media, and this may have started another uprising...
After Invincible, the audience got up for another standing ovation! "Bravo!" echoed throughout the crowd as they cheered for Kurita and the orchestra.
The massive applause seemed never-ending as the performers returned onstage for the curtain call!
And that concludes the summary of the Orchestra Concert!
If you'd like to hear the concert yourself, then be sure to pre-order your copy of the Eorzean Symphony: FINAL FANTASY XIV Orchestral Album Vol. 2 before it releases on December 11!