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Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions

Music

Last night saw me take a stroll through the history of one of the most iconic video game series of all time.

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Presented by the Princeton group in conjunction with the Adelaide Art Orchestra, Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions is a musical journey from Pokémon’s early beginnings in 1998 all the way to the latest versions of X and Y (2013).

The arrangement (composed by Chad Seiter) was accompanied by footage of gameplay projected onto a giant screen above the orchestra, which resulted in a one-of-a-kind experience of light and sound.

Fans of all shapes and sizes were present – from very young children and their parents, right up to real veterans of the game and everyone in between. The large crowd at the Adelaide Festival Centre buzzed, anxious to relive a little piece of magic from their time spent as a Pokémon trainer.

Act One started right where the franchise began, in Pallet Town, and then moved through the eight gyms of Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow, all the way to the elite four and the final battle with the current champion. It then moved seamlessly through the music of later games, with pockets of fans showing elation when their favourite game or sequence popped up.

Act Two comprised solely of the music of the most recent games: Pokémon Black and White, and X and Y. It was a shift of tone, moving away from the pacey and electrifying land and battle music of the first act, to the softer, more sensitive storyline music of the new titles. And it was welcomed with open arms as some of the younger fans of the series heard and watched their favourite games reimagined before their eyes.

Chad Seiter’s arrangement is a masterpiece, turning the synthesised bleeps and bloops of a Gameboy into modern-day classics. Blended well with electronic overlays of the original score, each tune hit a heartstring of every person in the audience; they all ended in rapturous applause.

The Adelaide Art Orchestra was superb. Under the guidance of conductor Susie Seiter, it sauntered it way through the Kanto, Hoenn and Sinnoh regions with grace and elegance, before bringing down the house with a thunderous rendition of “Gotta Catch Em All” from the Pokémon TV show.

Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions is a wonderful tribute to the biggest-selling role-playing game of all time. It was a delight and a must-see for Pokémon fans.

Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions was presented at the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Festival Theatre for one night only as part of a national tour.

 

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