Review: Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses


Gamers assembled in Hammersmith for the show.


By Ryan Bembridge

Gamers across the capital assembled in Hammersmith for Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses last Thursday, an orchestrated show paying tribute to the long standing Nintendo franchise.

The crowd were left spellbound by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, who played a beautifully crafted set in time with footage from a number of Zelda titles projected on the big screen.

For the duration of the four movement symphony fans groaned with nostalgia time and time again, reliving experiences playing Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Link to the Past and finally the more sinister Majora’s Mask.

Producer and Creative Director Jeron Moore introduced himself to the Hammersmith Apollo audience by holding up the bulky, gold cartridge that was his first Zelda game. Released in 1986, it captured his six-year-old imagination.

“You regretted buying this for me when I was in third grade,” he grinned at his mother hypothetically. “But now look”.

The grandiose series was sensuously brought to life with the help of violins, trombones, odes, harps and cellos, accompanying visual footage from the vast Great Sea in Wind Waker to Link riding his horse through the ghostly Lost Woods in Majora’s Mask.

Conductor Eimear Noone told the almost permanently awestruck crowd: “I am going to direct you and take you through the dungeons and valleys; the great, great world that is Hyrule.”

Such was the electrifying nature of the show that even non-Zelda fans were said to have left wanting to experience what the fuss is all about.

“I think they are able to witness the connection the audience has with the music,” Jeron said.

“How the game delivers its music. It’s palpable. It’s something that you can’t really ignore when you’re sitting amongst an audience touched by a live performance like this.”

The producer, who is also a lover of film scores, said he wanted to create a truly cinematic experience with composer and musical director Chad Seiter.

The orchestra previously graced London for the Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony show last year, with the return to Hammersmith being the first after 45 performances elsewhere.

Different orchestras are hired based on location, while they generally only require five hours of rehearsal time before taking over vast venues like the Hammersmith Apollo.

Jeron relished teasing the crowd as the show reached its climax, telling them each of the last three songs would be the last, before revealing a treat for Majora’s Mask fans, with the overture taking many by surprise.

Majora’s Mask is the cult classic of the series, featuring the moon, wearing a shocked and traumatised expression, plummeting ever-closer to earth in three in-game days, creating an overbearing, claustrophobic atmosphere for the player.

 “We have crafted something a little dark, a little twisted,” he said.

After Tuesday’s show in Berlin it will be back to the drawing board for Jeron and the team however, as they prepare to make a number of changes to the set before taking it to Atlanta on June 6.

“I’m going to be working very rapidly and running around like a chicken with its head cut off,” he said.

The new set will feature 25 minutes of brand new material from Zelda titles old and new, the specifics of which remain a closely guarded secret.

Jeron concluded: “Zelda fans love their music, and there’s a reason, it’s just truly fantastic stuff, and it deserves the treatment that we are giving it”.

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