The Elden Ring concert will be more than just a straight playlist of tracks from the game, according to publishers Bandai Namco. As the “symphonic” bit of the name suggests, dozens of tracks - almost 50 bits of music, apparently - have been arranged into a series of lengthy suites that are apparently designed to give the audience the sense of exploring the Lands Between. (Thanks, VG247.)
That quest-like feel will span the entire concert, which is said to progress from the Tarnished’s first steps out into the open world up to its final boss fight against the Elden Beast. I’m not sure how conductor Adrián Ronda Sampayo and performers from the Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and Crouch End Festival Chorus will musically capture the experience of getting crushed into pulp by an angry mounted knight or stepped on by a giant, but I’m sure that’ll be in there too.
The narrative arc of the two hour concert - which to me feels quite short, given the number of tracks and seemingly ambitious “narrative symphonic experience” being touted here - will see the live performances of the score synced up with gameplay and cutscenes to capture the full experience of the game.
The website makes a big deal out of achieving “incredible synchronisation accuracy, previously only achievable in pre-recorded environments” to this end, but I’m honestly not sure how the combination of video, sound effects and lighting will be that different to the long-running Distant Worlds concerts for Final Fantasy, for instance, which have used gameplay and video footage in time with live musicians for years now.
Still, it’s a good chance to go and see a well-crafted soundtrack done live, even if personally I’m not sure any of Elden Ring’s tracks are as memorable or hard-hitting as the likes of Dark Souls. The Symphonic Adventure will pass through Paris on January 1st - with tickets already sold out for that date - before arriving in London’s Royal Albert Hall on April 28th.
While it’s the first time the Elden Ring score has been performed in the UK, it isn’t the first live performance of the game’s soundtrack has been done live. Notably, a jazzy rearrangement under the title of A Night in the Lands Between was performed in LA and livestreamed online this time last year.