I can’t believe my eyes and, more importantly, I can’t believe my ears!
While the Zelda Reorchestrated project had been officially killed by Nintendo, Eric Buchholz, (whose arrangements were used in Nintendo’s Symphony of the Goddesses and Symphonic Evolutions concerts), of ZREO made sure to end the project in a way that would have made any iteration of the hero of courage proud with the most epic tribute to the series...
A three hour symphony dedicated to the Legend of
Zelda: Twilight Princess!
After a successful kickstarter to produce the album with a live orchestra (a first for the project despite the name) managed to raise $24,000 to hire a full choir and recording session, not more than a month goes by after release before Nintendo steps in with an Cease and Desist Order that officially killed ZREO. Holding no grudges, the members of ZREO graciously wrote an open letter to Nintendo thanking them for creating the series they love most and for letting them run as long as they did.
Unfortunately, this left many backers as well as hopeful listeners without the promised album. After some negotiation with Nintendo, it was agreed upon that album would be released for free to download for a limited time and would be available to listen to on YouTube.
Nintendo most likely was moved by the passionate members of ZREO as described by their mission statement: “We do not seek profit or fame. We simply love Zelda and wish to share its inspiration on all of us with all of you.“
While many fans were right to call out Nintendo for making a “dick move”, we must consider the fact that Twilight Symphony, while not produced for profit, was in direct competition at that time with Nintendo’s Symphony of the Goddesses worldwide concert tour. Nintendo had to shut down the project in order avoid any confusion and splitting attention between the two symphonies. Personally after attending the Symphony of the Goddesses concert I would jump at the chance to listen to a live rendition of the Twilight Symphony. But that’s neither here nor there.
Eric has now joined up with Sebastian Wolff of Materia Collective and successfully raised $51,000 to properly license and produce his new album Hero of Time, an epic re-imagining of the soundtrack to Nintendo’s 1998 (Editor's Note: Wow, I am old.) classic The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, recorded with a full 64-piece orchestra in Bratislava, Slovakia covering the most memorable moments of the game. ZREO lives on in this spiritual successor of the original project that inspired Matt and Eric of Metroid Reorchestrated, Braxton Burks of PKMN Reorchestrated, The Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra, and countless others.
I’m in love with the music from the series, so my opinion may seem biased but speaking as objectively as any music major can, this arrangement totally blew my mind like a musical John Wilkes Booth! The music is inherently nostalgic but completely new in every sense of the word. The only thing the two soundtracks share with each other is key and motifs. The feeling, evocation, rhythm, dynamics and nuances explore a deeper mythos of the series treating it with a sense of grand theatricalism.
The Hero of Time is available free to listen to on Bandcamp (https://ericbuchholz.bandcamp.com), $14 for a digital download, $30 for a physical copy, and $50 for a limited edition archival grade gold copy (57 of 500 remaining as of moment of writing).
Do you love it? Hate it? What game needs to be reorchestrated? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!