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Zelda Symphony Series: Interview with Producer Jason Michael Paul

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August 10, 2018

Zelda Symphony Series: Interview with Producer Jason Michael Paul

Jason Michael Paul talks about living out his dream of bringing video games and orchestral music together.

by Mai Nguyen, Kalai Chik

Date Published: 06/25/2016

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

APA: You’ve produced a number of gaming orchestra shows, but you’ve been touring with "The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses" tour since 2012, traveling to over 10 countries. What do you think it is about the Zelda tour that has made it so popular among international audiences?

Jason Michael Paul: The Legend of Zelda fanbase is one of the most dedicated in the world. I think it’s the strong characters and story that really connect people to the game, and they love it so much – they want to connect with others to the game in real-life and the Zelda Symphony gives them an experience to do so.

APA: How did you come to produce the Zelda tour? How involved is Nintendo with the concert series?

JMP: In 2010, Nintendo asked me to produce the opening for the E3 press event at the Nokia that same year. At the press event they made the announcement that I would be producing three concerts in London, Tokyo, and LA as part of the 25th Anniversary series of concerts. It was also announced that I would be producing the Orchestral CD that was included as part of the bundle with Skyword Sword. After the success of the 25th Anniversary concerts, I came up with a touring show, Symphony of the Goddesses and the rest, as they say, is history. Everything in this show is blessed by Nintendo with their explicit permission and the arrangements are all approved by the original composer, Koji Kondo.

APA: How have you developed the tour over the years? What have been the most enjoyable and most challenging parts about producing this tour? Also, what’s the most memorable experience you had over the course of the tour e.g. experiences with fans?

JMP: We’re always adding and changing parts of the symphony up to match what’s happening with The Legend of Zelda franchise at the moment. When new games or new visuals are released we try to incorporate them as soon as possible into the symphony for the fans. The best part about touring the Zelda Symphony is that fans are different but awesome in every city – I love seeing when people cosplay, their costumes are incredible. I have a young daughter, who loves the symphony and I always like when I see families come out together.

APA: Of all the songs in the concert, which is your favorite?

JMP: My favorite game is Ocarina of Time and I love hearing the music from that game because it brings me right back.

APA: Some fans have talked about the heavy emphasis on the battle music in this concert, but what is your opinion about the music that was chosen for this concert?

JMP: We’re constantly trying to give the fans what they want – for instance, the battle music components just sound so great live with a full symphony orchestra.

APA: Given that this show is during the week of E3, will you be attending the convention? If so, are there any games that you are looking forward to seeing?

JMP: Unsure if I will attend the show floor itself, but I love bringing gamers together in celebration.

APA: What draws you back to keep producing these orchestral shows that feature video game music?

JMP: My passions in life involve games and music. This is my dream to bring the two together.

Be sure to check out our other The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of Goddesses coverage!

Symphony of the Goddesses: Zelda Goes to Hollywood

Zelda Symphony Series: Interview with Conductor Amy Andersson

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Kalai Chik

Kalai Chik

Pop culture writer focusing on animation, music, and games. Los Angeles native, USC alumni, and contributor for Asia Pacific Arts since 2015. Follow me on Twitter, @kalai_chik.