Current Project: Music from “Final Fantasy IV” for Symphony Orchestra
<We will start a crowd-funding campaign, once we setup SNS and hear your opinions on repertoires. Stay Tuned and let us hear what you think!!>
Video game music, like film music, is an emerging genre that is on the verge of becoming part of the general concert repertoires. Although some pieces of video game music already have been recorded and performed, we at VGM Classics feel that more of them deserve such treatment and attention. Indeed, we established VGM Classics LLC as an American company with the goal of wanting “to have more orchestral recordings of the video game music that we love and admire.”
As our first project, we decided to make an orchestral album dedicated to a single RPG (Role Playing Game) title. After careful consideration, we chose music from the classic RPG game “Final Fantasy IV” (previously known as “Final Fantasy II” in the US).
Of course, such a project needs someone who can transform the instrumentally and artistically restricted original melodies into a full concert orchestral medium, but we did not wish to ask just any musicians to do the job. We hoped to find someone who had experience both in the video game industry and in concert music. A long and careful search has led us to select the composer/conductor Kentaro Sato, and he has agreed to join VGM Classics as the music director. Mr. Sato is the orchestral and choral arranger of many major video games, including DISSIDIA Final Fantasy series and Final Fantasy Type-0.
We chose to crowd-fund our projects simply because we thought that there was no other way to make our goal a reality and sustain it. A CD album recording of a full symphony orchestra costs at least US$40,000 from start to finish (and even might go over $100,000 depending on ensembles). Although US$40,000 is a lot of money for an individual to pay, if a community of like-minded persons splits the cost, it becomes within reach. For example, US$40,000 would be raised if 800 fans were to contribute $50 each. $50 is a reasonable ticket price for a video game or classical/opera concert, and an 800 fan audience is a very modest number since the seating capacity of a concert hall is usually between 1000 and 2500 (Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium = 2804, Walt Disney Concert Hall = 2265). VGM Classics is for fans and concert ensemble lovers. In order to guarantee its viability and authenticity, we decided to seek crowd-funding, more specifically all-or-nothing crowd-funding, which means that if the target amount were not met in pledges, the money itself would not be collected and patrons would not be charged.
If this initial project ends successfully, we would continue to crowd-fund other game titles, such as “Final Fantasy V and VI,” “Chrono Trigger,” and “Secret of Mana.” Initially, we plan to focus on classic RPG titles from 1990s and early 2000s since one of the motives behind the founding of VGM Classics was the fact it has been very difficult for American game music lovers to obtain Japanese video game soundtrack/arrangement CDs from those times. However, we could consider titles on PlayStation or any other old and new gaming platforms. In addition, since we are not affiliated with any single video game company, the project possibilities are virtually endless. Of course, for such future projects, we will welcome your requests and suggestions.
Please wait a little for us to finish some paper works to obtain recording and arrangement license so that we can start the crowd-funding for this project! In the meantime, please visit our Q&A page for frequently asked questions and our answers!