Otakon Blogging Day 3 – Eminence Song Selection Attack Is Super Effective!

Well, to do this right let’s get some facts out there first.

1. Eminence is the premier, world-wide, anime/game orchestra in that for this purpose they have came together to perform. At least that’s how they hold themselves out to be. First in the market? In any event, despite their hokey website you can find out more about them using the usual means. Like, Eminence is actually short for Eminence Symphony Orchestra.

2. They are based in Australia. Yea, sort of far away–but the good thing is probably just that; it’s cheaper to raise a pool of international musicians in Australia than in Japan (or even in the US)? And it’s not too bad to travel to Japan or other east Asia locations for their shows, if you’re already on that side of Earth.

3. Actually what’s more notable for me is that Eminence is a high profile group that would play anime music. Game music has gotten its spotlight and is still getting more, but outside of Japan I’m out of luck with those nice, Kanno-esqe BGMs short of something like the RO2 show in Korea…or an Eminence performance.

Still, that leaves us American sods in the dust, until now anyways. We were lucky to have PLAY and the FF concert series, for whatever that’s worth. I do think the geek market is ready to support this kind of thing. So was Otakon 2007 responsive?

In short, yes.

I’ll say this, now that I’ve gotten home from Otakon: the actual playing was rather lackluster because of various reasons–atmosphere, level of expectation, fatigue, lack of practice, windy stage…and so on. But what really hits home isn’t that they’re capable of, but what they actually do! A bit of show and tell? Some preliminary videos on youtube for your sampling.

This one really got me going: Hisaishi’s Kimi wo Nosete from Castle in the Sky. Of course all of their Hisaishi pieces are home runs, even if they’re rough from having to reduce the arrangement to fit what they have. The Legend of Ashitaka is a good example, from Mononoke Hime.

Since Hitoshi Sakimoto was at the con, and they know each other and work together, Eminence played some of his hits, like LOL Odin Sphere theme. Plus bunch of his RxJ stuff.

I’m not a huge Kajiura fan, but it might work for you. They performed quite a few pieces from her. Most memorable for me was canta per me, and their rearranged version of Anna ni issho Datta no ni from Gundam Seed.

But what really did me in was Eminence’s rendition of “Beyond the Clouds” from…yep, you may have guessed it – Makoto Shinkai’s Beyond the Clouds, a Place Promised. Tenmon is really, by all means, an indie composer who works the otaku circles. To pick a song from them really means something–not only it’s a beautiful piece, but it’s the kind of thing that sets your emotions aflame, knowing where your weak spot and punch it with super professional symphonic powers!

Thankfully that wasn’t all there is to them. This crowd also knows how to have fun too.

Anyways, that’s it for Otakon 2007. For you that just means you’ll have to suffer a week or two more of me talking about it on the blog, LOL.

Oh, before I forget, a tentative play list. This is from memory and I definitely missed a few (which are noted). There were no official set list because they didn’t get it together until LAST NIGHT. Help me fill it in? You can find a thread here (some anecdotes included during the MC session. Most notable to me is how Eminence’s recording session was LOL geek when Sakimoto showed some of the footage to the orchestra ahead of time, where as a normal orchestra would sit in silence.). And here for panel stuff.

1. Tuning
2. Romeo x Juliet song (??)
3. Canta per me (Noir – Anime)
4. Not sure where this is from
5. Odin Sphere Main Theme
6. Mononoke Hime theme
7. Laputa theme (Kimi wo nosete)
8. Totoro theme
9. Ferris Wheel – Lia, composed by Sakimoto.
9. Romeo x Juliet song – They gave the title but I can’t remember, it sounded like Orgesomething.
10. Anna ni Issho Datta no ni
11. Beyond the Clouds (Tenmon, from Shinkai’s film)
12. Romeo x Juliet Song
13. Romeo x Juliet Song
14. Romeo x Juliet Song
15. Hako no niwa (Rakugaki Oukoku 2)
16. Can’t remember
17. Thanatos (Evangelion)
18. Pain?
19. Radical Dreamers.

Encore

20. Super Mario Brothers medley
21. Scars of Time (CC)


15 Responses to “Otakon Blogging Day 3 – Eminence Song Selection Attack Is Super Effective!”

  • dreamshade

    During the Eminence concert, myself and the guy next to me were trying to decide whether Piano Squall or the head emcee were more guilty of sucking Tommy Tallarico’s dick. Just shut up and let them play already!

  • omo

    OH BY THE WAY: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/sound-decision/2006-05-31 for an old interview with Yura, the concertmaster / founder of Eminence. He really knows his stuff–not just the classical music side, but what it means to be a music-loving gamer (in a more international way, as well).

  • kaei

    Wow. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of them now. Thanks for posting the links. I’m kicking myself for missing out on this.

  • omo

    Wow, me too! I did not discover this until as Otakon announced them. They are much bigger in the game music scene but Eminence drops seriously on the anime side as well, and that really hits my sweet spot.

  • omo

    A lot more videos have surfaced. To referece at least Moyism’s links
    http://www.moyism.com/blog/2007/the-final-wrap-up

    Also
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1z2_0ZGz-Q (hit more from this user) to get songs 1-8

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXyT5Ie0AZw for super Hiroaki Yura paper go fetch! And of course everyone’s favorite Totoro song.

  • NegativeZero

    I am still kicking myself. Eminence played a show here in Melbourne a few months ago, and I had every intention of going but I forgot the date it was on, and didn’t get tickets in time. Bugger.

    Afterwards it turned out that one of my co-workers had two tickets and he didn’t end up going and was trying to give them away but was unsuccessful. Double bugger. :(

    Since their Melbourne concert was actually successful for once (usually they’re not, thus why they prefer Sydney despite the Sydney venues being vastly inferior acoustically for their type of music) they’re probably going to do more, thank goodness.

  • NegativeZero

    Follow-up to the above, thanks for pointing out their website. Just reserved some tickets to their upcoming Melbourne show. Appears to be the Australian leg of the show you saw. Should be great.

  • omo

    Nice! And yes, they’ll play the same songs, I think. Maybe you’ll actually have a set list given to you~

  • dm

    I’ve never heard of them, but the videos are nice — strings are generally a big improvement on synthesizers in my book. I’ll have to watch for them.

  • Ten

    Darn, I’m watching the clips and I wish I didn’t miss their performance. If only the event weren’t situated in an odd time at noon, I would’ve been more enthusiastic with the concert.

    I would love to see the full symphony orchestra perform, though.

  • NegativeZero

    Just got back from the Melbourne show. It was absolutely excellent. Playlist seems to have been pretty much the same, except you had a couple of extra Romeo x Juliet tracks. I have the tracklist for the Melbourne show if you still want it…

  • omo

    Sure, feel free to post it. I’ve already had a look at the Sydney show’s playlist and I think you guys got the same. Problem here is the RxJ OST has not been released yet, so I can’t go and mix and match those tracks and make sure you guys got the same tracks we got. There were a couple tracks earlier on that I want to identified, though, and I’m not sure if they’re from RxJ. So go ahead and post anyways :3

  • NegativeZero

    0. Tuning
    1. Kakki – Romeo x Juliet – Hitoshi Sakimoto
    2. Canta Per Me – Noir – Yuki Kajiura
    3. Hako no Niwa – Rakugaki Oukoku 2 – Yasunori Mitsuda
    4. Oshyaberi – Romeo x Juliet – Hitoshi Sakimoto
    5. Odin Sphere Main Theme – Odin Sphere – Hitoshi Sakimoto
    6. Grandpa’s Violin – .hack//Liminality – Yuki Kajiura
    7. Princess Mononoke – Princess Mononoke – Joe Hisaishi
    8. Laputa Theme – Laputa: Castle in the Sky – Joe Hisaishi
    9. Totoro Theme – My Neighbour Totoro – Joe Hisaishi
    10. Kanransha (Ferris Wheel) – (written for a LIA song) – Hitoshi Sakimoto
    11. The Song – Gundam Seed (from the Seed Symphonic Suite) – Toshihiko Sahashi
    12. Theme – Beyond the Clouds – Kumo no Muko, Yakusoku no Basho – Tenmon
    13. Main Theme – Romeo x Juliet – Hitoshi Sakimoto
    14. Sailing to the World – The Seventh Seal – Yasunori Mitsuda
    15. The Hill Overlooking the Windmill – Rakugaki Oukoku 2 – Yasunori Mitsuda
    16. Pain – Xenosaga – Yasunori Mitsuda
    17. Thanatos – Neon Genesis Evangelion – Shiro Sagisu
    18. Radical Dreamers – Chrono Cross – Yasunori Mitsuda

    Encore

    19. Super Mario Brothers medley
    20. Time’s Scar – Chrono Cross – Yasunori Mitsuda

  • omo

    That looks about right. And with superior accuracy! Thanks for the list. Funny how I just found out there was a Gundam Seed symphonic CD? :)

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