A missed night in Fantasia

By Vicki Ball

Recently I was watching ABC’s Good Game (you may wonder why someone like me, who doesn’t even own a gaming console, watches this show, but the simple reason is that they are interesting and funny).

The segment was on music in games, in particular a special event in Sydney called A Night in Fantasia. Performed by the Eminence Orchestra, it features music from anime and games, all beautifully brought to life by a full symphony orchestra.

Unfortunately, I only found out about this concert after their one and only 2009 performance. D’oh!

But it did remind me of a school trip to see a symphony orchestra perform back when I was in Grade 5. It was a special performance for young school children and featured a few different “important” pieces. The conductor would introduce each piece, telling us it’s name and also where else we might have heard it- in a famous movie, in a commercial, etc.

Besides this being my first experience of live orchestral music (which nothing can compare to), it was the first time I became aware of the intertexuality of everything we create and experience. Hearing this music that was familiar in completely another context was like a tap on the shoulder and a sharp reminder to always think about where things come from.

Weaving references to other people’s creations into what we make is another way we communicate with people. A stylistic reference can allude to similar functionality, using certain colours can create associations and engender certain feelings, and popping in a Star Wars reference or too can create an instant feeling of shared understanding… and maybe even a laugh or two.

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