By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
Younger people tend think of the symphony as a stuffy experience where everybody is wearing tuxedos or something. People don't think they relate to the symphony, and we've broken the mold and we're actually making it relate to them. We all grew up on Star Wars and video games and MTV and using computers in our daily lives. We're used to interactivity, so we've kind of taken all those things and combined them with the orchestra.
If I can play devil's advocate here, musically speaking, what is VGL doing for the symphony that somebody like Trans-Siberian Orchestra hasn't?
Well, TSO is amazing because of the lights and the big rock show, but they don't have synchronized video like we do. And there are some great pop culture multimedia symphony shows with synchronized video, like Howard Shore toured around his Lord of the Rings music, but they didn't have the rock & roll lighting.
So you're unique because you have synchronized video and lights, and not just one or the other?
Well, yes, but we also have the interactivity. We have the pre-game show and the costume contest. There's even parts in the show where I pick people out of the audience and come up onstage, and they will play the video game while the orchestra is playing the music. They change the music in real time on the fly with what the character is doing on the screen.
What's the first video game that you played where the music stood out to you?
I'm going to say Pac-Man, because I would play the game when I was younger and I noticed "Wow, this is actual music, and it's catchy and it's not just noises."
— Ryan Wasoba
7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 26. Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard. $32.50 to $42.50. 314-534-1678.