Harris Center Welcomes The Video Game JOURNEY And Fifth House Ensemble, In A Live Interactive Performance
A fascinating fusion of video game technology, visual art and live performance. A game player joins Fifth House on stage and, when the video game Journey begins, the ensemble performs its Grammy-nominated score, in real time, as the stunning visuals of Journey are projected live on a screen above the stage. Journey - "the most beautiful [video] game of its time" (IGN) - meets the "conviction, authority and finesse" (New York Times) of Chicago's Fifth House Ensemble, offering a spectacle like no other. No two performances are the same, as the performance allows the ensemble to be responsive to the actions of the live game player. "Beautiful balance ... emotionally-charged ..." (CinemaBlend).
Journey Live with Fifth House Ensemble will be presented Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $28-$48; Premium $52. Students with ID $14-$26. Tickets are available online at www.harriscenter.net or from Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 12 noon to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.
Fifth House Ensemble, composer Austin Wintory, and arranger Patrick O'Malley team up to create an original, interactive arrangement of the Grammy-nominated score to Journey. Put another way, "Journey Live will consist of a person playing Journey on stage while a slightly expanded Fifth House Ensemble responds in real time to whatever the player is doing - the same way Auston Wintory designed his in-game score to adapt to the player. That's very different from merely performing the soundtrack as footage of the game plays on a screen." (Polygon.com)
Austin Wintory has scored nearly 50 feature films, and his first major film score, for the Sundance Film Festival-winning film Captain Abu Raed, was shortlisted for the 2009 Academy Awards for Best Original Score by the Los Angeles Times. He composed the original Grammy-nominated score for Journey.
Patrick O'Malley is a composer whose works span many of the contemporary mediums for classical music (orchestra, chamber ensembles, vocal music, film scores etc.), and have been performed across the United States as well as in France and Germany. He arranged Austin's score for live performance.
"A cohesive artistic product and transformative concert experience" (ChicagoMusic.org), Fifth House Ensemble harnesses the collaborative spirit of chamber music to reach beyond the traditionally-perceived limits of classical music. The ensemble's artistic, educational, and civic programs engage theater groups, video game designers, corporate innovators, and folk bands to share stories as diverse as the communities it serves.
As well as performing Journey Live numerous times across the country, the 2018-2019 season has Fifth House Ensemble presenting a world-spanning collaboration with Tuvan throat-singing masters Alash Ensemble that explores storytelling, participation, and ritual through interviews and documentary video filmed on location in the remote Siberian republic. Composer and Fifth House Artistic Director Dan Visconti's musical puzzle, Unchained Melodies, forms another program of virtuosic solo pieces that combine in counterpoint to form duos, trios, and ultimately a full dectet. The world premiere of prolific opera composer Daron Hagen's newest project, Orson Rehearsed, looks at the process of art through the lens of pivotal creative force Orson Welles.
Through the ensemble's heartfelt social and civic practice work, Fifth House has co-created artistic projects with urban neighborhoods, social service organizations, and an agricultural community to spark conversations on issues that matter. Reaching 17,000 students annually through its arts-integrated educational programs, Fifth House also connects K-12 core curricula to vivid, custom-crafted, and interactive musical experiences which challenge students to share and lead.
For all the impressive accomplishments of the composer, arranger and musical ensemble, mention must be made of the video game that lies at the center of the Harris Center performance. In March 2012, the PlayStation3 game Journey was released, after three years of work. The game instantly became Sony's fastest-selling PlayStation title, and the soundtrack album debuted on the Billboard charts higher than any original score in gaming history. In December 2012, more history was made when it was announced that Journey had become the first-ever Grammy-nominated videogame score. Many more awards followed.
How to describe the game that creates the visual experience of Journey Live?
You wake alone, surrounded by miles of burning, sprawling desert, and soon discover the looming mountaintop that is your goal. Faced with rolling sand dunes, age-old ruins, caves and howling winds, your passage will not be an easy one. A cloaked avatar, you travel and explore this ancient, mysterious world alone, or with a stranger you meet along the way. While the goal is to get to the mountaintop, the experience is the discovery of who you are, the story of this place, and your purpose.
The music to the experience unfolds based on how the game player, who is onstage with the musicians, plays the game, and on what situations unfold. Polygon.com explained it this way:
"The music in Journey is an "adaptive score," which means that it changes depending on the situation and the player's actions. Sony released a soundtrack album for the game that is a faithful arrangement by Wintory of the original score, but it can't replicate the experience of hearing the music as you play. Wintory described the soundtrack as 'a re-creation in a linear way of that which was created to be completely nonlinear.'
In addition to putting the score into chunks that live performers could reasonably flit between, an arranger would have to scale the music to a completely different level of instrumentation ...
Fifth House had someone in mind for the herculean task of rearranging Journey's score, a composer named Patrick O'Malley, and Wintory said O'Malley "has proved to be exactly the right guy." Wintory gave his full blessing to O'Malley, telling him not to feel "slavishly bound" to the original composition, and worked with him on the project."
The Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College brings the community together to share in cultural experiences featuring the work of artists from throughout the region and around the world. Built and operated by the Los Rios Community College District, the $50 million, state-of-the-art regional performing arts center boasts three intimate venues with outstanding acoustics, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a world-class performing arts venue. Each year the Center hosts over 400 events attracting more than 150,000 annually.
Tickets are available online at www.HarrisCenter.net or from Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from noon to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time.