Three questions for Arnie Roth – Distant Worlds: Vienna

230x180_ArnieRothTwo Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY performances will take place on the 13th and 14th of September  at the Vienna Philharmonic. Distant Worlds is one of the longest-running and most popular series of game music concert in the world. Nobuo Uematsu as the special guests, Susan Calloway as the lead singer, plus a few special pieces on the repertoire (Answers from FF XIV) – sounds promising. We also managed to do a short interview with Arnie Roth, Distant Worlds originator and conductor for over 10 years.

Gamers Listeners: You’ve been in charge of Distant Worlds for almost 10 years. How do you manage to keep the formula (which was developed over the years) fresh?

Arnie Roth: Fortunately, we have a huge volume of music to draw from, with the 27 years of FINAL FANTASY music. I have tried to add new scores to  the Distant Worlds concerts on a regular basis. We also doing thematic programming. During the period of celebration of the 25th Anniversary of FINAL FANTASY we added many new scores. This year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of FINAL FANTASY VI, and we are featuring music from this game all year long, plus adding new scores from that game. Later this year we will be adding new scores from FINAL FANTASY IX. In the Distant Worlds: Vienna concerts coming up soon, the fantastic vocal soloist Susan Calloway will be joining us, and we can feature many of the most beloved songs from the FINAL FANTASY series in Vienna this year.

One Winged Angel from Final Fantasy VII, performed during 4th Film Music Festival in Kraków

Gamers Listeners: You have recently started a series of intimate Final Fantasy concerts called A New World. How were they received?

Arnie Roth: Very enthusiastically! We are just releasing the recording of this new chamber music concert series this month, recorded live from London, where it premiered on February 15, 2014. We felt that there was no question that there were many locations around the world where fans want to have concerts of the music of FINAL FANTASY, but cannot manage the large production logistics associated with Distant Worlds, with over 100 musicians on stage plus elaborate high resolution video projection. This new production addresses that need.

Gamers Listeners: What were your impressions from the Distant World concert at the 4th Film Music Festival in Kraków? Do you think it would be possible for the Final Fantasy music to return to Poland in the next few years and make for an equally great event as the one in 2011?

Arnie Roth: There is no question that we would be delighted to perform in Poland as soon as possible, especially based on the fantastic fans we encountered there at the Polish Film Music Festival performance in 2011. I hope we can bring A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY there very soon. Of course with the Distant Worlds:Vienna concerts coming up very soon in September, it is not so far from Poland, and we are hoping to see many Polish fans attending there.


Interview conducted by Arkadiusz Haratym. Special thanks to Marcin Moń, Andrea Warren and Stephanie Wright.

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