Jason Michael Paul

Producer of Legend
of Zelda: Symphony Tour

On February 27, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour comes to the Boston Symphony Hall. We had a chance to talk with producer Jason Michael Paul about what we can expect from the show.

Jason is a producer and entrepreneur, who started his career in San Francisco working on branding and advertising. He spent time with Sony, working on their E3 booths as well as other special events. He also spent time working with Luciano Pavarotti, of the Three Tenors. While working in both the music and video game fields, his worlds began to converge. Working with Square Enix, Jason created the show Dear Friends – Music from Final Fantasy

the_legend_of_zelda_master_quest_logoAfter the success of the Dear Friends shows, Jason expanded on the concept, and created a series of video game music concerts called Play! A Video Game Symphony. “I had been working with Nintendo and Koji Kondo to secure the music for Play!, so I became closely linked with Koji and spreading his music.” When Nintendo decided to hold concerts for the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, Jason was the natural choice to produce them.  

New England Music Blog: Jason, tell us about the show. What do Zelda fans have to look forward to in this show’s third season, “The Master Quest”?

Jason Michael Paul: It’s amazing, it’s basically a retelling of The Legend of Zelda through music. We have an overture, a prelude, and the intermezzo, which is the Fairy’s Fountain. We have a lot of new music, some of which we performed for the 25th anniversary shows. With Majora’s Mask we have all new, never seen footage being show, which comes from the new 3D version before the game has been released. We also have A Link Between Worlds, which is a new segment we added, as well as reworked videos to go with the rest of the show.

NEMB: While many of the newer Zelda videos games are written with orchestral soundtracks, the classics were not. What was it like creating these symphonic arrangements out of classic songs that were originally just 8-bit beeps and blips?

JMP: It’s a science, and it’s all part of what we do. We take these arrangements, and we kind of lend the Hollywood treatment to it. We kind of reinterpret them in this orchestral way.

Rather than using a touring symphony, the show uses local symphonies for each show. “I’ve been doing this for so long, that a lot of my personal friends are in the business of orchestras, so it’s pretty easy for me to organize in each town. A lot of people really want to perform at these shows, because they are so well received.”

When asked to pick a favorite piece from the show, Jason said “I’m really proud of the new A Link Between Worlds arrangement, it plays out really nicely. Of course I’m really proud of the new Majora’s Mask concert. Also the Fairy’s Fountain, the harp is one of my favorite instruments, and we have two harps out there playing this during the intermezzo.

NEMB: Do you have any favorite gems from the history of Zelda music that hasn’t made it into the show yet?

JMP: No, not really! Really anything that’s from a first party Legend of Zelda game is in the concert. Only third party games, such as Hyrule Warriors aren’t featured in the show.

This season of the show just premiered last weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. “We had two sold out performances, and between them we had seven or eight standing ovations. It was a little ridiculous, they wouldn’t let us leave!”

Finally, Jason shared how honored and excited he was to bring this show to Boston. He said Boston holds a warm place in his heart, as the first Pavarotti concert he worked was at the Boston Garden, so he’s very excited to bring the show back to town.

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour is at the Boston Symphony Hall on February 27, 2015. Check out for ticket info and other tour dates!

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