Faculty to perform at “Video Games Live” concert

Faculty to perform at Video Games Live concert

Lights strobe and pulsate as an orchestra and choral ensemble recreate that scene in “Halo.” The urge to hold an Xbox controller is growing. It is the force of sitting in a theatre feeling the harmony live music brings to an already captivating video game score.

Julian Gomez Giraldo and John Marshall are just two of the 10 EWU faculty members that also work at the Spokane Symphony. Giraldo is the choral conductor in the symphony and Marshall is the symphony’s principal cellist.

They both play major roles in the Spokane Symphony’s next production, “Video Games Live,” on Nov. 10.

According to the symphony’s website, “Video Games Live” presents a more interactive experience for the audience with game demonstrations and contests. The concert itself is highlighted with coordinated video and lights, exclusive to the performance.

Tickets for the event are $25, $33 and $37.

“We don’t know what the music is going to be” said Marshall. He said that the music for “Video Games Live” would not be given to the symphony members until 10 days or a week in advance for the concert.

The concepts that make a good concert successful is what will be present, according to Marshall. “I have no doubt that it will include music from the most top-selling games”

Both Marshall and Giraldo said they are not gamers. Marshall said he played “Pong” and Giraldo said because of his background he did not have any experience with games whatsoever.

“I’ve never held a game in my hands, never played,” he said.

Giraldo comes from Bogota, Columbia. At the age of 16 he went to a boarding school where singing and music was the specialty. He said after those years of training he travelled to different countries, such as Spain and Venezuela, working with different groups.

He came to the United States 13 years ago. In 2008, he started working at Eastern as the Orchestra Choral Director.

Marshall started working at Eastern in 1994. His training started at 14 years old at Interlochen Arts Academy. At the age of eight, Marshall knew he wanted to be a professional cellist.

Marshall said the symphony can act like an outreach, such as when the organization played for at-risk kids. In addition to concerts at the Fox theatre, the Spokane Symphony also performs at a variety of locations across the Inland Northwest.

“We just got back playing at an Indian reservation. … Some of them have never heard our music and we haven’t heard theirs. They played their traditional music for us and we played for them,” Marshall said.

As principal cellist and choral conductor, Marshall and Giraldo both said it is their job to help make the harmony between the musicians happen. Marshall also said that it is important for the conductor to make sure everyone is in sync with the video that is going to accompany the concert.

Marshall said that games today are more symphonic with full orchestral compositions, which will make “Video Games Live” appealing to younger people.

“The music, it’s fascinating,” said Giraldo, “Just like that movie ‘Avatar,’ where things are coming at you.”

Both Marshall and Giraldo said the music is beautiful no matter where it comes from.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s Bach or Tchaikovsky,” Marshall said, “we all play the same 12 notes, … they’re just organized in a different order.”