Eimear Noone grew up in the tiny village of Kilconnell, Galway, loving every musical genre. When she was not practicing classical passages on her flute, she was listening to pop, rock or the symphonic concert music of popular video games. It's no wonder the accomplished Irish conductor-composer has captured hearts of Nintendo fans as she conducts symphony orchestras performing "The Legend of Zelda" while graphics from the videos play on giant screens.
"It's a fun show," she promised. "Being an Irish immigrant, I'm very excited to conduct the National Symphony Orchestra that I've known about and admired for years. Like everyone in my generation, I've loved the music in this program since my childhood and am crazy about the arrangements. My background is in classical music, so I knew from the start that this is a symphonic score."
The music for "The Legend of Zelda" was created by Japanese composer Koji Kondo, who has contributed many Nintendo soundtracks. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the video that has sold nearly 70 million copies. Its primary character, Link, is a courageous lad, whose many adventures include saving Princess Zelda, named for F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife. He carries a baton called a Wind Waker to invoke powers of nature. To help him achieve his goals, the players must solve games and musical puzzles. The various instruments featured are important components that the players never forget.
"Video games became the soundtrack of young people's lives, but wherever I conduct this music, it's still amazing to me that some in the audience burst into tears," Noone said. "When the concertmaster comes out, he gets a huge round of applause, and this phenomenon happens each time a principal player takes a bow. It's like a rock concert filled with respect for the players. We made a special Wind Waker like the one Link uses, and every time we hold it up, there's a great roar from the audience."
|'The Legend of Zelda'|
|» Where: Wolf Trap's Filene Center, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna|
|» When: 8:30 p.m. Thursday|
|» Info: $35 to $52 in-house, $20 lawn; 877-965-3872; wolftrap.org|
Noone's passion for conducting and composing film scores led to an invitation to meet with the makers of World of Warcraft and record the score of "Starcraft" at Skywalker Ranch with members of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Ballet. She now makes her home in Los Angeles, where she has scored or orchestrated a variety of films, including "The Hole," "The Donner Party," "The New Daughter" and "Mirrors."