Hands down, this is my favorite album of the past year. The complex, beautiful string arrangements invoke the spirit Michael Nyman and other great composers. The eclectic song selection includes pieces which are often ignored (that was not the "Still Alive" I was expecting, and it is fantastic)! And I love the sublime addition of clarinet and piano to "Eternity~", which was my most played track of 2018. This is the pinnacle of VGM string albums and I can't wait to hear more from this group!
Favorite track: Eternity ~ Memories of Light and Waves (for Piano and String Orchestra) [Final Fantasy X-2].
Composer Josh Barron (MATERIA: FFVII Remixed, SUCCESSOR: Final Fantasy VIII Remixed, The Travelers VGM) arranges popular game titles such as Final Fantasy, Skyrim, Mass Effect, and Halo for string orchestra. In collaboration with ETHEReal String Orchestra, pianists Kevin Won, Ramon van Engelenhoven, and KayThePianist, each track is lavishly realized. If you have always wanted a high quality arrangement album this is a must for your collection.
Music from: Final Fantasy XIII, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy XII, Mass Effect 3, Heroes Of Mana, Final Fantasy X-2, Mirror's Edge, Metal Gear Solid 2, Final Fantasy XIII
"The ETHEReal String Project is a labor of love for me. When I started arranging Kingdom Hearts music in 2002, I had arranged other works such as Eternity and Eruyt Village. For years I had them on my hard drive collecting dust because I had taken a long hiatus. I revisited them one day after meeting with Andrew Steffen, who at the time was looking for an arranger to make music for his experiement. So I got to work and pulled up those two old arrangements, revised them, and then arranged ten more (including one original composition). This whole experience helped me learn a great deal from both Andrews. Prior to this I knew little of string arrangement, so I took the opportunity to really learn from both of them. To me, this album is the point of return. It is about me reconnecting with my passion and learning new things. I hope those that listen to this, will enjoy the blood and sweat we put into it. Thank you!" - Josh Barron
All Music Arranged by Josh Barron (except track 12, which is composed by Barron)
The ETHEReal String Orchestra:
Violin I – Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12 – Andrew Steffen
Violin I – Tracks 1, 8, 9, 10 – John Schultz
Violin II – Andrew Steffen
Viola – Andrew Steffen
Cello – Andrew Stern
Bass – Andrew Steffen
Clarinet - Andrew Steffen
Special Piano Performances:
Kevin Won – Tracks 2, 5, 7, 11
Ramon van Engelenhoven – Track 4
KayThePianist - Track 12
Recording, Mixing and Mastering by Andrew Steffen
Special Thanks to Schultz Strings for providing their excellent quality string instruments.
Josh Barron is a composer/arranger whose music has expanded to pop, folk, world, and even electronica and rock. In 2015,
Josh released a classical album called The ETHEReal String Project and joined the Materia Collective as an arranger. Since then, he co-founded an acoustic folk supergroup called The Travelers VGM and has worked to bring high quality productions to the game audio community.
supported by 18 fans who also own “The ETHEReal String Project”
OoT orchestral renditions are hot stuff at the moment, but it's so refreshing to hear an arrangement that skews closer to actual contemporary classical than it's source material. I want more orchestral albums a la this. Spencer Nilsson