Bringing the Crystalline Resonance: Final Fantasy Piano Concert to Canada, Interview with Julien Mombert
This week, the Crystalline Resonance: Final Fantasy Piano Concert made its select stops in Canada. In celebration of Final Fantasy’s 35th anniversary, The Wild Faery Company worked in partnership with Square Enix to develop a piano performance dedicated to the long-running franchise.
As part of a 45+ city tour, the Crystalline Resonance played in Montreal’s Théâtre Paradoxe as well as Toronto’s Jane Mallett Theatre. iPhone in Canada had a chance to attend the latter and witness a roughly two-hour love letter to the franchise. We also had a chance to speak to director and producer Julien Mombert who worked with Square Enix.
As a pseudo-sequel to the Final Fantasy World Tour from 2015 and 2016, Crystalline Resonance encompasses all games in the franchise. From its beautiful opening dedication to 1987’s Final Fantasy, the piano performance covers each game all the way through 2016’s Final Fantasy XV. Fans of the franchise will undoubtedly be delighted when hearing tracks such as ‘Heavensward’, ‘Liberi Fatali’, ‘Somnus’, and more.
“As a gamer, I knew the franchise for a very long time. But the first time I could play it at home was, like many Europeans, Final Fantasy VII on PlayStation,” Mombert told us. Crystalline Resonance is a performance that is dedicated to the fans and those types of memories. To better elevate the resonance of each musical number, a video projection featuring HD visuals from the respective game plays on a large screen above. It creates a level of synchronicity that fans will greatly appreciate.
“The high level of synchronization helps a lot, on a subconscious level. If you see the same show not so highly synchronized, and you will feel something is different. Many people might have a hard time describing exactly what or how. Most of the similar shows loosely synchronize only a few key scenes, but we pushed that to every bar, and often even to the beat level. Then it requires a lot of knowledge and passion for both the music, the games and the visuals to be accurate in producing the show.”
The Wild Faery Company has shown prowess in respecting the source material and elevating it with its unique performances. In the past, the production company has been responsible for the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra – World Tour, One Piece Musical Symphony, and more. Crystalline Resonance creates a rich atmosphere as the melodies take fans through generations of the beloved franchise.
Much of this is accomplished by working with Square Enix and its composers. Many tracks heard throughout the concert were originally created by composers such as Hitoshi Sakimoto, Nobuo Uematsu, Masayoshi Soken and Yoko Shimomura. “People cannot imagine how much work, effort and talent are made by Square Enix and its composers. There is a real reason why Square Enix music is so well known in the video game world.” For Mombert, this became a collaborative effort. It was important to respect the source material of Final Fantasy and bring it to life in new ways for the audience.
“It is a very long discussion that happened at the very beginning of the project. One that involved multiple parties, including conversations with each composer. This show was built with the idea of celebrating the 35th anniversary, in addition to being a premiere show this year. Seeing the great success of this tour, we do hope to evolve and explore the rich catalogue of music of this incredible franchise!”
Celebrating its 35th anniversary, Final Fantasy and its many titles are available across many platforms. Whether it’s on PlayStation Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, iOS, Android, etc. Final Fantasy is there in some way or another. This momentous occasion is also paired with the impending PlayStation 5 launch of Final Fantasy XVI on June 22.
When looking back on the Canadian leg of the tour, Mombert wrapped it up nicely by saying, “It was very great! We always love coming to Canada!” The Crystalline Resonance: Final Fantasy Piano Concert continues through to the end of March in the U.S. Venues and ticket info can be found on The Wild Faery Company’s website.