The Legend of Zelda, a lot of us truly love that game, but one group of people has taken their love for Zelda, and especially the music of the series, and dedicated themselves fully to re-interpreting, and re-orchestrating it’s works. This group is known as Zelda Reorchestrated, or ZREO for short. You can check out their endeavors at their official site zreomusic.com. I recently interviewed the musical composer of ZREO, FireGS. As well as ZREO’s art director, Master of Zelda. Here is that interview. Enjoy! So you guys are collectively known as Zelda Reorchestrated? FireGS: Yep, thats correct.
How many people are in ZREO? FireGS: Well, music wise, it's only myself, but the project would not have existed if it weren’t for the Art, Web and tech team. MoZ is the Art director, but I also have a web designer, and a technical advisor. Total of four.
Master of Zelda: When ZREO first started, there was a team of five people doing the music, but that responsibility has slowly made its way to FireGS exclusively. So the group dynamics have changed considerably since ZREO's origins.
When did you get the idea that you wanted to recreate Zelda music exclusively? FireGS: Well, to be honest, I don't remember what started it. I had gotten into computer music while trying to write music for a video game I was making, which never panned out, but I got really fascinated with how one could make computerized music more and more real. I thought about music that I personally liked, and Zelda was the first that came to mind.
How long have you guys been working on this music project? MoZ: Since October 2004. That makes a total of about two and a half years.
Impressive if I do say so. How many songs have you rearranged in that time? Keeping track? FireGS: Oh yeah. A total of 130 available on the site as of now.
Wow. Are there any ones you are particularly proud of, or particularly enjoyed making? FireGS: Well, there are a few songs on the way to be released that I am particularly proud of, but I really love Ocean Redux, from Wind Waker. Ocean was one of the first WW songs I did, and It seemed wrong to me. So as soon as we started up the project again, it was one of the first ones I wanted to redo.
MoZ: I am really impressed with all of them. But of course I have some of my own favorites. Gerudo Valley Redux, Hyrule Castle, and Stone Tower Temple are somr of the most powerful pieces of music! I would definitely agree with Fire about Ocean Redux! Everyone likes that song!
How did you decide on the name of your group? FireGS: I just threw together the first thing that came to mind. Its Zelda, its an orchestra, and were
re-doing it all. Zelda Reorchestrated. Z.R.E.O. is just Zelda REOrchestrated.
Sounds simple enough to me. Mind If I ask you guys some video game related questions? FireGS: Sure thing.
MoZ: Go ahead!
Cool. So what was the first console you ever owned? Any good memories with it? MoZ: The first console I ever personally owned was the GameCube. However, I grew up with an NES that my parents bought. I beat Super Mario Bros. before I could read at age 2. My parents were shocked!
FireGS: Definitely. Mine was the N64. My first game was Super Mario 64. Second one was Zelda. Its why my love for adventure games is so high!
MoZ: And then of course Super Mario Bros. 3 came out and simply blew my mind. Video games really opened up the abilities of my imagination.
What are some of your favorite games? Seems like you just named some of them. MoZ: Some of my favorite games are Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario 3, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, F-Zero GX, Resident Evil 4, and Gradius III.
FireGS: Zelda, Final Fantasy 7 and 9, All of the Medal of Honor series, Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger, All of the Mario games, GoldenEye, Halo, all sorts. Yes, even World of Warcraft, but I just quit for good.
MoZ: Can't forget Super Smash Bros. series!
FireGS: Oh yeah, that too!
Great choices, you named a couple of my favorites too! MoZ: There are always more games to name out! Ha ha!
Haha, yep. I think that will do though. Any games you have been playing a lot of recently? FireGS: Well, After the project closed in 2005, I was playing World of Warcraft without end. That took over my life.
MoZ: Twilight Princess has really been tugging a lot at my free time. Took me six days to beat, but I always go back for more! It's the first 3-D Zelda game that actually makes me want to go back and play through a second time. What instruments and tools do you use to create the music and art for ZREO? MoZ: I was taught graphic design using Macromedia Fireworks. I've stuck to that tool for all of my graphic art needs. I've spent three and a half years working with the program. I've learned all sorts of tricks and secrets to get it to do what I want. Some people would be shocked that I'm not using Photoshop, but when you are comfortable with a program, you stick with it. There is a relationship there. *tear drop* Heh.
FireGS: Well, I compose in Finale 2006, I do the sound work in Cubase 4, and Trackion 2. I work with the Kontakt 2 Plugin for those, as well as Garritan Personal Orchestra, and EastWest/Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra. I also use real instruments for some of the songs.
What real instruments do you use? particularly good at any instrument? FireGS: Guitar and Piano are my main instruments. You'll also hear me play Bass.
MoZ: Fire uses a wide variety of techniques and instruments to get the sound he wants. If he needs real human voices, we'll look for real human voices. It provides a nice challenge.
Do you create art for other projects in addition to ZREO? MoZ: Yes. I currently do some graphic design for a new theatre company in real life. I've also been known to do some fan service on community boards. Doing logos for fan fictions and such. It's mostly a hobby though.
Alright, I believe I have just one more question for you guys. Any advice for any other aspiring video game inspired artists and musicians? MoZ: Don't give up. Persistence is a virtue available to everyone. If you can dream it, you really can achieve it!
FireGS: I do. For the love of god, do what you like, follow through on it, and NEVER give up on a dream. If I had, you'd never hear of Z.R.E.O.
Thanks a lot for your time guys, Us at GM4A really appreciate it! anything else you'd like to add? FireGS: Yeah, be sure to check us out every week, join our announcement list, and stay tuned for a ton of new projects on the way!
MoZ: Keep visiting the site, we have a lot of cool plans for all our visitors. We think you'll like what we have in store! -------
I once again would like to thank ZREO for taking the time to answer these questions. remember to check them out at zreomusic.com.