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flOw Like You’ve Never Heard It Before

Austin Wintory's Avatar + Posted by Austin Wintory on Aug 04, 2009 // Composer, flOw

I have a cool treat for fans of flOw! Ever since completing the original score for the game (shockingly, already more than 2 years ago!!!) it was my dream to adapt the music for live performance by an orchestra. Obviously the in-game music was entirely electronic, with the exception of choral voices, but I had an idea floating around my brain (somewhat resembling the jelly fish, careening out of control after spinning too quickly) for how to handle an adaptation.

Well, the opportunity finally came thanks to Steven Allen Fox and the Golden State Pops Orchestra based here in Los Angeles. On May 16 they performed an all game music concert featuring scores to Afrika, God of War (the Guitar Hero rendition), Final Fantasy VII, World of Warcraft and others. I was proud to feature flOw in that lineup and later cut together a little video combining the concert footage with some in-game footage. I hope you enjoy it!!!

And if you want to just listen, the mp3 of the concert performance can be found here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Also here was Jayson Napolitano’s review of the concert from “Original Sound Version.”

-A

//Add Your Own

59 Comments   1 Reply

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1

+ Arcturian on August 4th, 2009 at 1:30 pm said:

Nice. Might I ask what samples and VSTs you used? I’m an aspiring game composer as well.


2

+ Arcturian on August 4th, 2009 at 1:31 pm said:

Er, not “as well.” Obviously.


3

+ Arcturian on August 4th, 2009 at 1:31 pm said:

About the “aspiring” part.


4

+ mendezgato on August 4th, 2009 at 1:31 pm said:

cool, it would be nice if we could download it. please


5

+ Arcturian on August 4th, 2009 at 1:33 pm said:

@4 mendezgato: Right click “Save As…”


6

+ DonnyG on August 4th, 2009 at 1:39 pm said:

very cool


7

+ Frankie09 on August 4th, 2009 at 1:42 pm said:

Awesome.


8

+ Enforcer_X on August 4th, 2009 at 1:44 pm said:

Very cool indeed!
A lot of video game music is really good and to have it played live by an orchestra is incredible!


9

+ almighty-slayer on August 4th, 2009 at 1:46 pm said:

Very nice, well done :D


10

+ ItsNymo on August 4th, 2009 at 1:47 pm said:

sweet… I always wondered how flOw would sound if performed live…

Wish I could have heard it in-person!


11

+ Lambrick on August 4th, 2009 at 1:52 pm said:

the music is part of why i love flOw so much. is there a soundtrack available?


12

+ station3fever on August 4th, 2009 at 2:10 pm said:

kiss a$$, very nice :)


13

+ Neil on August 4th, 2009 at 2:17 pm said:

Fantastic-o!

That’s Italian for rad.


14

+ Frostquake on August 4th, 2009 at 2:19 pm said:

Is the flOw soundtrack available for purchase on i-tunes?? If so under what??
This needs to travel the country and go to all Art Centers! I would gladly pay for a night of music like this at the Walton Arts Center in my city!


15

+ starBlinky01 on August 4th, 2009 at 2:23 pm said:

that was really good, i want to hear flOwer though a lot more. That game had the best music ever, I fall asleep to that music every night


16

+ bdavid81 on August 4th, 2009 at 2:25 pm said:

Absolutely wonderful job on that song, wow! flOw is such a relaxing title, and I recently played for about 2 hours straight, and didn’t even realize it.


17

+ ffhnod on August 4th, 2009 at 2:25 pm said:

congratulations!

what a …ehhm…uhh…. undescribable song!


18

+ Canne on August 4th, 2009 at 2:27 pm said:

oh… this time i was thinking that trophies will arrive on this beautiful game…. is it only a dream?
please answer me sony :)


19

+ xenorevlis on August 4th, 2009 at 2:42 pm said:

This is really amazing. I’m trying to find all the other performances as any time game music / mood is translated to orchestral performances its generally WIN!


20

+ CrimsonFox13 on August 4th, 2009 at 2:44 pm said:

The video resets if you move your mouse in and out of the video in Firefox! I have the most recent version.

I’d love a downloadable version of this song! It’s really good! I love calming music!


21

+ tearsofash on August 4th, 2009 at 2:49 pm said:

Pretty cool stuff. I haven’t played flow much lately. I got it over two years ago when it was first released.


22

+ Zezzler on August 4th, 2009 at 2:50 pm said:

do you think you could put the orchestrated score onto the PlayStation store ever? or even the original score?
Thank would be nice.


23

+ thepatriots on August 4th, 2009 at 3:17 pm said:

Any chance the flOw soundtrack could hit CD or iTunes.


24

+ ravagespawn on August 4th, 2009 at 3:21 pm said:

This was awesome!! I especially like the choral part. Very moving. I’d like to see this or the original soundtrack on the PS store.


25

+ Trucidation on August 4th, 2009 at 3:52 pm said:

PSBlog, anytime you embed videos, it resets for Firefox users when you mouse over. dub tee eff


26

+ acerazer1 on August 4th, 2009 at 4:01 pm said:

Niiice. At first when I saw the fl0w post I thought for a moment was going to be a trophy announcement, haha. One can still dream…


27

+ Shadow1019 on August 4th, 2009 at 4:02 pm said:

Excellent post. I love movie and video game scores and would like to see more Playstation Blog posts devoted to them.

I used to navigate to flOw on the XMB just to have it loop the song late at night or just leave the game “paused” to add visuals to the music. I’d fall asleep and wake up very pleasantly on the couch at 4am, and then stumble to bed. :)

I really love this song and it deserves to be made available on iTunes or somewhere else. I actually hooked up my computer to my TV and recorded it that way 2 years ago just so I could have it on my iPod. I would gladly pay for a better quality and more complete version. Please make it happen.


28

+ PullusPardusUS on August 4th, 2009 at 4:05 pm said:

Epic, words cannot describe it.
Please austin “win”tory continue winning.


29

+ Jeigh on August 4th, 2009 at 4:40 pm said:

Mm… You know, a lot of the media and common population seem to think of synthesizers as a “leaping off point” rather than a respectable instrument in its own right. The above is fine, but I really do prefer the original. Sometimes the classic instruments just can’t convey the ‘message’ the way the newer ones do. You wouldn’t expect a piano to replace an electric guitar and, in this case, an entire symphony just can’t replace the electronic original. At least not while expecting the same results.

For a game like Final Fantasy VII, there were extreme limitations on the hardware at the time and so what they were ultimately trying to do was simulate an orchestra to the best of their abilities, thus making an orchestral adaptation not only possible, but inevitable (though in this case, too, there were varied results).

In short, Mr. Wintory, it’s perfect just the way it is, and you can and should be proud of that. =)


    Austin Wintory's Avatar

     

    + Austin Wintory on August 4th, 2009 at 5:13 pm said:

    Hi Jeigh – I actually agree with you, believe it or not! flOw was always conceived of as electronic music and definitely not meant to be a \”mockup\” of live orchestral music, as one often hears. As such, this version isn\’t really meant to be a \”superior\” version, but rather a new interpretation. Mainly I just had lots of fun! :)


Austin Wintory's Avatar

30

+ Austin Wintory on August 4th, 2009 at 4:47 pm said:

Thank you all for your incredibly nice and flattering words. I’m truly honored!

This particular orchestral performance can not be made available on iTunes or the PS Store for various contractual reasons. However, an original soundtrack is in the works featuring the actual music from the game. Stay tuned …


31

+ MP5-PRO333 on August 4th, 2009 at 4:54 pm said:

That was beutiful


32

+ Sakimori_X on August 4th, 2009 at 5:18 pm said:

That was phenomenal. Having your music performed in front of a live audience has got to feel great. Congrats, Mr. Wintory!


33

+ FFObsessed on August 4th, 2009 at 6:28 pm said:

ahh flOw, one of my favorite “gaming” experiences because of just how beautiful and relaxing it was. The music was of course an essential part of that experience.

Infact I used to have the XMB music playing in the background when I was having difficulty sleeping. Beautiful music. I would definitely be interested in the soundtrack of the game and look forward to any of your future projects. :)

Oh and this new orchestral interpretation is excellent. Thank you for posting it.


34

+ plaztiksyke on August 4th, 2009 at 6:36 pm said:

As Warren Cuccurullo likes to say, “they’re just notes”. Anyone who doesn’t realise that fundamental truth obviously hasn’t played very many of them (notes).

Keep up the awesome work, and I hope that there’s a flOw (and Flower) update that gives us 24-bit lossless music. The PS3 has DTS-MA decoding built-in, for goodness’ sake :)


35

+ Thrasher20 on August 4th, 2009 at 6:40 pm said:

Nice to see that flOw is still in the battle!


36

+ ajritchie on August 4th, 2009 at 7:44 pm said:

Beautiful work that enhanced an original and truly great game. Congrats and thanks for giving us the successful follow up, Flower. When playing Fallout 3 became a bit depressing, I’d always end a gaming night with either flOw or Flower and I’d always have happy dreams :)

Thank you for your beautiful games that appeal to so many senses and aren’t just mindless shooters. The flOw team has as an established track record that makes any game produced by the company a day 1 purchase. I look forward to future titles, though some added flOw and Flower DLC levels would be great, too.


37

+ tsukasa1288 on August 4th, 2009 at 8:18 pm said:

I love stuff like this. I’ve actually been to Video Games Live twice. You should contact Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall to see if they would add a flOw or flower piece to their concert. I think it would be great.


38

+ ZAANOS on August 4th, 2009 at 8:22 pm said:

This is awesome and very powerful thanks for sharing! The soundtrack really made the game!


39

+ Steve3D on August 4th, 2009 at 8:47 pm said:

any chance of a fl0w 2? great music :)


40

+ Jotaru on August 4th, 2009 at 9:19 pm said:

I’m glad that they are in the works of making a soundtrack for flOw, now they need to put flower out as well… Another awesome soundtrack which needs to be out already >_<!


41

+ Ouren on August 4th, 2009 at 10:26 pm said:

Powerful stuff.

I need to buy flOw.


42

+ lanis01 on August 5th, 2009 at 1:42 am said:

Hey Austin! When you say a soundtrack is in the works does that only include flOw or Flower as well, sorta like a collection of music from the games of thatgamecompany? Both games have excellent soundtracks so it’s not like a OST wouldn’t sell.


43

+ VenomUK on August 5th, 2009 at 3:09 am said:

Austin, the soundtrack for flOw is beautiful that truly elevates the game into a higher realm. It perfectly matches the creation-like theme of the game with its ethereal sounds and god-like music. It feels like the music that you would hear at the start of all creation! ;)

I’m just a little bit of a fan and I love how in one interview you said of the soundtrack it is ‘Something warm and organic, as if a symphony of instruments never before played on Earth.’ -what a wonderful description!

The flOw soundtrack sounds played by an orchestra shows how rich it is. I’m hopeful that Video Games Live (the game-music concert company) give you a call to request performing the flOw soundtrack. I would definitely pay to hear it live. Thank you.


44

+ The_Killian on August 5th, 2009 at 4:33 am said:

Wow! Really wish I could have seen it live.


45

+ RevengerAD on August 5th, 2009 at 5:34 am said:

Your amazing music reminds me James Cameron`s Abyss!


46

+ Carl-G on August 5th, 2009 at 5:36 am said:

Trophies? ;)


47

+ CloudStorm87 on August 5th, 2009 at 7:22 am said:

This is a really amazing piece of work. It sent chills down my spine just listening to it.

Well done Mr. Austin and keep making great music :)

Now I really wish I could listen to all the other scores from the concert.


48

+ StalkingSilence on August 5th, 2009 at 9:21 am said:

Loved the big ambient vocals.
Thought you’d announce trophies for flOw but I guess Jenova Chen will get on and do that…. now!


49

+ mixenitup on August 5th, 2009 at 10:34 am said:

bummer i saw flow in the headline i thought it was a trophy update anouncement. But Alas :(


50

+ MaceWisdom on August 5th, 2009 at 10:46 am said:

Fantastic and Higly Exhilirating!


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