Interviews

Published on December 9th, 2018 | by admin

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John Gamra Interview (OCARINA – an evening for Zelda lovers)

Before Ocarina – An Evening for Zelda Lovers arrives at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne (https://malthousetheatre.com.au/whats-on/ocarina) on 15 December, we catch-up with The Consuls’ John Gamra to talk about the concert and of course gaming and gaming music!

Tell us what the gaming series Zelda means to you?

I’ve always had fond memories of the Zelda series; the main series releases infrequently enough that I’ve always tied their releases with different milestones in my life. From the very starts of my gaming career as a kid with A Link to the Past to the most recent entry, Breath of the Wild (released not too far from the conception of this show!) the Zelda series has been ever-changing, but a constant in my life as a gamer.

Why do you think this series has resonated with so many people from around the globe?

Apart from the iconic themes we’ll be celebrating at Ocarina, everything from the weapon and dungeon designs to the characters and settings provides a formula both challenging and approachable that’s stood the test of time for many generations now.

How did you become involved in The Consouls and what is your role?

On the performance side of things, I’m the band’s double bass player. Behind the scenes, I produce and edit a lot of the content that goes up on YouTube and Twitch and handle a lot of our live streams and back end stuff as well. We’re a small group so we all juggle a lot of different roles

What do you enjoy the most about The Consouls?

Finding a way to both pay homage the compositions we’re arranging while putting our own mark on them is not always an easy ask, but when we’re able to do it in a way that resonates with our audience it’s a great feeling!

Tough question… what’s your top three video game music scores and why?

Tough to narrow it down to just three! I’ve always had a big soft spot for the Persona franchise and series composer Shoji Meguro knocked it out of the park with Persona 5. Outside of that, Street Fighter II and Zelda spring to mind, though if I’m being honest I think Wind Waker might trounce Ocarina’s score for me!

Tell us about the OCARINA – an evening for Zelda lovers EXPERIENCE?

The show is a really unique way to celebrate Zelda’s music. You’ve got everything from strings to a jazz band to a concert pianist to a real life ocarina – You won’t find that unique a combination of musicians on stage often!

What are you most looking forward to bring this to Melbourne?

We performed the show in Sydney last month, now that the nerves are out of the way I’ll be looking forward to hopefully enjoying the show a little bit as well.

Can you describe your favourite moment in this concert?

All my favourite moments in the concert involve the different ensembles playing off each other, and there’s a fair bit of that throughout the show. Won’t talk specifics though – You should come hear it for yourself ;)

So what is it like working with Ryan Williams, a real-life ocarinas player?

Ryan’s as chill as he is talented and he’s been an absolute blast to work with. He really honours the score in a very thoughtful way.

Lastly, what are you currently playing?

Smash Ultimate dropped today so I’ve been fiending plenty of that! There’s a tonne of Zelda music in that so it’s… research… or something.


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