Ryan McGaughey playing songs from Final Fantasy VII arranged for piano by Shiro Hamaguchi in Fulkerson Recital Hall Feb. 21. The projector beside McGaughey cycled through footage form the Final Fantasy games and movie. | Photo by Walker B. True

Final Fantasy Music Rendition Fills Fulkerson

Pianist Ryan McGaughey performs fan-favorite tunes from Final Fantasy VII
Translate

Pianist Ryan McGaughey performs fan-favorite tunes from Final Fantasy VII

In the intimate waiting area of Fulkerson Recital Hall, long-time fans of the Final Fantasy games and their parents or children milled around Feb. 21 waiting to hear piano renditions of the iconic music of “Final Fantasy VII” performed by pianist Ryan McGaughey. The game’s original music was written by Nobuo Uematsu, but the particular arrangements for piano were written by Shiro Hamaguchi.

Mark Castro, an archaeologist for the Cultural Research Center at Humboldt State University, made a habit of attending orchestral concerts at Sonoma State University while he was working on his master’s degree. Castro said he hadn’t played Final Fantasy VII since high school, but he was excited to go to the concert and reminisce on forgotten songs.

“Those are always the ones I gravitate towards,” Castro said. “The ones with a story.”

Ushers collected raffle tickets for a giveaway of the new Final Fantasy VII remake set to come out in April. As everyone found their seats, the lights dimmed and silence fell upon the room like a blanket.

“It’s like watching a really good film or reading a really good book, but you’re actually able to interact in it.”

Ryan McGaughey

McGaughey took the stage and dove into the familiar runs of “Prelude,” a song that begins almost every Final Fantasy game. A projector screen beside his piano ran through a compilation of footage from the Final Fantasy games as well as the 2005 animated movie.

The projector depicted a depressing, industrialized world with pollution and machinery as the piano fluttered along with the hopeful brightness of “Prelude.” “Main Theme” was a more intense, swelling piece accented by intense battle sequences between vigilantes and armed guards of this alternative future city.

In between songs, McGaughey took to the microphone with a charming, slight stutter, thanking everyone for coming out to see him perform. Using an online survey he created and his own powerpoint slides, he had audience members participate in a contest that mirrored the game’s turn-based combat system.

McGaughey brought the event to a close with a fan-favorite, “One Winged Angel,” a song accompanied by a battle with the main antagonist played at the end of Final Fantasy VII. It is a technical, epic and anxiety-inducing battle march with twinkling runs interspersed throughout.

In an exclusive interview with The Lumberjack, McGaughey talked about why he enjoys playing video games and their music.

“It’s like watching a really good film or reading a really good book, but you’re actually able to interact in it,” McGaughey said.

Before he left the stage, McGaughey picked out a winner of the raffle for the Final Fantasy VII remake.

Psalms Palmer, a music major at HSU and longtime fan of the Final Fantasy games, won. She remembered loving the music from the moment she heard it. Throughout the performance, Palmer reflected on playing the game with her sisters when she was a kid.

“If you can tell the story through music,” Palmer said, “you don’t have to do anything else.”

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Photo by Abraham Navarro | Cowboy Daddy's Drummer and Keyboard player Conner West, 25, and guitarist Skye Freitas, 24, jam out at the Gutswurrak Student Activity Center on April 28.

Local bands rock the Gutswurrak

by Ione Dellos Band members wait in front of the bathrooms, eyes anxiously fluttering from the stage to the growing audience in the Gutswurrak Student Activities Center. After the deepest sigh one could possibly take, they make their way to

Travis Allen pole vaults at the Green and Gold Track Event on Feb. 12 Photo by Morgan Hancock.

Athlete’s outperform at decathlon

by Carlos Pedraza The Cal Poly Humboldt Track and Field team participated in the Stanislaus State Multi-Event from Thursday April 7 to Saturday April 9. The team participated in over 10 different events, all of which were multi-day involving different

Photo by Morgan Hancock | Izzy Star hits a home run in final softball game of the season at the Bear River Recreation Center in Loleta, California on Saturday, April 30.

Cal Poly Humboldt plays its last softball game of the series

by Eddie Carpenter On April 30, Cal Poly Humboldt Softball played the last two games of their series against Cal State San Marcos. Due to weather conditions, the softball games had to be relocated to the Bear River Recreation Center

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply