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Old 27-04-17, 13:59   #51
NathanMcCree
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Default Tomb Raider: Live In Concert & The Tomb Raider Suite

Hello everyone,

I haven't been on these forums for quite a while, but today I read through this thread and I feel I should answer some of the questions that have been raised.

The relationship between myself and Square Enix is such that they have given me permission to exploit the music I wrote for the first 3 games, but it is my responsibility to provide the funding for any venture that I choose.

TOMB RAIDER: LIVE IN CONCERT
To put on the concert at the Apollo in London was an expensive venture, and in order to do this I teamed up with U-Live (Universal's Live Events Division) who provided much of the funding for the concert and who also took care of most of the production arrangements. Because U-Live were putting up the money, it was largely their final decision on pretty much everything. Particularly, the orchestral line-up (how many musicians I was allowed), the rehearsal time, the lighting rig, the show merchandise, the marketing/PR and the signing session after the show.

I wanted to have more musicians but their budget didn't allow it, so I had to resign to scoring a few (not many) instruments on synthesizers. I made sure I brought my own synth racks which I used when I recorded the original music back in 1996 in order to keep the sounds authentic. I did manage to hire a sitar player, which I really wanted for Something Spooky In That Jungle, but I had to pay for him myself. And he wasn't cheap! So in the end, the orchestra wasn't quite as big as I wanted.

I was also limited to the number of singers I could have in the choir. for the performance I had only 16 singers, and I really needed about 40 to make it sound like the synth version you can hear in the original game soundtrack. And yes, some of the singers were a little of key here and there, and when you have only 16 singers, that becomes noticeable.

The rehearsal time was the main problem. U-live only gave me 1 x 3 hour practice session with the orchestra in the afternoon before the performance. So to rehearse 90 minutes of music in 3 hours, we barely had enough time to play everything twice. In fact for most tracks we had just one play through and that was it.

The lighting rig was borrowed from the Pokemon show which was following the next day. I wanted to hire my own lighting director, Peter Barnes who I worked with before when I wrote the introduction music for the Spice Girls Xmas Tour 1999, Christmas in Spiceworld. But unfortunately U-Live didn't see the value in this, and so my request was denied. The lighting therefore was not as good as I wanted, but under my direction, at least we got the kind of mood I was looking for - just without all the bells and whistles.

With regard to the show merchandise, I wanted to produce everything. I know how much TR fans love merchandise, but again I was over-ruled because of the budget and so we were left with only show posters and the show programme which I funded myself.

The PR/Marketing push didn't really hit home as I expected and so many of the fans in London didn't know about the show until after the event.

The signing session went well, although Shelley, Meagan and I were told we had only 15 seconds with each person - barely long enough to sign and say hello, and that was it. So it was very difficult to engage with the fans at that point. I'm sorry about that.

I also requested an after-show party to meet and spend time with the fans, particularly as some of them had traveled many, many miles to attend the concert, but again U-Live turned me down. So I decided to fund that myself too. I couldn't have people turning up to one of my gigs and not be able to have a drink and chat about it afterwards. So we had a few hours in the bar at the Apollo after the show, and it was great to meet the VIP guests and a few others that we managed to squeeze onto the guest list.

All in all, apart from a few hic-ups with the performance of the orchestra, I thought they did a fantastic job under the circumstances. And despite what some of you may think, they are all fantastic musicians, and to hear what they accomplished in just a few hours was really quite amazing.

Here is a link to the promotion video I made recently featuring "In The Blood" which as far as I am concerned, is an excellent performance. But don't take my word for it, listen for yourselves.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB1NUY3ONsk

THE TOMB RAIDER SUITE
As some of you have mentioned, a studio recording is the sure way to get a perfect performance. And this is what I have always wanted to do. Of course it's amazing to see and hear a live orchestra, but I want an album that I can listen to over and over again, and I want that performed by a real orchestra.

Now that is not cheap, but now that the scores have been written and all the parts produced, all I need is the funds to hire the orchestra and the studio, plus a few other bits and pieces for mixing and mastering and production.

So I have decided to run a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to do just that. There is an announcement video on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6Xb-dTcUAI

I can't do this without your help, so please support this project and together we can make this album become a reality.

Thank you all for your kind support over the years and I hope I get the chance to meet some of you at one of the concerts as we roll out the Live Concert world wide.

Best
Nathan.
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Old 27-04-17, 14:04   #52
michaeldt
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Just give me the Kickstarter link and I will happily support you, Nathan

Edit: I see, Mid-May.

I will happily support you in Mid-May
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Old 27-04-17, 14:13   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kapu View Post
There has never been a Kickstarter campaign which I have been so eager to throw my money at. It feels like so much time has passed since the original concert (though it's only been a few months, I suppose) and I was beginning to worry a CD would not end up following.





Square funding the project would certainly eliminate the (uncomfortable) uncertainty of the project getting off the ground, but I can understand why they aren't when you take this information into account. My guess? Nathan pitched the concert/album idea and Square approved, but granted a license rather than contributing to the project themselves. Why? Poor sales from the commercially sold TR2013 soundtrack. If it had been profitable, RoTR would have gotten the same commercial treatment...instead they released it for free. I'm just spit balling, but it does seem plausible, doesn't it? What they're missing is how passionate people are about the original soundtracks. So many people have such a personal, tangible connection to the music Nathan composed for TR. Those original scores are nothing like Jason Graves' lackluster drums-and-stings compositions, or ‎Bobby Tahouri painfully generic soundtrack...perhaps the Square people just aren't seeing that.
This..
Heck, even Troels did some nice tracks for Legend and TRA at least. They were still listenable.

Reboot and Rise is too generic and I'm so sick of hearing the same little theme over and over again.
IMO Square need to really rethink the music department for TR3.
We need more standalone tracks with melodies and local instruments that fit the location (Nepal's throatsinging etc) instead of generic garbage.

Just noticed Nathan posted himself above on this page - lovely to finally see some footage as I couldn't attend the concert myself.
The original TR OSTs will always be my favourite pieces of music in ANY game.. so many fond memories since I was first playing TR1 at the age of 6 on 1996!

Last edited by dcw123; 27-04-17 at 14:16.
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Old 27-04-17, 14:52   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanMcCree View Post
Hello everyone,

I haven't been on these forums for quite a while, but today I read through this thread and I feel I should answer some of the questions that have been raised.

The relationship between myself and Square Enix is such that they have given me permission to exploit the music I wrote for the first 3 games, but it is my responsibility to provide the funding for any venture that I choose.

TOMB RAIDER: LIVE IN CONCERT
To put on the concert at the Apollo in London was an expensive venture, and in order to do this I teamed up with U-Live (Universal's Live Events Division) who provided much of the funding for the concert and who also took care of most of the production arrangements. Because U-Live were putting up the money, it was largely their final decision on pretty much everything. Particularly, the orchestral line-up (how many musicians I was allowed), the rehearsal time, the lighting rig, the show merchandise, the marketing/PR and the signing session after the show.

I wanted to have more musicians but their budget didn't allow it, so I had to resign to scoring a few (not many) instruments on synthesizers. I made sure I brought my own synth racks which I used when I recorded the original music back in 1996 in order to keep the sounds authentic. I did manage to hire a sitar player, which I really wanted for Something Spooky In That Jungle, but I had to pay for him myself. And he wasn't cheap! So in the end, the orchestra wasn't quite as big as I wanted.

I was also limited to the number of singers I could have in the choir. for the performance I had only 16 singers, and I really needed about 40 to make it sound like the synth version you can hear in the original game soundtrack. And yes, some of the singers were a little of key here and there, and when you have only 16 singers, that becomes noticeable.

The rehearsal time was the main problem. U-live only gave me 1 x 3 hour practice session with the orchestra in the afternoon before the performance. So to rehearse 90 minutes of music in 3 hours, we barely had enough time to play everything twice. In fact for most tracks we had just one play through and that was it.

The lighting rig was borrowed from the Pokemon show which was following the next day. I wanted to hire my own lighting director, Peter Barnes who I worked with before when I wrote the introduction music for the Spice Girls Xmas Tour 1999, Christmas in Spiceworld. But unfortunately U-Live didn't see the value in this, and so my request was denied. The lighting therefore was not as good as I wanted, but under my direction, at least we got the kind of mood I was looking for - just without all the bells and whistles.

With regard to the show merchandise, I wanted to produce everything. I know how much TR fans love merchandise, but again I was over-ruled because of the budget and so we were left with only show posters and the show programme which I funded myself.

The PR/Marketing push didn't really hit home as I expected and so many of the fans in London didn't know about the show until after the event.

The signing session went well, although Shelley, Meagan and I were told we had only 15 seconds with each person - barely long enough to sign and say hello, and that was it. So it was very difficult to engage with the fans at that point. I'm sorry about that.

I also requested an after-show party to meet and spend time with the fans, particularly as some of them had traveled many, many miles to attend the concert, but again U-Live turned me down. So I decided to fund that myself too. I couldn't have people turning up to one of my gigs and not be able to have a drink and chat about it afterwards. So we had a few hours in the bar at the Apollo after the show, and it was great to meet the VIP guests and a few others that we managed to squeeze onto the guest list.

All in all, apart from a few hic-ups with the performance of the orchestra, I thought they did a fantastic job under the circumstances. And despite what some of you may think, they are all fantastic musicians, and to hear what they accomplished in just a few hours was really quite amazing.

Here is a link to the promotion video I made recently featuring "In The Blood" which as far as I am concerned, is an excellent performance. But don't take my word for it, listen for yourselves.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB1NUY3ONsk

THE TOMB RAIDER SUITE
As some of you have mentioned, a studio recording is the sure way to get a perfect performance. And this is what I have always wanted to do. Of course it's amazing to see and hear a live orchestra, but I want an album that I can listen to over and over again, and I want that performed by a real orchestra.

Now that is not cheap, but now that the scores have been written and all the parts produced, all I need is the funds to hire the orchestra and the studio, plus a few other bits and pieces for mixing and mastering and production.

So I have decided to run a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to do just that. There is an announcement video on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6Xb-dTcUAI

I can't do this without your help, so please support this project and together we can make this album become a reality.

Thank you all for your kind support over the years and I hope I get the chance to meet some of you at one of the concerts as we roll out the Live Concert world wide.

Best
Nathan.
Wow! Welcome to Tomb Raider Forums!

It is now more clear that this was out of your hands due to lack of rehearsal times etc. It's very sad to hear that a lot of stuff had to be self funded but this shows your dedication to your fans and the music you have created for Tomb Raider. I hope you didn't take offense to what I said though, the parts with mistakes broke the mood unfortunately. I have listened to all the pieces which are available on YouTube, they're all absolutely phenomenal!

Can someone send me the link to this kick start project! Take my money!! I'm getting impatient waiting for the CD to release

I wish I had come to this concert, I didn't know that TR2-3 pieces had been remastered which is why I never booked a ticket. I simply assumed only TR1 music were going to be played live.

Edit: That's not me saying I don't like Tomb Raider 1's music because I do. TR2-3 are my favourites.
Edit 2: Nathan, do you think it's possible to have your music put into Tomb Raider 1/2 Remaster by RealtechVR if the kick starter is successful?
Cheers.
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Old 27-04-17, 16:49   #55
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I also want to help, in any way.
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Old 27-04-17, 17:05   #56
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I'm also planning to support the Tomb Raider Suite as much as I can when the kickstarter's initiated! I'm very happy to hear about the world tour as well
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Old 27-04-17, 17:43   #57
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Thank you for the update, Nathan, and welcome to the forums!!

I would also like to say thank you for all the time and effort you have put into The Tomb Raider Suite project. Reading your post and understanding how personally invested you are in the project really gives us a lot of perspective. As a fan, I'm so so excited for an album release and immensely grateful for the work you're doing to make it happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gh0stBlade View Post
Had each one of them known what they were doing, it wouldn't have happened. It's not just that though, there's times where certain chords were completely wrong. So yeah, it's quite evident some of them don't know how to play instruments properly.
Would I be correct in assuming that you have not played in an orchestra or concert band? Playing in a group doesn't work like this. It's a group effort. Individual skill is important, but listening to the other players around you and then responding by how you play is what makes a cohesive performance. In order to perform this way, you have to practice this piece and listen to the other parts, so you can respond. When you're only just playing a piece for the first time you don't know the other parts, to say nothing of your own part. The most talented orchestras in the world (aka the people who play for a living and record things like movie soundtracks) can pick up a piece and play it quite flawlessly after going through it a few times. As Nathan has explained, his orchestra played each piece once, sometimes twice before going on stage to perform. The fact that the musicians were able to play, overall, very well with such little rehearsal is incredibly impressive to me as a former concert band member.

I really disagree with someone saying these musicians don't know how to play and that's why some pieces didn't sound great. It simply doesn't work that way. And while I feel the criticism is valid and I wouldn't argue against it, to say personal skill alone is the reason why is incorrect.
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Old 27-04-17, 19:04   #58
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i'm happy to help donate whatever I can, looking forward to the future
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Old 27-04-17, 19:08   #59
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I'm really impatient for the Kickstarter to start and you can count on us Nathan!
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Old 28-04-17, 00:09   #60
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Welcome Nathan and thank you so much for taking the time to post here.
We love you!
I don't have much money to spare, but if even small donations are ok, I'd be happy to help. I really need this cd in my life, as I was unable to go to the concert.
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