Thanks to the overwhelming support of Journey fans, we were fully funded in our first 2 hours! Your fast and enthusiastic support of this campaign has already been featured in Engadget, IGN, and Polygon. We couldn't be more grateful and proud.
The new focus of this campaign is to unlock more cities for this exciting project. The more we raise, the faster we can bring Journey LIVE to a city near you. THANK YOU for telling us where we should go next with your pledges; we are listening, have been working hard behind the scenes to secure additional shows, and will do everything possible to release some of these before the campaign is over.
Keep your eye on our updates - we've been unlocking new rewards on the regular, and are happy to take your suggestions on the message board for what you'd like to see offered up next!
"Journey's visual and sound design sets new standards for interactive entertainment. This alone makes it an extraordinary work, but it's the way that these aesthetic elements come together with beautifully subtle direction and storytelling to create a lasting emotional effect that elevates this to one of the very best games of our time." - Guardian
"Beautiful and immersive" - Forbes
Grammy-nominated composer Austin Wintory and the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble ("conviction, authority and finesse," New York Times) team up to present the first fully interactive live performance of the musical score to the video game Journey. In this unprecedented collaboration, live musicians respond to the actions of game players in real time on stage. The tour kicks off this February with a premiere at the Music and Gaming Festival (MAGFest).
You wake alone, surrounded by miles of burning, sprawling desert, and soon discover the looming mountaintop that is your goal. Faced with rolling sand dunes, age-old ruins, caves and howling winds, your passage will not be an easy one. A cloaked avatar, you travel and explore this ancient, mysterious world alone, or with a stranger you meet along the way. While the goal is to get to the mountaintop, the experience is the discovery of who you are, the story of this place, and your purpose. Never quite the same each time it is played, Journey is an interactive parable, an anonymous online adventure that follows a person’s life passage and their intersections with others.
"Journey celebrates the poignancy of nature, it startles you with the unexpected, and empowers you in an exhilarating, unforgettable conclusion...The hours spent completing Journey will create memories that last for years." - IGN
Mirroring your solo quest, the score for Journey centers around a cello soloist, with a myriad of other instruments and sounds that represent the world around you. The music responds dynamically to your actions, creating a seamless original musical score each time the game is played. This breathtaking synergy between score and action made Journey the first ever video game soundtrack to earn a Grammy nomination in 2012, along two British Academy Awards and a host of others.
"Journey's score is sublime, complementing the often breathtaking visual splendor with perfection. I would love to further describe this alluring marriage of interaction, sight, and sound, but to relate any one example would be to take away the joy of discovering it yourself, and Journey is a game best walked into without knowing quite what to expect." - Destructoid
In order to share what we do with as wide of an audience as possible, so much of our time as artists is spent figuring out how to encapsulate a live show into a product you can enjoy from your couch (an album, a downloadable song, a streaming concert). With Journey LIVE, we do the opposite. While the game starts as a solo experience, it’s impossible not to feel unexpectedly connected to the anonymous travelers you meet as you play. The live experience is this new sense of connection writ large. What will it feel like to share this experience live, with 13 musicians responding in real time to the actions of a single player as witnessed by a living, breathing community of real humans?
"For a distillation of all that is promising, unique, and breathtaking in the video game experience—an experience in which gameplay, art, and music weave together on an almost operatic level—the most hardened skeptic might do well to spend an hour or two with Journey" - New Music Box
How will we do it?
Austin has teamed up with arranger Patrick O’Malley to create an original version of the Journey score for 5HE, tailor-made for live interactive performance. Selected players will play the game as they normally would, and 5HE will play along interactively, mirroring the experience of the in-game score. We’ll follow along on screen, and will stay together using the cue function in our music (thanks iPad and ForScore!). For the live version, Sony has generously provided a sound effects only version of the game, so you’ll hear all of the swishing sand, creaking metal, and blowing wind mixed with the sound of our live instruments. And speaking of instruments, the score expands 5HE’s instrumentation to include percussion and harp, as well as an awesome bass flute generously provided by Trevor James Flutes.
Who gets to play?
Each performance will feature live players selected through competitions in advance. The first of these is held in Chicago by Killer Queen Mercury Squad on January 17 to select players for the show at Steppenwolf. Attending MAGFest? We'll be holding a competition at the start of the festival to select players for this premiere performance. Stay tuned for details on how to participate at MAGFest, and in Boca Raton and Springfield - we'll post updates here.
Want to guarantee your spot? One of our killer rewards gets you playing with 5HE live on stage at any one of our performances on this tour!
I love games, but I’ve never heard of Journey!
Really, dude? Described as "the most beautiful game of its time" by IGN, critics have called Journey one of gaming's crowning achievements. It is the fastest-selling game to date on the Playstation network in North America and Europe, and has won numerous Game of the Year awards (see the full list here!).
"It was my eighth play-through and the tears still streamed, almost inexplicably; Journey is a song without words, reliant on its rapturous presentation and liberating movement to stir your mind and move your heart. " - GameSpot
I don’t play video games. Why should I be interested in Journey?
Missy Snoza (Fifth House Ensemble's flutist) steps up to the mic: Let’s hold hands, because I don’t play games either. My experience is pretty much limited to Mario and Duck Hunt when I was a kid, and LEGO *anything* games that I can play by mashing buttons. I played Journey for the first time because Dan Visconti made me. I’m not ashamed to admit it – I cried three times before it was over. Those of us who don’t spend much time with games might think that they’re all about blowing stuff up and winning points. Journey is NOTHING like that.
You’re plopped in a desert with no instructions, but somehow the game subtly tells you that you should move towards this mountain in the distance. Along the way, you meet strangers, but you can’t speak; you can only interact with by chiming a single musical note. Soon, you figure out that you need each other; when you touch, you charge each other up and can fly. The challenges in the game involve building, restoring, and freeing the beings you discover along the way as you learn about the history of this place and your role within it.
The journey itself has a beginning and an end, but it isn’t about “winning.” Instead, you realize that people play this game over and over to help others. Seriously. You can tell how many times a person has played the game by the color of their robe, and my mind explodes every time I watch an experienced player stop, wait for, and help a newbie through a difficult spot, or show them a hidden treasure that can only be found with a partner. This is a game that teaches you to feel selflessness and generosity – have I blasted through your preconceived notions yet?
"Games that summon up emotions from a cold son of a bitch like me are incredibly rare... Journey had me grabbing the box of tissues by the time it was over." - TotalPlayStation
We couldn’t think of a better place to kick off our tour than the Music and Gaming Festival (MAGFest) in National Harbor, MD, a nonprofit festival run by fans for fans which expects to attract 20,000 people this year. We follow with a performance at Chicago’s iconic Steppenwolf Theatre, at Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois-Springfield, and at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
February 20, 2016 - MAGFest, National Harbor MD
February 28, 2016 - Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago IL
April 9, 2016 - Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton FL
April 16, 2016 - University of Illinois - Springfield, Springfield IL
July 8, 2016 - National Sawdust, Brooklyn NY
Along with support already received from our presenting partners and sponsors, this Kickstarter campaign makes it possible for us to create this new, live version of Journey, to fly and house 13 musicians across the country for this first run of performances, along with instruments and production gear. This is a large, ambitious endeavor, and your support through this campaign is the final backing we need to bring this project to life.
We are offering up some killer rewards to thank you for your support of this campaign. Rewards include exclusive content, signed originals, performance tickets, and VIP access, and private events. One very lucky backer will have the opportunity to join Austin at closed recording sessions for the ABZU soundtrack, his next project with Journey art director Matt Nava. Pledges of every size are included in our list of digital backers with warm fuzzies and our deepest thanks!
About Austin Wintory
Grammy-nominated and two-time BAFTA-winning composer Austin Wintory diverse career has straddled the worlds of concert music, film, and video games.
In 2012, Austin's soundtrack for the hit PlayStation3 game JOURNEY became the first-ever Grammy-nominated videogame score, also winning two British Academy Awards, a DICE Award, a Spike TV VGA, and IGN's "Overall Music of the Year," along with five Game Audio Network Guild awards, and a host of others. Excerpts from the score have been performed all over the world since its release, including by such as ensembles as the National Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Colorado Symphony and Pacific Symphony.
Since JOURNEY's release, his works have run the gamut creatively and scope. THE BANNER SAGA, featuring a large wind ensemble score and string of noteworthy "Youtube" soloists, netted Austin two more BAFTA nominations, was voted "Best Game Score of the Year" by his peers at ASCAP, and was met with critical and commercial success. Most recently, Austin wrote and produced the score for Ubisoft's latest entry to their famed ASSASSIN'S CREED franchise: SYNDICATE. The sprawling score is at its heart a chamber score deeply rooted in 19th century traditions, featuring virtuoso musicians Sandy Cameron and Tina Guo, and an all-star ensemble recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London. The score has been lauded as among the top game scores for 2015 by major industry organizations like GameTrailers, IGN, and the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. More at www.austinwintory.com.
About Fifth House Ensemble
The Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble is a versatile and dynamic group praised by the New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and finesse.” Defined by limitless imagination the ensemble engages curiosity to create unexpected connections with artistic collaborators and audiences of all types, breathing life into repertoire both established and emerging. Over the last decade, the ensemble has engaged theater groups, visual artists, animators, living composers, astronomers, folk musicians and corporate innovators transformative cross-media performance experiences for audiences of every type.
Recent seasons have included performances at the Ravinia Festival, Miller Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Texas Performing Arts, the Eastman School of Music, Yale, Indiana University, and New England Conservatory. In 2014, the ensemble released its debut album on Cedille Records, praised for its “spirited music-making of the finest kind” by the San Francisco Chronicle.
In addition to the ensemble's work on the concert stage, 5HE reaches 17,000 students annually through its arts-integrated programming, and trains emerging artists nationwide as a curriculum design partner for higher education institutions and through its summer festival, fresh inc. More at www.fifth-house.com.
Bass flute generously provided by Trevor James Flutes.
Risks and challenges
After these first four shows, we look forward to adding more dates and cities. With your support, we’ll know where to go next; every donation is a vote to bring us to your hometown!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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