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Commodore 64 goes symphonic: 3 albums, 5 stretch albums. The first step to a London concert hall with the London Symphony Orchestra? Maybe!
Commodore 64 goes symphonic: 3 albums, 5 stretch albums. The first step to a London concert hall with the London Symphony Orchestra? Maybe!
606 backers pledged £37,501 to help bring this project to life.
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Back in Time Symphonic Collection - C64 Symphonic Box Set

£37,501

606

Currently on three volumes, but still great value!
Currently on three volumes, but still great value!

(Box set currently stands at four CDs and a bacon download album!!)

Kickstarter over? Looking for a paypal option? Go here.

Welcome to the Back in Time Symphonic Collection

Ever since I first heard C64 Music, my holy grail was to hear it played by an orchestra.

We're raising money to arrange and produce a box set of Symphonic Commodore 64 studio arrangements that bring out the classic Hollywood in the SIDs.

We want to produce full scores for orchestras to play live.

Beautiful scores...
Beautiful scores...

We want to create a whole new generation of SID fans by giving away the scores to amateur orchestras, bands, youth groups and schools. 

Imagine the next generation falling in love with Ghosts and Goblins, Thing on a Spring or Martin Galway's Ocean Loader!

Imagine sitting in a concert hall being swept away by Giant Zoids!

It's not just us. Ben Daglish, Fred Gray and Rob Hubbard sometimes dreamed of orchestras while programming their SIDs. Martin had an extensive musical background thanks to his Uncle James (now Sir James), the world-famous flautist.

Please help us give them that. Even if Symphonic remixes aren't your thing, we'd appreciate the help.

We get one shot at showing those console people that Zelda, Mario and Halo aren't the only classic games people want to hear in orchestral form. Let's do this!

Did that really just happen??
Did that really just happen??

Going for concerts

This box set is the first leg of the "Symphonie 64" roadmap: 

1) produce big, fat, emotional orchestral arrangements and scores (that's this Kickstarter) and finish this great box set.

2) Arrange concerts in 2017 for all of you lovely C64 music fans.

3) Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) in 2018? We might not get there in one go, but why not dream? All we need is 2000 SID fans. The LSO is up for it. The Albert Hall is bookable. Imagine that!

So, what will the box set contain, exactly?

Disk 1: Throne of Sids

A dark fantasy tale told through Commodore 64 music.

Track listing may be subject to change, though we hope to keep it as it is!
Track listing may be subject to change, though we hope to keep it as it is!

The following track, Times of Lore (The Gathering) will be re-done by its creator Glyn R. Brown specially for this CD using over a decade's more experience and a lot more equipment :)

He will also be redoing his seminal "Firelord". Here's his original classic:

Beyond the Forbidden Forest will feature many subtunes, but our overture is this Peter Connelly masterpiece, which channels Danny Elfman, which will be re-recorded and reworked.

Kentilla will be an updated version of this classic, scored by Rob Hubbard himself:

Disk 2: Escape from Sids Castle

 A celebration of all that is Hubbard (that wasn't on "Throne of Sids")!

 A highlight of the album (and any subsequent concerts!!) will of course be Zoids/Ancestors. Here's the full version of the Back in Time 3 version which you've already heard in the video (which we will be reworking).

 And we'll be remaking me and Boz's Flash Gordon remake from Back in Time 3:

Rob Hubbard's version of WAR from the same CD will also have a makeover. Here you can hear the SID morphing into the orchestral version.

 Meanwhile, we are going to base our Commando orchestration on Firestorm's amazing version (with the help of its arranger, whose website is here).  Imagine what a symphony orchestra could do with the resulting score (while you watched in awe).

Disk 3: Sidventure

An wretched(ly amazing) hive of SID symphonic villainy: music so good it's criminal!

One of the people helping us with this Kickstarter will be Markus Schneider, who is/was one of the most prominent orchestral arrangers in the scene. Here's his "Fred Gray orchestra":

And of course, we just had to get Ben Daglish involved. "Please, give me an orchestra and let me do Trap" he pleaded. If we can meet all our stretch goals and/or get orchestral concerts going, we can all give Ben what he deserves. Here's the Trap version that we'll be reworking with proper orchestration, attached to a very early re-working of the classic "Trap Demo" by Tony Crowther and Ben Daglish.

Stretch goal CDs

Disk 6: Cinematic 64 (£34,000 - £36,000)

"Commodore 64 music goes Hans Zimmer" - the disk Slaygon has always wanted to create. A dark, dramatic disk with hopeful moments. Adventurous!

So, here's a bit 'o Slay-Driller!

Disk 5: Big Band Bacon 64 (£38,000 - £40,000)

Feeling in a party mood? Breaking from the serious Symphonic stuff, Rune-Bertils/Uncle and the Bacon will produce a brand new CD of big-band styled remixes to boogie on down to. 

From Uncle and the Bacon... the most Bacon C64 album ever!
From Uncle and the Bacon... the most Bacon C64 album ever!

Here, he goes Commando!

And here is a brand new clip from the "One Man and his Droid" WIP for the album.

Disk 6: Progressive 64 -  (£44,000 - £46,000)

Please help us get to this stretch goal! I so want Arcade Classics and Ocean Loader done this way!
Please help us get to this stretch goal! I so want Arcade Classics and Ocean Loader done this way!

The theme for this box set is "Orchestrated". However, some of the most effective and evocative use of orchestra in recent times has been in guitar driven prog rock/heavy metal, where orchestra lends it a grand sound, such as in the works of Metallica or Steve Vai.

FastLoaders have been waiting for this chance to make C64 remixes that fuse their trademark guitar driven sound with an orchestrated backing, on tracks like Arcade Classics, Green Beret or Monty on the Run. Sounds mighty fine to me!

(fastloaders cover concept by Slaygon - man of many talents!)

Disk 7: Sidphonie 64 (£50k to £52k)

What if I took favourite Commodore 64 classical tunes, and supersized both their chippiness and orchestrality? 

This disk will take these fun classical tunes and make them sound as if they were played by a hybrid chip orchestra. What would 16 SIDs playing slightly different violin sounds in unison sound like? This is where we find out!

The track choice reflects some of my own favourite tunes from the early pioneering years of the Commodore 64. Some of them were responsible for my own love of orchestras. So, light, fluffy, chippy, yet polished. A challenge I'm looking forward to!

Disk 8: Orchestra 64 (£56k)

Some of my favourite classical pieces became my favourites because I heard them on the Commodore 64 first. 

So, I decided to collect my favourite "real" classical pieces from the C64 into one CD, played by top quality orchestras worldwide. True story!

Note that this CD will not be available for digital downloads for licencing reasons. All tracks are fully licensed from the Naxos catalogue of orchestral scores. It sure beats paying orchestras to record them ourselves :)

Extras

Blu-Ray Companion Disc

This Blu-Ray BD-A is a high quality audio disk, and will contain the 24/96 versions of the tunes released on the main CDs. It will also contain the highest possible quality versions of the other stretch CDs (we will be encouraging everyone to work in 24 bit throughout the chain). 

It will also contain alternate versions, WIPs and other extras.

Score books

The score books are at the heart of this Kickstarter. Each score book contains the "Conductor's scores" (basically, all of the orchestral instruments are covered). We're aiming at B4 size for the paperbacks.We imagine each volume will be ~300pp, except for the megabook which will be ~ 1000pp

There are various options available for the three volume set which features over 40 scores (amazing value!). All visualisations here are courtesy of the amazing Thomas Koch.

1) A set of three digital PDFs for "Throne of Sids", "Escape from Sids Castle" and "Sidventure". This is included in Level 4, Level 6, Level 7, both VIP levels and Collector+.

2) A set of three separate paperback score books: "Throne of Sids","Escape from Sids Castle" and "Sidventure". While paperback, these will be premium quality, and one of the stretch goals is to upgrade them to hardback. This is included in level 7, all VIP levels and Collector+ (2 sets).

The paperback score book set (render by Thomas Koch)
The paperback score book set (render by Thomas Koch)

3) A set of three leather, individually hand-made, rare hardbacks with slipcase. Made to order with the best materials. Includes bonus scores in each volume. This set is included in VIP Level 2 and Collector+ Levels.

Lovely three volume set... rare!
Lovely three volume set... rare!
Historical!
Historical!
And it has music inside too...!
And it has music inside too...!

4) The biggie: all of the scores in one giant expensive-leather bound book, in a museum-quality presentation box. This quite literally belongs in a museum. A must for any DotCom entrepreneur who to have something extremely rare and geekily beautiful, and also support the arts. Obviously this is only in Collector+ level.

The lovely museum quality silk-covered case
The lovely museum quality silk-covered case
Imagine opening this baby...
Imagine opening this baby...
<3
<3
Another beautiful angle!
Another beautiful angle!
It's complete, and then some!
It's complete, and then some!

What will the tracks sound like on the main CDs?

We can't afford to record a real orchestra, so we're having to do it the hard way!

However, we're investing wisely in the latest samples and technology, (and getting a little expert help) to make these the very best Hollywood-y arrangements we can produce.

Our aim is to make the sound experience as close as possible to you sitting in an audience listening to a real orchestra play.

Who's the team? 

The project is very inclusive, but the core musical team is myself and Kenneth "Slaygon" Mutka who will be putting in most of the hours. 

We'll be doing the core of the work together, and then taking advantage of some of the decades of experience in the C64 and Amiga scene to get feedback and improvements. 

There might be surprise guest tracks from previous BIT Alumni, or even people new to BIT! 

The composers of the original tunes are supporting this project 100%, with some of them actively participating. 

We will be joined (to varying degrees) by Alistair "Boz" Bowness, Glyn R. Brown (best known for Firelord, Times of Lore and Rastan), Gari Biasillo (best known for Target Renegade), Patrick Nevian (Pianist), Markus Schneider (respected orchestral remixer), Rob Hubbard, Ben Daglish, Allister Brimble, Peter Connelly, Matt Furniss, Will Morton, Sound of Games, Firestorm and probably more. Auntie Anna will be Twittering away as usual!

Risks and challenges

The main risk here is people getting ill, family emergencies, etc. You can't really legislate against that. Deadline slippage is also a risk on such an ambitious project.

But the problem space is clearly defined, the team is fully committed, and we've already invested quite a lot in preparing for this. Orchestral scoring isn't wizardry, but it does require imagination, persistence, the best equipment, commitment and hard work. Some of the extra stretch CDs are being done in parallel to the main CDs by others, so that removes some of the bottleneck.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $2

    Level 0 - just a thanks!

    Cheers mateys, and yarrrr! Choose this level if you're playing Symphonica and you want to ask questions in the Kickstarter comments, or just want to participate.

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    Pledge £20 or more About $26

    Level 1 - MP3/FLAC + map PDF

    Does not include Orchestra 64 stretch goal for licencing reasons.

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    Pledge £39 or more About $50

    Level 2 - Box-set + MP3/FLAC + map PDF

    Add £30 for BD-A companion disk.

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    Pledge £45 or more About $58

    Level 3 - PDF scorebook set (3 volumes) + MP3/FLAC + map PDF

    Does not include Orchestra 64 stretch goal for licencing reasons.

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    Pledge £64 or more About $82

    Level 4 - Box-set + MP3/FLAC + PDF scorebook set (3 volumes) + map PDF

    Add £30 for BD-A companion disk.

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    Pledge £67 or more About $86

    Level 5 - Signed box-set + map poster + MP3/FLAC + map PDF

    Add £30 for BD-A companion disk.

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    Pledge £89 or more About $114

    Level 6 - Signed box-set + map poster + PDF scorebook set + MP3/FLAC + map PDF

    Add £30 for BD-A companion disk.

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    Pledge £125 or more About $160

    Level 7 - Three-volume paperback scorebook set + signed CD box -set + folded map poster + MP3/FLAC + PDF scorebook set + map PDF

    Add £30 for BD-A companion disk.

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    Pledge £175 or more About $224

    VIP Level 1 - Signed paperback scorebook set + signed box-set + BD-A companion + London launch soirée invitation + map poster + MP3/FLAC + PDF scorebook set + map PDF + free postage

    Please check the reward matrix and Kickstarter text for bonus updates and upgrade options.

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    Pledge £499 or more About $637

    VIP 1 + Immortality!

    You can choose one of the scores to be dedicated to you. (e.g. "Arrangement dedicated to Your Name"). This will be on all copies throughout history, forever connecting your name with your favourite tune. This pledge level comes with a framed, signed copy of the first page of that relevant score, printed on... oooh, expensive paper.

    Only one person per tune, so first backed first served!

    (immortality is also conferred on any pledge levels above this one!)

    Also, everything in the £175 level: Signed paperback scorebook set + signed box-set + BD-A companion + London launch soirée invitation + map poster + MP3/FLAC + PDF scorebook set + map PDF + free postage

    Please check the reward matrix and Kickstarter text for bonus updates and upgrade options.

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    Pledge £999 or more About $1,275

    VIP Level 2 - "Rarity for your shelf!"

    Executive Producer on the main disks, and choose a Sidphonie 64 track (a piece of classical music that has been in an 8-bit game), but mostly enjoy a complete set of hand-crafted, custom-made, leather-bound, exclusive numbered editions of "Throne of Sids", "Escape from Sids Castle" and "Sidventure" score books. Check the Kickstarter for full specifications for this lovely premium item.

    Also you get: signed (regular) "Throne of Sids" score book, signed (regular) "Escape from Sids Castle" score book + signed (regular) "Sidventure" score book + TWO signed box sets + BD-A companion disk + London launch soirée invitation + map poster in tube + MP3/FLAC + "Throne of Sids" PDF + "Escape from Sids Castle" PDF + "Sidventure" PDF + free postage.

    Please check the reward matrix and Kickstarter text for bonus updates and upgrade options.

    We've limited this option to ten available in this Kickstarter, which will be numbered 1-10 in order of pledge on all volumes. Any subsequent books we produce in this series will honour this numbering system, and will not be sold for cheaper than this Kickstarter pledge level.

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    Pledge £2,499 or more About $3,188

    Collector Ultimate Supreme! ("It belongs in a museum")

    The most amazing and luxurious retro home computer book ever published: ~1000 pages of glorious Commodore 64 full orchestral scores. Hand bound in specially sourced goat-skin leather, enclosed in a luxury presentation box finished in silk and painstakingly stitched in the UK by skilled craftspeople, all harmonised with the Commodore 64 original colour scheme.

    This is the only book with every single score from the project in it in one volume, and will have bonus scores besides.

    Each book will of course have the number as an integral part of the book design as these books are hand-created for each pledger.

    Up until now this was simply something money couldn't buy.

    We've limited it to three available in this Kickstarter, which will be numbered 1-3 in order of pledge. Any future books we produce will honour this numbering system, and will not be sold for cheaper than this Kickstarter pledge level. I'm sure you can see from the price that you're not likely to have much company (probably just museums and millionaires!)

    Also, if we reach any live orchestra recording stretch goals, you will be invited to any sessions to meet the team and watch the recording (you pay flights and accommodation, though you will be joining the team for an evening meal after the recordings).

    Book will be shipped by insured FedEx worldwide at no extra cost.

    Buyer agrees to allow C64 fans worldwide to fly in and see/touch the book with reverent awe!*

    Also included: executive producer + choose Sidphonie 64 track (a piece of classical music that has been in an 8-bit game) + TWO signed (regular) "Throne of SIDs" score books + TWO signed (regular) "Escape from Sids Castle" score books + TWO signed (regular) "Sidventure" score books + THREE signed box sets + BD-A companion disk + London launch soirée invitation + map poster in tube + MP3/FLAC + "Throne of SIDs" PDF + "Escape from Sids Castle" PDF + "Sidventure" PDF + free postage (FedEx)

    * OK, we won't force you to let C64 fans into your house...

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    Pledge £64 or more About $82

    Level 4 - Box-set + MP3/FLAC + "Throne of Sids" PDF + map PDF

    Add £30 for BD-A companion disk.

    Please check the reward matrix and Kickstarter text for bonus updates and upgrade options.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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Funding period

- (42 days)