I don’t know if anyone expected a Halo orchestra during this morning’s Xbox 20th Anniversary stream.
Filmed at Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens, on Gadigal land, the Opera House looming in the background, an orchestra settles in. They are the Sydney Youth Orchestra, accompanied by Kamilaroi Man Paul Glass on the digeridoo.
The shoot was conducted at dusk, the sun dipping behind the bridge as the orchestra runs through a suite of songs from the Halo soundtrack. Glass’s didgeridoo adds to the pulsing, combative sound and comes into his own when the troupe launch into the beloved Halo theme.
It’s not that a Halo orchestra is uncommon. The Halo theme is of course no stranger to orchestral arrangements and is a popular pick among gaming concert events. One of its most famous renditions was for Halo 2, in which guitarist Steve Vai turned the theme into a towering rock epic. It is, nevertheless, very exciting to see a version from right here at home, and with a unique Australian vibe.
All of this, of course, is in support of the Halo Infinite launch which begins today and concludes with the campaign on December 8th.
“Sydney Youth Orchestras and Xbox ANZ have been in talks for some time now,” said Mia Patoulios, CEO for Sydney Youth Orchestras in a press release. “It’s hard to believe we’ve already experienced 20 years of Xbox and Halo, and we can’t wait to share this unique performance with Australia and the rest of the world during the 20th Anniversary Event.”
Xbox Business Lead for ANZ Tania Chee echoed the sentiment. “As one of the most anticipated releases of 2021, it’s been great to see an original, authentically Australian take on the series’ iconic music.”
The orchestra’s segment was immediately followed by the announcement that Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer component would drop today, for free, on Xbox Game Pass. Cheers to everyone involved for providing a genuinely lovely segue to that news.