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kuschkusch 2011-02-28 15:38

LBA2 goes orchestra
Hi. I've sent this mail to Philippe Vachey in November 2010:


Dear Mr. Vachey

My name is Onno Jacobs. I am a 14-year-old pupil from Norden, that's in the north-west of Germany. Like many others, I am a big fan of Little Big Adventure 1&2, Time Commando and so on, especially of the music.
I play the clarinet in the city orchestra of Norden, the “Stadtorchester Norden”, for 3½ years now.
Although we normally don't play the soundtrack of games, I had the idea to play four tracks from LBA2 in our orchestra. My choices are (names are from; I don't know the original ones):
  • Honey Bee
  • Emerald Moon
  • Zeelich
  • The Empire
I didn't tell my maestro anything of my ideas yet, because I have to get some information first. That's why I'm writing to you. Are notes of the songs existing and is it possible to get them? Are we allowed to play them and may change them a little bit, or will we get in conflict with the copyrights?
It would be very nice if you could answer my questions.

Yours sincirely

Onno Jacobs


Well, he didn't answer yet. I had many things to do in the "last time", so I did nothing more for this. I've found his e-mail ( on his website ( I searched for him on Facebook, but it was another Philippe Vachey...
Is anybody here who knows how I can contact him?
And is maestro the right word for the guy in front of the orchestra shaking his hands like he's stupid? :rolleyes:

Greetings from Germany!

TommyGun 2011-02-28 15:57

November 2011?

Wow ... you're a few steps ahead! :-D

Bot13 2011-02-28 20:39

I always pictured an actual orchestra playing those songs when I was a kid and didn't know about MIDI and stuff. I'll be so thrilled if you manage to pull this off!

SpaceGuitarist 2011-02-28 23:28

Yes, it would be stupendous to have a real orchestra playing LBA tunes, I've always wanted to do that too.

If he can't give you the original sheet music, you can try taking the midi files (available in MBN's archives I guess) and using softwares like Finale or any other music sheet editor to create sheet files from the midi. It should not be a complicated task, although you will have to adapt many things to make it work properly. ;)

kuschkusch 2011-03-01 07:14

There's a problem: only the installation music is MIDI, the rest is WAVE. I don't think anyone heard all the correct tones and transformed it into MIDI. And no software can transform a song with more than two instruments correctly, I've already tried. We need the notes, I can see no other way.

Polaris 2011-03-01 10:15

I hope he'll say yes |)

kuschkusch 2011-03-01 13:29

So do I, but I still can't contact him. I need someone to tell me how.

leoboe 2011-03-01 14:22

I already thought about playing the LBA-themes with my Orchestra as well.
I'm the conductor (better word for "Dirigent" than Maestro ;) ) of my school's wind orchestra. But mostly it's very difficult to write the LBA-Soundtrack without strings, so I gave up on that project.

Anyway I wish you luck with contacting Phil and tell me when you're playing it on a concert so I can come and hear ;)

kuschkusch 2011-03-01 15:40

Cool I will tell you!
But: The Stadtorchester Norden is a wind orchestra, too :eek:

We'll see...

kuschkusch 2011-03-19 20:53

I just wrote a message via Facebook to Didier Chanfray if he knows how to contact Phil! I'll post it when he answers.


kuschkusch 2011-03-20 20:00


Didier Chanfray gave me a newer address: [email address]
I'm just writing to him - lets see if he answers this time!


Streg 2011-03-20 23:25

let us know... and if you do have his permission, make a video with the orchestra playing :D

kuschkusch 2011-03-21 14:27

He answered:

"Dear Ono,

The title’s names are the right one.
You should take time to explain this to your conductor, he might understand J
However no score’s sheets are available, unfortunately.

You can be allowed to play this live, but you’ll need my written agreement before.
Slight necessary changes to be done probably, because it’s not exactly dimensioned for a live orchestra.
In my opinion, you should give first an audio version to your conductor.

With regards,

Philippe VACHEY"

no score's sheets...

Streg 2011-03-21 18:58

you still have some sort of permission anyway. would it be that hard to arrange something? You know, I'm not the a music expert, but how much time would a maestro need to make sheets by listening to an mp3?

Rincevent_123 2011-03-21 19:07

What with the help of a converter such as this one:

kuschkusch 2011-03-21 22:30

You can't convert a track with more than three instruments. These two files are a bit of Honey Bee original and the converted one (by widi). Although Widi works surprisingly good, this isn't a real help. But anyway ... thanks ;)

@StreGGy: i think a conductor would need about three months per track. There are professional "sheet-makers", but you have to pay them about 5.000€ per track.

I think what I will do next is giving the songs to my conducter and write to Phil what he said. I will also ask him how he made his songs - if not with sheets. If he made it with software (e.g. Fruity Loops) it would be very easy for me to extract it.



PS: Damn, Phil wrote my name wrong...

leoboe 2011-03-21 22:56


Originally Posted by kuschkusch (Post 403605)
i think a conductor would need about three months per track.

That would be a real pain if it needed that long, but how could Frank Bernearts make his 20 crappy arrangements a year that way?.
:P just a little joke for all serious Wind-Musicians

It's really not that hard. I did a few arrangements myself before and it only took about 3 weeks or so. It really depends on the deepness of the music how many voices you need and of course how good/trained you are at hearing notes.

If you want I can try to make one smaller track of the LBA2-Soundtrack in a Wind-Orchestra-Arrangement.

kuschkusch 2011-03-22 16:53

ok, three months was a bit too much...
But it would be perfect if you try to arrange a track!

SpaceGuitarist 2011-03-22 18:06


Originally Posted by kuschkusch (Post 403363)
There's a problem: only the installation music is MIDI, the rest is WAVE. I don't think anyone heard all the correct tones and transformed it into MIDI. And no software can transform a song with more than two instruments correctly, I've already tried. We need the notes, I can see no other way.

Indeed, there is no midi file for most of the tunes. But if you were to play LBA2's Theme song, there is are many midi versions transcribed (I have it with me I can send it to you if you want). Also, most of LBA1 songs were made in xmidi, a format very similar to midi.

But for these specific LBA2 songs, I guess the only solution is to gather all the musicians, and each take out by ear his own part only, and soon you'll have the whole melody. ;)

PS: Mr.Vachey has indeed composed the songs using software(s), but remember, it was back in 1997, I don't think it would be viable to work with nowadays softwares, except if it was done using multi-platform extensions, such as IT, MOD, MIDI, XM, S3M etc.

CS2x 2011-03-23 15:38

This sounds like a great idea.

I'm often amazed at how great the LBA1 and 2 scores sound as they are, though - especially LBA2. Few games in that period had such realistic and sharp sounding soundtrack, apart from the rare occasions where a real orchestra was utilised. Philippe Vachey must have had access to some great samples - though of course his compositions, arrangements and production are what make the soundtracks shine.

I actually had a phone conversation with him a little while back about the music, but I can't remember much of what was said. :-)

ras maxim 2011-04-04 09:42

If you are interested, I transcribed two musical themes (leitmotives?) out of 18 (if I remember correctly) for GM instruments. But these are not the tracks from the CD, but the smaller, ingame-ones.

leoboe 2011-04-04 15:22


Could you maybe send the sheets from those to me? (or if you don't have "sheets" maybe you have a midi-file)
My holiday starts in 3 weeks and I planned to try out if I can arrange a little LBA-Medley.

ras maxim 2011-04-04 15:37

1 Attachment(s)
OK, but they are very short. I could have transcribed the whole soundtrack, but someone with orchestra training (like you) would do it better than me. By the way, there is midi file with LBA theme from LBA 1 somewhere on the site. Try to rearrange it for orchestra. The xylophone part may be not correct, I doubled it in an octave to sound better. You can't play that tremoling with 2 mallets in real life.

kuschkusch 2011-04-04 15:41

Thanks a lot! I tried to arrange a smaller track, too, but from LBA1. I've almost finished it. It's "The Village".


ras maxim 2011-04-04 15:48

Won't you post it here?

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