I’m sure talking about how awesome video games are to people who are no doubt reading our site because they love video games is a little silly, but how about video game music? One thing that makes me a little sad about mobile games is the tendency for people to play on a bus either without sound at all, or while listening to their mp3 collection. While I’m probably preaching to the choir this time around, I also want to preach about the choir.
Game music has a special place in my heart, whether it be the undistilled bleeps and bloops of my childhood, the midi generation that was to follow, the orchestral opuses of modern games, the amateur covers (and by no means do I use the word amateur in a derogatory sense) on YouTube, or the sonic firestorms of bands who incorporate chip tunes into their music. There’s something about the world of atmospheric music that isn’t communicating a specific lyrical message that I really identify with. I remember, as a kid, pounding away on the family piano as I would attempt to play the Final Fantasy Opening Theme by ear. Next came Megaman II, and Quest for Glory II. But as soon as my parents made me start taking lessons where my instructor made me learn Alan Jackson? No. Just… NO. Fuck. It took me a few years before I got an interest in playing music again after that.
I love that we’ve moved into a period where game music is getting it’s due attention. I’ve certainly bought my share of soundtracks over the years, and when not humming along while playing my favourite games, I’ve also had the opportunity to attend a few concerts. There was Video Games Live back in 2010, Final Fantasy Distant Worlds tour in 2011, and then both Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses and Video Games Live in 2012. That featured image at the top was a picture that I got to take at the ongoing Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour when it was in Vancouver. It was a particularly awesome experience for me as I decided to take life by the horns, and reach out to see if there was any way I could be involved. After contacting the producers of the show, Jeron Moore was kind enough to invite me to come do some photography during rehearsal. It meant taking some time off from my job, but you can bet I jumped on the opportunity. If you’ve followed news regarding the tour you may have even seen some of these photos. Like the bottom one on this story. Or the top and bottom from this review (surprised to learn that there’s Vancouver photos in a Chicago review?).
I can’t describe how amazing it feels to be on stage, amidst a live orchestra.
So rather than I just prattling on all day about how awesome music is I should cut to the real juicy part of what I wanted to bring up. It’s come to my attention that the composer for the Grammy nominated Journey soundtrack, Austin Wintory, has not only taken the time upload the beautiful score to YouTube, but has gone far and above what anyone would have hoped for and provided a full commentary in the form of text annotations. This was an absolutely fantastic game that was released last year for the PlayStation 3, and I highly recommend you play it if you get the chance. It’s actually a rather short game, but it’s a wonderful world to explore.
And for the sake of sharing some of the photos from the Legend of Zelda, feel free to browse the below photos.