Music For Videogames Goes Live
Music For Videogames Goes Live
Videogames have come a long way from the days of spotty teenagers locking themselves away in their bedroom to play with their joysticks for hours on end. It's big business and games like Call Of Duty and Elder Scrolls are raking the cash in with big budget experiences, fighting in global conflicts from the near future or flying around on the back of a dragon whilst smiting your foes. Of course the family has gotten more involved too with the Nintendo Wii (now Wii U) being a firm favourite in the living room and everyone swinging their arms around like a mad thing while a 4 foot mushroom plays golf on screen. All good fun. Musicians already spend enough time in darkened studios, DJ booths and practice rooms as it is frankly, so there's not much time or inclination left to play many computer games. The music is ace however and in honour of video game orchestra SCORE making their debut on the UK festival circuit this summer I've compiled a list of our all time "gaming big tunes."
"Da-dadada-da-dah-da-dah-dah-dum-didee-doo-dee-dah" What else could we choose to start off with other than the Game Boy classic. Most of the Western world can hum this one but we've got a hard luck Russian fella to thank for bringing it to our attention, although he didn't hardly make a penny from it. The song itself is influenced by a Russian poem, so while all the latest game feature big classical orchestral scores this bad boy goes back into history as well.
Super Mario Bros.
Another classic and equally unignorable thanks to it's jazzy signature tune composed by Koji Kondo. That "down the pipe" music is pretty damn memorable too, in fact there's more catchy hooks in Mario than most Top 40 albums.
One from the UK this time Rob Hubbard is our top pick from the many legendary composers who worked on the Commodore 64 home computer. Mainly because of this classic theme from One Man And His Droid. The influence of the early home computer scene and the legendary C64 SID sound chip is so great that it spawned an entire genre of music (Chiptune) and the SID was enchanced and "rebooted" in a synth from Elektron a few years ago. Just check out the ending, from melancholy electro pop to anthem to blues to banger in the space of a few bars.
I can't pretend this one isn't here partly out of my own love for the game but Halo's soundtrack was pretty incredible and unique, Gregorian Chant anyone? The music always managed to fit the mood and was perfectly pitched for bopping space goblins (or your mates in multiplayer) on the head.
No guns, just puzzles. Portal was a surprising break out success with mind bending challenges that required you to think laterally using a gun that fires teleportation portals. Another convention busting aspect of Portal was this nifty little tune, it plays over the end credits so don't be clicking if you plan on playing Portal soon and you should, it's awesome.
Now For Something Completely Different
Not videogame music but a full console being used to play everyone's favourite TV soundtrack, Game Of Thrones. This takes nerd to a whole new level but absolute kudos to the Scottish lad who modified a classic 8 Bit NES into a keytar with a Guitar Hero accessory and a Raspberry Pi kit (a programming platform with modular hardware). Complete with a little Brett Domino style tongue in cheek humour.