Ever since the advent of the home video game console, game music has become increasingly popular in the public eye. And now, finally, video game music is reaching the point of mainstream attention. In this rant, I'm going to point out some of the more ingenious musicians out there, as well as a few major works of art.
Some orchestras have taken the time to arrange their own versions of video game music. In some cases, orchestras will reach out to the original composer of the piece, who will make a guest appearance. Sometimes, they even play the piece with the musicians, like Nobuo Uematsu and The Black Mages.
Contrary to what Video Games Live might make you believe, some orchestras go for the original style of the song. In many cases, this is for the best. The Sinfonia Drammatica concert in Stockholm, Sweden, called upon compser Yoko Shimomura before arranging her title track to the game Legend of Mana, a game I reviewed on Treasure Bin a while back. I had chills going down my spine when I first heard this piece.
While some groups go for authenticity, others run the opposite direction. There are whole youtube channels devoted to the silly and the epic. Sometimes the music has a nifty gimmick, other times, it's just plain awesome. Here's a few examples.
Violinist and Dancer Lindsey Stirling teamed up with singer Peter Hollens to do a rendition of the Skyrim theme, using one violin and one vocalist. The final version of the song had 120 tracks, each recorded individually and spliced together. Lindsey and Peter dressed the part for the video, and it looks just plain sweet. Lindsey has also arranged medleys to The Legend of Zelda, Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO, and has even made dubstep versions of her recordings. It's pretty crazy stuff.
This parody from Machinima's youtube channel is done in the style of Walk Off The Earth, or WOTE for short. The same guy recorded himself five times for this video and spliced them all together. It's an impressive piece of work.
So, there's a lot of really awesome people doing some really awesome things with music and video games. If the future holds more stuff like this, I can't wait to see what's in store!