We’ve sung his praises here before. Now the master of original, iconic 8-bit music (and the less bleepy kind, too) will be live in Chicago. Nintendo has announced that Koji Kondo, the composer of Super Mario Bros. and Zelda and arguably the originator of the Nintendo “sound” that endures today, will be live and in person in Chicago this month. Kondo will attend the debut of a new orchestral series of game music, Play. (I’m not going to get into the bizarre rivalry of orchestral takes on game music currently going on, or the ongoing saga of making these tours happen, but I do hope someone gets a chance to meet Maestro Kondo.)
With a rise in affection for 8-bit music, and the realization of the elegance of the simplicity of some of these early game scores, I think there will be a greater appreciation in the general public for the influence this music has had. Kondo, for his part, says he’s glad to have the broader range of instruments in more recent games, so rendering these themes in a full orchestral arrangement is fitting. But music also has a long tradition of refinement of melody and rhythm, of creating the aural equivalent of visual icons (like the low pixel-count Mario himself), so it’s little wonder musicians are turning back to the limitations of 8-bit. As always, the place to chat about 8-bit, gaming and music, and other unusual topics is on our forum.
(Okay, before I make this a Nintendo fanboy/fangirl lovefest, I just noticed that there will also be a signing for the people behind the Final Fantasy soundtrack, too.)