Relic? Think again.
Orchestras are taking on digital-age music. IGN reports video game composers Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall have become orchestral concert producers with “Video Games Live,” an “immersive” audio/visual experience. Part of the immersion involves the L.A. Philharmonic playing Mario and Zelda. Wall says “Videogame music is not bleeps and bloops anymore.” Um, don’t tell that to the chiptune/Game Boy music scene that has embraced that very sound for new music.
Meanwhile, a Roman EM411 reader reports the London Sinfonietta, on tour in Italy, tried a Warp Records-inspired program, mixing in Warp music videos, live DJing and laptop music, orchestral and piano arrangements of Aphex Twin, and more. Not to mention “proto-electronica” classics from Varese, Antheil, Cage, and Reich.
Mario and Zelda on orchestras is a bit gimmicky (I think they sound better in 8-bit, thank you!), but concerts of new music for games and inspired by (or the inspiration for) modern electronica is very cool. I hope the Roman concert in particular is the kind of cross-genre, adventurous programming we’ll see more of. (My original draft apparently read to some as me knocking video game music — quite the contrary. In fact, I’d love to see all kinds of new music for new media mixed up. As always, thanks for the feedback. -PK)