As I sit here writing this I am listening to Metal Gear Solid’s soundtrack from back in the PSOne days. I’m sitting here reminded of so many great memories of some of my favourite music, from 8bit tunes to grand scores from games over the years. There has just been so much awesome stuff from such musically creative minds that it would be an impossible task to wade through the what must be a seemingly endless list of videogame music with the end-game being to name a track “best game music evaaaar”.
Besides, that would eliminate the point of music wouldn’t it? Like the traditional art form of brush to paper, music is different things to different people, what I may love you may find annoying, what sends that shiver up your spine may leave me yawning, and so on.
What does strike me as amazing is the community that has risen out of the love for video game music, both original and user mixed/created tracks of all sub-genres and backgrounds, it doesn’t matter where your from…if they like it, they will download.
OCRemix is a prime example of the sort of community I’m talking about, there are so many people there sharing their love for a game’s score that they love so much, that they’re willing to put the time and effort into creating new themes in order to further enrich their and also other like-minded people’s experience. There are so many tracks that I have on my iPod thanks to that dedicated worldwide team of hobbyists and professional music makers, admittedly, there is an awful lot on there that is not to my taste, but that’s the beauty of music, someone, somewhere frickin’ loves it!
You should also check out “Video Games Live” a touring orchestral show that performs music from our medium of choice, I was lucky enough to get tickets to their show once back in 2009 and have been buying the albums ever since to help support their efforts. If you see that they’re performing somewhere near you in the near future, do it, you won’t be disappointed.
Australia also just recently saw its premiere of an exclusively Pokémon themed orchestral show “Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions”. It seemed super rad but unfortunately I missed it, check out Angelo’s review for more information about the festivities, hopefully it’ll be back next year!
Earlier this year I had a conversation with Game Informer’s Tim Turi where we discussed videogame music and its effect on us, our favourite tracks and moments using particular pieces like the dramatic finale to Metal Gear Solid 4 or THAT moment you first begin your ascent of the giant monster you encounter at the beginning of Shadow of the Colossus. We had a great time talking about something we loved and I hope you have a great time listening and reminiscing too, I even edited in the music we talk about for your listening pleasure.
Getting back to my original train of thought, there is an individual’s work however that just strikes a chord for me, you won’t find him on OCRemix, he’s on iTunes! After stumbling across his videos on YouTube 5 years ago I’ve been hooked to his stuff ever since, his name is Daniel Tidwell, and he gives my beloved themes a metal makeover that just make me smile, every time.
From Ken’s Street Fighter theme to ‘that’ battle music in Final Fantasy VII, I honestly haven’t heard a track of his that I have skipped past and I heartily recommend his “Versus Video Games” album series. In the interests of full disclosure I purchased his first two albums with my own money and also backed his third on Kickstarter, again of my own volition and from my own wallet with no regrets whatsoever.
Check out his channel on Youtube and enjoy.
If you like his stuff, you might want to help fund a fourth album, shortly after turning in a rock solid performance on “Versus Video Games 3” and “Versus Hollywood” Daniel has taken to Kickstarter again to make a new album. I’m very excited to see this get over the line so that I can treat myself and further enjoy my favourite entertainment medium, in whatever way possible.
What are your favourite game tracks? Who are your favourite artists/composers? Know any other places or artists with some great stuff? Let us know in the twitter ‘verse @MikeNotridge / @PlayerAttack or in the comments.
I leave you with a video of one of Daniel Tidwell’s latest, Guile’s Street Fighter II Theme!
Oh and um, yeah, he also made “Let It Go” from Frozen listenable to me, so thanks for that, Daniel!