Innocuous Hylian wedding music

Sunday, 3 July 2005 — 10:48pm | Adventures, Game music, Music, Pianism, Video games

It’s usually dangerous to claim an immeasurable first unless the activity in question involved the creation of something wacky and original derived from your own warped consciousness, often something that nobody would dare touch. The world is sufficiently large so as to render true originality almost unachievable – or if achieved, unverifiable. The flipside of this is that one could also stumble upon an unanticipated conjectural finish line, be the first to do so, and not know it. Either way, I will make no claim to having done anything special of late. Speciality kneels to probability.

That said, I would find it unlikely that very many others have underscored a formal Catholic wedding with music from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for Super Nintendo.

The signing of the registry is unpredictable when it comes to timing, you see. So not only do you need something sweet, romantic and unintrusive – it needs to be extensible, yet easy to conclude on cue. For the latter requirements, turning to classic video games should be the obvious solution, though not one that a lot of mercenary musicians will spot. And to be fair, there aren’t a lot of old Nintendo anthems that make good tearjerkers.

An ounce apiece of “Kakariko Town” and “Zelda’s Lullaby” turned out to be the perfect melodic cocktail for the occasion. The music was very well received, and the source went by unnoticed and strolled off on its innocent little way. It keeps things in perspective that the standards of the game music in-the-know that everyone recognizes and everyone plays – the Kakariko theme, for one, or “Terra”, or “Corridors of Time” – are pretty enough in their own right that they don’t connote frantic button-pushing to the casual observer, unlike, say, anything from Super Mario Bros.

The whole kerfuffle validates one and only one hypothesis: a Koji Kondo melody is a beautiful thing. In a way, I think he will go down as the great lost composer of the late twentieth century, someone who took finite sequences of beeps and whistles in infinite repetition and found art, and receded into the shadows of his accomplishments. Nobuo Uematsu’s already getting his due with the legitimation of game music; the American synchronized swimming team performed to music from Final Fantasy VIII. Zelda aside, though, Kondo and his associates haven’t done a whole lot that translates directly to the realm of the symphonic. For someone who’s written themes that everybody knows, he remains comparably obscure.

Oh, and the honorarium was generous.

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