From the archives: Game music

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Variations on a Theme by Uematsu

Tuesday, 2 March 2004 — 3:53pm | Game music, Music, Video games

With the U-Pass referendum Yes side walking away from yesterday’s Myer Horowitz election forum beaten and bloodied, and campaigning officially ceasing tonight, the race for the 2004-2005 SU Executive has effectively come to a close. Extensive coverage can be found in both The Gateway (26 Feb/04 and 2 Mar/04) and Steve Smith’s posts on the Webboard, including several rigorous candidate interviews and two very similar Poster Slams, one being the Smith Report Card and the other being the annual Gateway feature here (Boutet/Kaszor/Berry). Expect my final endorsements soon.

On another press-related note, congratulations to Adam Rozenhart, the section editor I worked with this year on Opinion and last year on A&E, for being selected as the next Editor-In-Chief.

And now for something completely different: a few days ago, something momentous happened at game music fan site OverClocked Remix. Jeremy Soule, composer of the scores to Secret of Evermore, Morrowind and Neverwinter Nights – and best known to me as the one who infused life into Knights of the Old Republic and emulated 1980s John Williams like nobody else – had his own submission admitted after three months in the elephantine queue.

Entitled Squaresoft Variation, it is a symphonic arrangement of Nobuo Uematsu’s signature title melody to Final Fantasy VI (or III here in North America), “Terra’s Theme” – one of the true standards of video game music in the genre’s short history. This is almost the equivalent of Ted Naismith submitting something to a Tolkien fan art community website, so this is no insignificant milestone. Be sure to check out the fallout.

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VGMix is back online

Monday, 3 November 2003 — 1:10am | Game music, Music, Video games

After being relegated to the relatively small non-techno fraction of OverClocked Remix and streaming WTMK: Mario Radio for far too long, video game music aficionados can rejoice: VGMix is once again alive and kicking.

This does not absolve it of the same property that is my primary gripe about OCRemix – that is, too much annoying electronica, not enough in the way of acoustic/orchestral/jazz arrangements – but in both cases, the fault lies within what appeals to the majority of the game music community. The arrangers out there who really show off a sense of musicality are exceptional, but they only number so many.

Generally speaking, VGMix’s reopening is nothing but good news. This means a greater inflow of work to listen to and enjoy. It also means a greater inflow of work to not enjoy, but who cares? Here is one case of quantity trumping proportion.

As for my own game music arrangement work, which to date has been exclusively for solo piano, I expect production to go into full swing (and academic productivity to grind to a complete halt) as soon as I can scrounge up the cash for one of these babies. Expect proof online whenever this finally happens.

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Latest shoveled by the Koopa Poopa Skoopa

Wednesday, 23 July 2003 — 7:51pm | Game music, Music, Pianism, Video games

This, contrary to popular belief, is not me. But in case you’re wondering, it is what I do on my spare time.

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