Friday, 27 September 2013

TASE: Video Game Music

So, Talking About Something Else, a couple of weeks ago ABC Classic Radio spent much of their air time broadcasting Computer Game Soundtracks.

You heard me.  The music of video games.  Super Mario Brothers.  Final Fantasy.  Angry Birds.

I love movie music. Got a degree in the disciplines of movies and music.  For the same reasons I love movie music, I love computer game music. Its Romantic sensibilities add an emotional depth, making for a more immersive gaming experience.

One morning I listened to “Suicide Mission’ from Mass Effect.  (The version they played: London Voices; London Phil Orchestra X5 Music X5CD114 (The Greatest Video Game Music).  If you love video game music as much as I do, go buy the album and support the artists.)   

An online version of “Suicide Mission” you can listen to on YouTube: 

Oh, what a beautiful piece!  Jack Wall, I am extremely impressed! If I wasn’t a novelist, I would want to be a video game music composer

What I love about video game music is its ability to maintain a certain level of tension.  One trend I’ve noticed in video game music is the use of suspended dominants, similar to the classical cadenzas in a concerto, to maintain tension and expectation. 

This is a necessary function in video game music, where the plot beats are not necessarily at predictable, timed intervals, as they would be in a movie, or a novel.  How does one maintain emotional tension during a battle scene?  That is the challenge of the video game composer.

I could listen to video game music for hours.  In fact, I’m going to buy the album and do just that.

How does music affect your mood?  What's your favourite genre of music?

No comments: