It doesn’t take an astute person to note that Zelda has one of the most iconic soundtracks in gaming ever. The melodies that signal intrigue or payoff have seeped into the general gaming culture, and the Fairy Fountain theme even made a cameo in Scott Pilgrim vs the World. In a marketplace that can sustain multiple touring companies playing videogame soundtracks, an all-Zelda show is a no-brainer.
A few weeks ago, I posted a review for the 2nd Volume of the Assassin’s Creed: Unity soundtrack, which was composed and performed by Sarah Schachner, musical genius and all-around cool person. Sarah also did some work on Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. I was lucky enough to be able to have a chat with Sarah about the challenges behind composing music for videogames, her inspirations, Assassin’s Creed, and a few other choice tidbits. Read on!
For me, movie soundtracks are as important as dialogue. The same applies to videogame soundtracks as well. It is not uncommon for me to hear a fragment of a game’s score and know roughly which part of the corresponding videogame it deals with. If the game is okay and the soundtrack is good, then I will have positive memories of that game. If the game is good and the soundtrack is good, then I will probably return to that game long after I have completed it. I guess that is one of the reasons that I always go back to the Assassin’s Creed series: the music is so good. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Volume 2 of the Assassin’s Creed: Unity soundtrack, and I have been enjoying it a lot. Sarah Schachner, the composer for the music on this volume, did a tremendous job and is a fantastic example of how music can really increase immersion when it comes to videogames.
Usually when a brand or PR company throws a little holiday party for media, partners, friends, etc. it’s not worth reporting because that’s not really the point. It’s common for companies to host this sort of thing, not to walk us through new products or announce next year’s releases, but as a simple thank-you to everyone that they work with throughout the year.
Photo Credit: Jane Dempster (Sydney Opera House)
As videogames have evolved over the past few decades, soundtracks have morphed from a handful of looping chiptune medleys into recorded orchestrated music that matches the best of what film has to offer in terms of quality, and surpasses it in its dynamism as it adapts to the player’s individual actions within the game world. Considering how much of a game’s texture and emotion is delivered or amplified by its musical accompaniment, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of touring productions built around showcasing these compositions.
Recently, rePLAY: Symphony of Heroes played in Toronto’s Sony Centre (September 6th). After opening with a few stirring bars from The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, the conductor introduced the show, explaining that the setlist was curated to reflect the various stages of the hero’s journey; the start of the adventure, the trials and tribulations, and eventually triumph and freedom. Each song was preceded by narration from Nigel Carrington, most notable to gamers as the narrator in Dear Esther, and while the writing was somewhat overwrought, it’s easy to put nitpicks aside and be swept along by the emotions being cued by the orchestra.
One month ago tonight, a beacon of hope and awesomeness shone towards the heavens from the Horseshoe Tavern on Queen Street in downtown Toronto. This celebration of music and fun was organized by a few stalwart individuals, but it meant a lot to us Thumbers to have former Editor-in-Cheese Shaun Hatton at the helm a lot of the time. Everything about the evening was awesome. It was a lot to process (both mentally and photographically); but here at Toronto Thumbs, we believe that some events transcend the usual 2 week post deadline.
So let’s go back in time, and remember the goodness that was Nerd Noise Night 2013 through some words and photos.
For me (and most people, really), music is a very important part of any videogame. Some people could really care less about game music (which makes me cry inside), but I have always appreciated the role of music in the gaming sphere. Music is a mood setter; it’s a pace maker; and in some games (like Sound Shapes), it forms the backbone of the game, making it an integral part of the game-play. In Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians, a gem of a PC title from Hamburg, Germany’s THREAKS, music takes a pivotal role; and surrendering to the beat can lead to a victory dance, even if your playlist is limited.