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Video game music goes to the orchestra

By Connor Sadler, February 26 2015 —

Pop culture and the orchestra don’t usually mix. But Video Games Live brings the two together into a show that highlights the energy and excitement of the greatest music of gaming.

Video Games Live is an orchestral performance of the music from popular video game franchises. Created in 2005 by video game composer Tommy Tallarico, the concert has  toured ever since, playing music from games like The Legend of Zelda, Halo and Super Mario Bros. The performance also features music from lesser-known series such as Kingdom Hearts, Portal and Castlevania.

There’s more to look at on stage than just musicians. As the music plays, footage from the games are shown on screens accompanied by a light show. For some pieces, audience members can grab controllers and play the game on stage.

Tallarico says the show’s interactivity and multi-media presentation highlight the appeal of video games.

“What makes video games different from just watching a movie or watching a TV show? It’s the interactivity, it’s the fun, it’s the storyline and it’s the amazing graphics. We wanted to represent all of that in our show,” Tallarico says.

He says there isn’t one specific genre of video game music, but that game soundtracks depend on what the tone of the game is and “sometimes it’s rock and roll, sometimes it’s electronic.”

Tallarico started Video Games Live as a way to “prove to the world how culturally significant and artistic video games have become.”

The concert is also a way to promote video games as a mainstream art form and helps celebrate the way gaming builds  a sense of community.

“You get thousands of young people in the room who are cheering. They feel this sense of pride like, ‘look at this thing I love, this hobby that I love and this world of video games that I love’ and it’s being presented in a positive and artistic way,” Tallarico says.

Video Games Live comes to the Jubilee Auditorium on Sunday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.


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