Video Games at the Bowl?!?

What do you get when you mix your favorite video games with the classical musicians of the LA Philharmonic? Why, it’s “Video Games Live”, to be performed on Wednesday, July 6, 2005, 8:00pm by the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl!

You may be wondering: So, what does the refined art and culture of the great classics in the history of Western music have to do with popular video games? How could the LA Phil sink that low?! Allow me to share with you a personal fascination of mine: the emotional content of scores from such as these three of my favorite games to be featured that night: “MYST”, “Halo”, and “Warcraft”.

Just as it is ridiculous — with all the tremendous advances in technology — to believe that the nature and look of video games have stayed the same since those not-so-long-ago Atari days, so it would be naive to think that the musical backdrop for those games should still only be the tinkering monophonic melodies of the old computer systems. Now, the look and sound of those old games still holds a wonderful, nostalgic place in my heart, and, indeed, the July performance promises to feature a “special segment dedicated to retro arcade classics”.

However, consider that composers such as Tim Larkin and Jack Wall (two score-composers for the various MYST and URU games), have had formal instrumental and compositional training, have done music for film and documentaries, and have won prestigious recognition for their innovative soundtracks. These scores, across the board, often utilize full symphonic and choral sound, intertwined with ethnic instruments and rhythms, to grant that fabulous, otherworldly sense inherent to these games’ landscapes. Consequently, the music is able to stand on its own, like a bridge between what we think of as the formal Classics and current New Age-style music — veritable neo-romantic “film-scores” for the computer screen, which envelops the player in its host of new worlds!

Click here for more information on this exciting upcoming concert.

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