Back in Beethoven’s time, being a composer meant writing works that would be performed in concert halls (such as symphonies), cathedrals (oratorios) or stately homes (chamber music). While those formats continue to thrive, composers now work across a wide variety of media, including scoring for the small and silver screen and, more recently, for video games.
Console capabilities have developed apace, from the six voices once available on a Sega Megadrive to the dense orchestral scores now heard through streaming facilities. The soundtrack to games such as Medal of Honor and Final Fantasy are a far cry from the earworms created by Koji Kondo for Super Mario Bros (still heard in my household on a retro Nintendo ES).
Games are, by their nature, interactive, a composer must account for the player’s decision-making processes.
Video game music is quickly becoming a respected art form in its own right. This is entirely justified, given the complexity of the task. Because games are, by their nature, interactive, a composer must account for the player’s decision-making processes. Music is generally cyclical and must be able to loop in a variety of ways in order to cater for the player’s unpredictability.
This unique structure poses new challenges to composers, who often must write in real-time alongside developers, unlike film and television, which is generally scored once a final piece exists.
In the last few years, soundtracks have moved from console to concert hall, with orchestras and choirs performing arrangements, often with interactive segments. London Video Game Orchestra is a new ensemble that has formed specifically to showcase this repertoire and make the most of the new performance style, offering game play-throughs with live accompaniment. On June 15, the orchestra will perform music from Fallout, Legend of Zelda, Mass Effect and Skyrim, among others (Theatre Peckham, Camberwell).
Less than two weeks to go until our first concert at @TheatrePeckham, and rehearsals are sounding so good! Can't wait to hear it all together with @LyraSingers, who will be bringing their magical voices
Get your tickets here: https://t.co/pssniUNZN0 Hope to see you there! ????
— London Video Game Orchestra (@lvgorchestra) June 2, 2019