Friday evening, Schmidty, Steve and myself went to the symphony. Sort of . . .
We managed to snag seats to “Video Games Live” (thank you very much Steve) and enjoyed a night of music and morons.
Now, before I go any further into a rant, let me first say that the musicians and choir were incredible. I honestly thought I was listening to pre-recorded, mixed, edited, and filtered HD audio the entire time. Combined with the videos playing above the stage and the laser light show, it really was a great night.
My mom scoffed at the thought of a concert for video game music, calling it a sad attempt to get kids to go to the symphony and feel cultured. I was sort of surprised to hear this from her, since I learned to appreciate music from her in the first place while growing up.
I doubt I have to explain this to people who might be reading, but I think I might anyway; music in video games is just as good (and in some instances better) than any musical score you’ll hear in movies, TV, and numerous other media. Just because early video games couldn’t reproduce more than a few beeps and boops of an 8-bit synthesizer didn’t mean the music behind it wasn’t incredible.
Case in point: Super Mario Brothers. The original theme is unmistakable to anyone born in the last 75 years with how it’s stuck around. Even if you hate video games and believe them to be the root of all evil, you know who Mario is and you can hum this song. Martin Leung is a young pianist who was able to recreate all the themes to Mario Brothers on his piano, even playing them blindfolded. Listening to this music played on a classical instrument really helps you understand how deep some of this music is. (We saw Martin play at the concert, incidentally. He was incredible, and the camera had a hard time trackng his hands at the speed they were moving). Now, Mario might not be New World Symphony, but it’s certainly up there with some of Joplin’s best works.
Now for the other side of the coin. My mom may have been way off base with the music itself, but she was very accurate with the people that would be there.
Right from the beginning, they made it very clear that this wasn’t a normal performance and we were encouranged to participate and cheer whenever we felt appropriate. Just the same, I couldn’t help but cringe when people would start screaming before the conducter dropped his baton, or when the 34 year old rejects behind us would yell through entire movements that they wanted to hear Castlevania as if we were all sitting in their own personal iPod. (Ironically, when they actually DID play Castlevania for the second encore, the same morons screamed the entire way through it. Concert foul: claiming to be the biggest fan by screaming so loudly and annoyingly that no one can hear the music you supposedly love.)
Overall, it was a great expirience. The live action video games, the music, and just the overall fun you get from going to the symphony made for a great night. And now, I leave you with the official trailer to Halo 3. Just try to listen to it’s score and tell me video game music isn’t the same as real music!