The Video Game Orchestra (or VGO, for short) has been putting on stellar shows in either rock band or full symphonic orchestra formats for many years now. They’ve played many venues within Boston and have also traveled across the US to bring their unique musical stylings to other conventions, concerts, and events.
The group, led by Shota Nakama, has expanded its scope in the last year. Alongside the task of mixing down their first album (Live at Symphony Hall … review coming soon!), the VGO has also participated in the performance, recording, and mixing of some great game soundtracks. Most recently, and perhaps most notably, was their work on Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. They’ve also worked on God Eater 2, Ace Combat 3D: Cross Rumble, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. They’ve also done strings work for IMERUAT’s second album, Propelled Life.
To let the world know that Boston’s premier orchestra now has studio capabilities, they’ve launched SoundtRec. What is SoundtRec? To quote directly from the site:
SoundtRec Boston Offer:
- ANY INSTRUMENTATION & ANY GENRE
We will coordinate from vocalists, string quartet to full orchestra, choir, rhythm section to big band in various styles of music – Any instrumentation and any genre that meets your projects’ demand.
- REMOTE RECORDING
No time to fly over to Boston? It is not a problem because we offer remote recording! You can be at any place with internet, even at your comfortable home studio to monitor the sessions and give us feedback.
- COMPLETE BUYOUT & AFFORDABLE RATE
We offer an affordable rate and complete buyout. Please contact us for the details!
- PROVIDING EXTRA SUPPORT
Not only musicians, but we do also have world-class arrangers, orchestrators, copyists, lyricist and engineers available for you to support your musical creativity!
This is certainly great news for both independent game studios that want high quality audio, as well as traditional studios that are looking for a new venue to record their work.
The site offers examples of SoundtRec’s recordings, including their work on LR:FFXIII and the Live at Symphony Hall album that was published just last week. Be sure to check it out!
Back in 2005, X-Strike Studios produced a live action indie film that was out-and-out a love letter to survival horror video games. Called “Silent Horror”, the soundtrack was one of the first works of Dale “Corgi King” North, and ended up being one of his most popular and requested for it’s eerie yet memorable melody that was equally as much of a love letter to oldschool survival horror games.
Now, after nearly a decade and through the use of Scarlet Moon Productions, the original soundtrack to “Silent Horror” is available for purchase.
The soundtrack and a remix by long-time friend and producer Mustin (The One Ups) are now available on iTunes and Amazon MP3, as well as on Loudr and Bandcamp for just $7 USD. Whether you’re looking for some spooky background music or appreciate the survival horror atmosphere in general, this is the album you probably should grab for a good dose of creepy awesome music.
Our “Other Release” category — a catch-all miscellaneous category for stuff that isn’t technically game music, but close enough that you all probably know about it — had some great nominees. There were plenty more than six albums to choose from. But we narrowed it to six, and now we’re going to give the bronze / silver / gold medals. Well, digital medals. Still pretty sweet, though (thanks Connary!).
So, in case you’ve forgotten our nominees for Best Other Release:
Black Ocean (IMERUAT)
Indie Game: the Movie (Jim Guthrie)
Make Music, Throw Music (SleepyTimeJesse, et al)
SOUNDSHOCK 2: FM FUNK TERRROR!! (Various Artists)
And the winners are… (more…)
Welcome, dear readers, to OSVOSTOTY 2012! This year is our craziest year yet. Every day this week, we will reveal the nominees for seven separate categories. The categories are:
Best Other Release
Best Re-Issue Soundtrack
Best Arrange Album
Best Sound Design
Best In-Game Soundtrack
Best Soundtrack (Overall)
Composer of the Year
After the first week is over, we will announce the winners for each category each day of the following week.
We’re starting with “Best Other Release.” This miscellaneous category covers any original music not written for a game. In this way, we’ve collapsed previous categories such as chiptunes or film soundtracks into this category alongside the usuals: original concept albums. Our nominees for “Other” after the jump!
After Brenna posted her timely review of the Scythian Steppes remix album for Sword & Sworcery, I did a quick investigation into the OSV archives to see what else we’d reviewed related to the game and to Jim Guthrie.
Turns out, this was it.
For the rest of the week, we’ll be rectifying that problem. It’s Jim Guthrie week, ladies and gentlemen! And we’re starting with a new release: the soundtrack for “Indie Game: The Movie,” a documentary which chronicles the development of a few high-profile indie games, including FEZ, Braid, and Super Meat Boy.
Did Guthrie do justice to these film-makers and their timely subject of indie games? All that, and more, after the jump. (more…)
Editor’s Note: we at OSV would like to welcome Brad Dyck to our team of writers! Brad is himself a composer (website here) and has expressed interest in interviewing other composers, and presenting those interviews to the public, all with the goal of mutual edification. In his first interview, Brad interviews fellow Canadian Darren Fung. Darren has the mouth of a sailor and plenty of insight. Enjoy! – Pat
Having already achieved considerable success in the Canadian composing scene, Darren Fung has set his sights on Hollywood. While one gets the feeling that he has only begun to tap his potential, he has accomplished everything that most Canadian composers could hope for. As we discuss in our conversation below, he was responsible for the latest version of the Hockey Night in Canada theme song (now known as “The Hockey Theme”), as well as the memorable Bell 2010 Winter Olympics commercial. He has also recorded with such orchestras as the Symphony Nova Scotia and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra before moving to L.A. where he continues to write for numerous film and TV projects. Even though he has been quite busy himself, he has still been able to help young, developing composers reach their own goals.
Darren was kind enough to take time out of his schedule to talk with me from his L.A. home. Check it out after the jump!
Today, we talk to Jacob Diaz, the video game remixer who goes by the name Jakesnke17 and DjjD. He has been active on the Overclocked Remix scene for a little while now, creating catchy dance remixes of your favorite video game themes, and participated on some of the many projects the community continues to spew out.
These days, Diaz has been busy working on his very first film soundtrack, shifting his focus from arranging to movie compositions with his score for the upcoming movie, 10. Diaz discusses the differences from arranging to composing, the amount of work that goes into an original score, and his video game music influences put to use in 10.
Click the jump to read our talk with Diaz! (more…)
TEKKEN has had a troublesome affair with the cinema since its rise in becoming one of the leading games in the fighter genre. In 1998 it took inspiration in Street Fighter II The Animated Movie and ventured into the land of animations like so many others like Toshinden and Garou Densetsu before it, but the results was highly uneven with little to reflect the actual source of content, and it suffered from severe mediocrity. Things did not improve in 2010, it rather went further down the slippery road to z movie valley with the live action adaptation by Dwight Little, a near insult to long time fans of the game, though a gift to the fans of Gary Daniels who was quality in his role as Bryan.
Now, NAMCO Bandai has decided to shake up things and truly explore the story and motion picture potential of the franchise with the all new CGI movie, TEKKEN: Blood Vengeance. With a story handled internally and production overseen by the game creators, NAMCO was also wise enough to employ a cast of game composers from Basiscape and other contributors to ensure that 3rd time’s the charm, and fans will finally witness and enjoy the very first quality TEKKEN movie.
So how does the soundtrack fare next to the long running game series? Find out! (more…)
When I recently traveled to the fine city of Los Angeles, I had the luck and fortune of doing what for many remains a dream or a wish, I got to meet my musical idol. In the late 80s, with my big brother at my side, I was introduced to the world of martial arts cinema through the movie Bloodsport. In its own right the movie remains a cult classic and is a fine piece of motion picture history, but what became the most memorable part of Bloodsport to me were the songs featured at key scenes.
Those songs were sung by Stan Bush, a man most famous for his works on Transformers: The Movie, singing such classics as “The Touch” which is widely recognized as the unofficial Transformers anthem. But to say that was his only claim to fame would be wrong, dead wrong. Over his nearly 30 year career as a musician, Stan has won an Emmy, been featured in movies, TV shows, and toured extensively. Recently, he also entered the world of video games by supplying music to Transformers: War of Cybertron from Activision. I sat down with The Man to discuss his long and wonderful career, and got an insight into his views on music, friend Vince DiCola, his partnership with Chikara Pro and his future plans.
Join us as we sip our coffees and stroll down memory lane in our interview with the legendary Stan Bush! (more…)
Whenever something is announced for the 1st of April, you can mostly discard it as a bad joke and worthless information as juvenile minds tend to use this day to fake their untimely passing or announce Shenmue 3. The VGO however, always deliver the goods and on April 1st they will be hosting the very first video game related concert to take place in Boston’s Symphony Hall. This event will showcase and highlight the music that has paralleled the mainstream success of both video games and film. In addition to the orchestra, the concert will also feature a choir and a full assembled rock band. Nakama himself is very excited about the potential of the concert as he has been working hard on setting it together with both production responsibilities as well as handling most of the arrangements:
“This will be the first time that a concert held at the prestigious Symphony Hall will showcase video game music. It will also be the first time that industry leaders will be invited to a reception and a concert for the sole purpose of recognizing and enjoying the full artistry of video game music. -Shota Nakama”
In attendance will be Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger), Alan Silvestri (Back To The Future) and Wataru Hokoyama (Resident Evil 5). Tickets are now available at The VGO’s website, so make sure you grab yourself a few tickets and take part in the historic event.
Comic book creator Tom Pinchuk has written a nice column highlighting the importance of music in superhero films over at Screened. Earlier this year, I attended a panel at New York Comic Con featuring editors from Film Score Monthly and other outlets that also seemed to lament that lack of superhero themes.
Have we lost the superhero theme? Does Iron Man have a theme? How about the Hulk? Will Captain America or Thor? Green Lantern?
All of the music community was saddened last night to hear legendary film composer, John Barry, had passed away. A composer of over one hundred film scores, John Barry was perhaps most famous for all of his work on the James Bond series of films composing many of the earlier Bond films and arranging the Monty Norman theme to the way we recognize it best today. The four-time Oscar winner was also famous for his glorious Dances With Wolves score as well as The Lion In Winter. There is no doubt that Barry’s contribution to the film music lexicon is indisputable and will be hailed as one of the all-time greats in the world of film music and conducting.
The LA Times has a nice piece with musical examples. I encourage all of you to check it out!