As game composers, we need a little inspiration now and then. This blog will share some fun thoughts and ideas that have the potential to stir our creative juices, or just help us to think about game music in a different way. First, we’ll get a perspective on what the classical symphony performance has in common with the act of playing a video game. Then, we’ll learn about a method of turning a video game into a musical instrument for performance art. And finally, we’ll hear about a sonic toy that lets us trigger game sounds and music as a spontaneous aural performance to accompany roleplay gaming. I hope these ideas will get us thinking about the relationship between game music and live performance. At the very least, some of these ideas may tickle our creative fancy, so let’s get started!
Andrew Norman’s Play (Boston Modern Orchestra Project)
First, let’s consider the viewpoint of acclaimed symphonic composer Andrew Norman (pictured left), who is currently nominated for a Grammy in the category of “Best Contemporary Classical Composition” for his symphonic work entitled Play. The nominated recording was performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, as conducted by Gil Rose. As a composer, Andrew Norman is no stranger to accolades, having previously achieved the finalists list for the Pulitzer Prize in music in 2012 for his string trio The Companion Guide to Rome. What’s most fascinating about his symphony Play, aside from its bold and experimental approach to musical composition, is the philosophy with which it was created. As it turns out, video games played a key role.