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November 2005 | Vol. IV - No. 11
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Video Game Music Fills Concert Halls


"This is a new art form and not just something silly." ?Jack Wall, Mystical Stone
Remember Donkey Kong or Super Mario Brothers? Pong or Mega Man? They may be old and dull, but their theme music lives on. Called ?chiptunes" (any ?song? from a video game), video game music has played at concerts and venues.

?It?s always been something I wanted to hear, I just didn?t think I?d be in a band playing it,? Spencer Seim, the drummer from The Advantage, a band that plays old Nintendo cover songs, told TDmonthly Magazine. The band formed in 1998, toured 40 U.S. cities last year and has received more support than expected. It?s coming out with its second album in October.

Mystical Stone Entertainment, LLC, a group organized to produce live video game music, plans to take video game music to another level by joining with the Clear Channel Music Group. They are also trying to put together a tour called Video Games Live. The tour will present video game music from an orchestra, accompanied by laser lights and videos from the games.

Composer and COO of Mystical Stone, Jack Wall, who has composed music for over 30 video games and has produced several recording artists and film scores, talked about how he and his partner, CEO of Mystical Stone, Tommy Tallarico, came up with the idea for Video Games Live.

?Tommy and I got together about three years ago and started thinking of ways we could promote the video game industry in a public way,? Wall told TDmonthly. The team decided that showcasing game music would be one way to encourage mainstream video game acceptance.

The first show, held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Calif., in July, attracted over 11,000 people. The show was part music concert, part theatre production and part interactive video game. The Los Angeles Philharmonic played the songs as video and laser lights added incredible visual effects.

?This is a new art form and not just something silly; people tend to view video games as silly, but the show was engaging and most of the people there weren?t even gamers, so I think those people walked away with a total different view of the video game industry,? Wall said.

Tallarico,
who hosts and appears on two television shows, ?Judgment Day? and ?Electronic Playground? that highlight the video game industry, believes this might help the video game industry to appeal to more people because it shows that video games have more to offer than violence alone.

?We made sure none of the videos we show have anything violent. We are trying to keep it PG. Middle-aged people were coming up to us and saying that this was the most phenomenal thing they?ve ever seen at the Hollywood Bowl in all the years they?ve ever attended, and they had no idea how culturally significant the video game industry is,? said Tallarico.

Though the first attempt to create a nationwide tour failed, Tallarico is convinced that his Hollywood Bowl success will be duplicated.

?We need to go back to what we did right for that concert ? really good solid marketing in one city ? then go to the next city
... until we grow it into a show that changes with the video game industry and our growing audience,? said Wall in his address to fans and supporters. Listen to them at a venue near you.



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