Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Angele Dubeau -- Game for New Music

Game Music
Angele Dubeau & La Pieta

Are video games art? The Museum of Modern Art seems to think so -- they're assembling a collection of games to display in the hallowed halls of MoMa. What about video game music? The jury may still be out on that one, but Game Music certainly helps make the case for it.

Canadian violinist Angele Dubeau and the chamber orchestra she founded, La Pieta, present a program of current and classic video game themes arranged for the ensemble. It's an enjoyable collection of light classical music that should appeal to both gamers and those that don't know Ms. Pac Man from Master Chief.

Some of the scores have a cinematic feel. Splinter Cell, for example effectively conjures up the atmosphere of a techno-thriller action movie. Music from Heavy Rain and Chrono Trigger are two other selections that sound like movie soundtracks, befitting the serious nature of these games.

The theme to Assassin's Creed has been transformed into an elegiac miniature, with evocative Middle-Eastern touches. Final Fantasy is the most ambitious work on the album, an eleven-minute orchestral piece that would be at home in any concert program.

Not all video games are serious, though, and neither is their music. La Pieta's version of Angry Birds is just as fun as the original. And who knew that the theme from Tetris would lend itself so well to contrapuntal treatment? 

An enjoyable program from start to finish. Game on!

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