The String Arcade: Classic Gaming Scores, Reimagined for Charity
The String Arcade released on February 11th, and offers gamers a chance to see a new take on some of their favorite games' soundtracks. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, The String Arcade is looking to capture the heartstrings of the gaming public via the strings of a violin. Pulling from almost every era of video gaming, you will hear Galaga, Zelda, Ecco, Sonic, Minecraft, and others, arranged for a string quartet.
The tunes are taken beyond their normal constraints, though. Rather than just "play the music on a string instrument," the composers took the songs and used them as starting points for new pieces. You can really feel the original, and sometimes it will stay true, but other songs are merely a springboard to a whole new musical score.
The songs themselves are beautiful. I took the disc with me to work one day and let it loop, losing myself in the music for the full eight hour day. Toe-tapping beautiful renditions of some of my favorite tunes were energizing. If it weren't already a wonderful purchase, every penny of the sales of this recording will go to the Alameda Music Project (alamedamusicproject.org), an after school program in Venezuela helping kids learn and appreciate strings, chorus, and percussion.
The tracklist is as follows:
Grasswalk (Plants vs. Zombies)
Echos of Ecco (Ecco the Dolphin)
Ferdinand Wanders Out For a Late Night Haircut (Pettington Park)
Engii (FTL - Faster Than Light)
Sonic 2 Scherzo (Sonic the Hedgehog 2)
Outlaws Title Theme (Outlaws)
Medicated Cow Walks the Cobbled Streets with Disgruntled Goat (Ravenshire Castle)
Scurvy Scallywags Theme (Scurvy Scallywags)
Scabb Cemetery/International House of Mojo (The Secret of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge)
Altered Beast Title Theme (Altered Beast)
Optimism For an Improvement in The John Situation
Turret Suite (Portal 2) Valve
Minecraft Title Theme (Minecraft)
Tron Arcade Medley (Tron Arcade)
Tango Down (graBLOX)
Dance of the Space Bugs (Galaga)
The Legend of Zelda (The Legend of Zelda - NES)
The Zelda and Portal songs really resonated with me, Sonic feels as if it should be implemented into the next game. Meanwhile, it is refreshing and fun to see games such as the iOS Scurvy Scallywags get a nod as well, as I got to review that title on release.
Click on into this link for more information on the songs, though I can tell you that any gamer can truly appreciate this disc, and given that the profits help kids learn how to appreciate and perform music, this is a wonderful opportunity to have some beautiful music that shows the appreciation for your favorite hobby and do good at the same time.
The Gamer's Lounge is in the works to get an interview with the people behind the disc, so keep an eye on the Twitter or Facebook feeds if you'd like to hear more behind the inspiration for the tunes.
BandCamp (CD version & streaming): http://thestringarcade.bandcamp.com