Raise your hand if you like video game music.
I just wanted to see if I could get you to raise your hand. Well fellows audiophiles you're in luck, because today marks the first of an ongoing feature known as Audio File Friday.
Showcasing the best in all things video game music, from remixes to mash-ups and everything in between, each Audio File Friday I'll be bringing you something to keep your ears company over the weekend.
But where to start? With a little project known as Pokemon Reorchestrated.
With the US release of Pokemon Black and White less than 48 hours away I thought it'd only be appropriate to start off with a little Pokemusic. We all know the classics; modern day lullabies that play in your head even after you've turned your DS off.
Or your Gameboy if you're a hipster. The Battle Theme. Pokemon Center Theme. Victory Road. The five note jingle that plays while Nurse Joy heals your unconscious Pokemon. That sinister beeping you get when you health is low.
Instantly recognizable, and understandably covered/remixed/etc. a million times. At first I wasn't sure about featuring Pokemon music because I wasn't sure where to find Pokemon music that was unique enough to be worth the while.
But then I remembered the Pokemon Reorchestrated project, which is more than worth the while. See for yourself:
The group, led by nineteen year old Braxton Burks aka Skotein (whose YouTube channel introduced me to this effort) has been reinterpreting various pieces of Pokemon music, normally heard in bit form, as complex, movie score-esque symphonic scores. From their official website:
Pokémon Reorchestrated (PREO) is dedicated to transforming the memorable songs of the main series Pokémon™ games (Red, Crystal, Ruby, Diamond, Black, etc.) into fully-realized orchestral scores for all to enjoy. Its goal is not only to enhance the original Pokémon music to realistic movie score-quality, but also to draw the Pokémon community, young and old, closer together to appreciate this wonderful video game franchise.
Inspired by the similar (and likely to be featured here in the future) Zelda Reorchestrated, the four man group (only one of whom can legally drink; yay for young talent!) have pooled their musical abilities and turned their efforts towards bringing all of our favorite Pokemon themes to new life.
We use the highest quality instrument sample libraries from companies such as East West, Project SAM, audiobro, and Westgate Studios to achieve our realistic orchestral sound, Logic Pro for sound engineering, and for some of us, Finale for arranging scores.
Their work is beyond impressive, consistently epic in scale, and at times superior to even the official Pokemon orchestrations done by Nintendo for the Super Smash Bros. series.
They've primarily focused on the first generation games, having mostly done Kanto Region ditties like SS Anne and Kanto Trainer Battle before going on an indefinite hiatus mid-2010. Then just a few months ago the group popped up again with the announcement that they're back to work with a new release of Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh Region jams planned for late March, and many more to come after that.
And they're not just stopping at music!
The group returned from their hiatus in a big way, with announcements of more than just future releases. Plans for a monthly Fan Art contest are underway, with each month's winner getting -wait for it- their own favorite Pokemon piece to be reorchestrated. How cool is that!?
I'm tempted to enter in the hopes of getting an epic version of the low health beep tbh. What's more they have a new endeavor titled Project Pallet focused on transcribing the group's work for live ensembles and orchestras to use. Could you imagine hearing their work live? Talk about an eargasm.
And of course, with Black and White on the way you can be sure to see plenty of Unova Region tunes soon. Like this one:
SORT OF SPOILER ALERT FOR POKEMON BLACK AND WHITE
/END OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS
The secret to any good video game music project is having fans involved who are passionate about the source material, and Pokemon Reorchestrated
are exactly that. Be sure to check out their official site Pokemonsymphony.com for all the latest updates, more information on the project, FREE downloads of their releases, and if you've got some extra Pokedollars to spare you can even make a Paypal donation.
Also be sure to hit up founder Skotein's youtube channel, where I first stumbled upon their truly epic work. And of course don't forget to tweet, digg, like their facebook page, etc. this group's work as much as possible, your friends and followers will thank you later.
And then you can thank me later.
If anyone from Pokemon Reorchestrated is reading this, keep up the damn good work! Damn good.
So that's it for this week's Audio File Friday. I'll be back next week with something completely different.
Until then I'll be jamming out to SS Anne.