I hope your week has been treating you well. As I've said week after week my favorite thing about Audio File Friday is getting to getting the chance to showcase as wide a variety of musical genres as possible. When I started this feature nearly a year ago I never thought that I'd find even half of the music I have. But through it all one of my favorite things to see is still a full orchestra going to town on the classics.
Groups like Team Hideo and the Video Game Music Choir have taken steps to bring their fresh take on gaming music arrangements to new audiences. What a challenge it is, though, to put together such grand performances. Especially when the necessary sheet music is hard to come by.
This week I'll be taking a look at the multi-talented Mr Trent and his spectacular gaming arrangements. Somebody give this guy his own personal orchestra to conduct, because he could definitely use one.
Mr Trent, also known as Cody Chavez, is unique in that he spends the bulk of his time arranging video game music for other people to perform. To that end he began 8-Bit 8th Notes, a service dedicated to providing sheet music of video game arrangements. As he notes on 8-Bit's official facebook page:
Video game music has never been readily availably for concert winds bands and most school orchestra's...until now. 8-Bit 8th notes is the first place to bring you quality sheet music of video game theme arrangements for your school winds band or orchestra!
It was the start of the summer of '05 when I attended my first Video Games Live concert, and fell in the awe of the production that Tommy Tallerico put on with Jack Wall. The Classic Arcade Medley and Sonic Suite are the songs of inspiration. After contacting Video Game composer Richard Jacques, I was able to set my gaze up the actual scores for those songs used by VGL. I studied them and learned everything I know about arranging basically from those two scores, and 6 years later here I am today, trying to get my name out in the arranging world.
Many a fan's unsuccessful search for their favorite tunes in sheet music form have led them to Mr Trent, who does what he does entirely for his love of the craft. It's one thing to simply cover a song, but to break the song down and build it back up piece by piece is quite the skill. Were I wearing a hat it would be off right now.
So let's dive in to what Mr Trent has to offer, shall we?
First up is my personal favorite, a Big Band interpretation of Sonic 2's Casino Night, performed by the fabulous Nick Coates Orchestra. I do believe this is the first real taste of the genre we've had here on Audio File Friday, and I couldn't be happier with it.
Next we've got a lively NES Medley as performed by the St. Mary's University Concert Band. There isn't a classic tune missing from this one:
A Super Mario Medley that covers everything from the iconic Mario theme we all know and love to the epic Super Mario Galaxy theme. Everyone and their grandma has covered these Mario tunes, but how often do we get the plumber's entire career captured in seven minute medley form? Courtesy of the Westchester Pops Orchestra.
Spoiler alert: Aerith Dies. Aerith's theme from Final Fantasy 7 is one of those songs I like to think is overdone, and it probably is, but I nonetheless whip out the tissues every time I hear it. This one was performed beautifully by the Animatissimo Chamber Orchestra of Peru.
Here's a song that has most definitely not been overdone, but one I wouldn't mind hearing a lot more of: The Ghost N' Goblins Theme. This rag-time remix as performed by Tom Brier is certainly a first for Audio File Friday; when is rag-time ever anything but awesome?
And don't think Mr Trent only arranges for big orchestras; he lets
sexually active band geeks marching bands get in on the gaming fun as well:
Mr Trent has arranged more tracks than he knows what to do with, but if you've got an idea of what to do with them and have an orchestra or band of some kind that is in need of well-made sheet music then he's your guy.
With the help of talented guys like Mr Trent anyone can put on the video game concert of their dreams. All it takes is a little sheet music.