Video Games Live – Part 2 – Interview with Tommy Tallarico #1

Heute Abend ist es endlich soweit: VGL in Wien.

Wir hatten im Vorfeld die Chance mit Tommy Tallarico ein Interview zu führen. Im ersten Teil des Interviews stellt uns Tommy die Show, das Konzept dahinter und seine Ansicht zur Faszination Video Spiel Musik vor.
Wir haben beschlossen, euch das Original-Interview auf English zu präsentieren, damit der Inhalt nicht durch ungenaue Übersetzungen oder unbeabsichtigte Interpretationen verfälscht wird.

You started Video Games Live back in 2002. Normally, Conductors are used to conduct works from Mozart, Brahms or Beethoven. How was the first reaction of them, when you asked conduct Video Game Music? How was their first response to your request?

Yeah. Actually I have my own conductor so we didn’t have to worry about that, but the orchestra was very surprised. We were the very first one ever to do this in America. (At that time) there were couple of other Shows in Japan and one in Germany, but no one had ever really done that in the production of our size. We have synchronized Video, we played the music from “Sonic the Hedgehog”, “Metal Gear Solid”, “Kingdom Hearts”, “Final Fantasy”, “Halo”, or “World of Warcraft”. No one done this before. Lot of classical musicians, who played Beethoven, Mozart or Brahms, were apprehensive first, but ones they heard the music, they realize, this was legitimate music and it is not a bunch of “blip blup blup blip”.
They realize that this is good music. You listen to music from “Halo”, “Zelda” and you know that there are equally epic as works of great masters. Once the show started, tens of thousands of young people cheering and clapping  and screaming, like it was the Beatles or Elvis, now they (the musicians) really understood (the Influence of Video Game Music) and they were like “woow, I don’t believe this is happening”.

I liked to describe it (Video Games Music) as, not only video games music played by a hole symphony, a great Show, where everything is completely synchronized to massive video screens, rock and roll lighting, stage productions, special effects, and interactive elements with the crowd. It’s combining all the power and emotions of a symphony orchestral with the energy and excitement of a rock concert mixed together with all the cutting edge technology, interactivity and fun! I want concerts to be fun, like video games. We don’t want to be a classical music show. We get the people to clap, to cheer. We tell a lot of jokes and we want the audience to enjoy the show. Video games are fun so the show should be fun as well.

I also make it (VGL) for everybody too, you know. It’s not just for hardcore gamers. What we do is different. You don’t have to know anything about video games to come to the show and to follow the acts. Some of the best emails, which we receive after the shows, are from non-gamers, or haven’t played a game for a long time. Parents who brought their kids, or maybe a girlfriend who brought her boyfriend the tickets as a present, they are the ones who got blown away. We know how epic the music is, but for somebody who doesn’t know this, is really surprised and be like “Woow, now I really get it! I understand why my kids are so into video games. Thank you so much to understanding that”

That’s a fun part of it. The Reason I created Video Games Live is I want to prove to the world how culture significant and artistic video games has become. On the other Hand I want to help us, a whole new generation of young people, to appreciate the symphony and the arts.

For me being a video game composer for 25 years, I worked on 300 video games, which is in the Guinness book of world records, every time I do interviews, I have been asked my for my favorite compose, and I always say, it’s Beethoven. He is my favorite composer of all time. I have never been to Vienna.  For me this concert in Vienna will be special. I really going to be fight back tears the whole show. Vienna is going to be such a special show for me. I feel such an honor to be playing in the city that has more historical relevance to symphonic music than any other city in entry world. Beethoven, Mozart, all played here.

I purposely never visited Vienna, because I always want to come here to perform, like my heroes did. It’s going to be such a special show and honor. I can’t explain how thrill I am. I getting goosebumps know just thinking about it now.

How do you see video game music in a distant future? Do you believe, that one day in school they will teach and having lecture about music game composer or mention your name in the same sentence with Beethoven or Mozart? Will Video Game Music become part of our culture property?

Absolutely! Let’s face it Koij Kondo’s music for Mario are going to live on forever. Their already grained. The games is 30 years old and we still humming it. A whole generation of people, even the ones how didn’t grew up with this game, knew it. Think about that. It’s 30 Years old. It originally came out 1985. There is a generation of teenager now, who know the Mario theme. They didn’t grew up on it, but they know it. That’s a really amazing sign. The Mario theme will be around, even after our dead.

It’s already happening now. What most people are not realizing, that many youngster have video game music on their iPod, iPhone and smartphones. Video game soundtracks outsells Movie Soundtracks by 3 to 1.

There is this website ocremix.org. It’s a community site where ten of thousand artist from around the world remix video game music and uploaded to the site for free. There are all different style: Jazz, Blues, Electronic, Rock and Roll, Heavy Metal. There are thousands of interpretations in all styles of music for free.

You think about the music from Star Wars or The Raiders of the Lost Arc, all these incredible movie scores over the years. But you know what, there are no website where ten of thousands of musicians remaking movie music.

Video game music is different than any other music ever written. People have more emotional attachment to it and I tell you why: When you play a video game, you become that character. It is not like a film, where you watch the story of another person. In Raiders of the Lost Arc it is Indiana Jones’s Theme, it not yours. In a Video Game you become these Character, the music becomes the soundtrack of your adventure and you get emotional connected to this music.

This kind of music have never been reported in History. Either you listen to music passively, you listen to music form others, or actively play as a musician. In Video Game, when you battling to save your village, and the music is playing, that becomes your battle theme. The Gamer get really emotional attached.

During our shows, which we do for 13 years now, people are crying, because its takes them back instantly to that time and brings them back to an emotional state automatically, like no other music has bevor.

That’s why I always says, if Beethoven would be alive today, I think he will be a video game composer. He would not be a movie composer. He doesn’t want people talking over his music. A lot of movie music done over dialog, where in video games it is the driving theme for the whole interaction for you and the character and the world around you. It is very different and It is really incredible to think about the effects of video game music.

Wir werden heute abend dann selber uns ein Bild machen können, wie die Show sein wird und wie sie ankommen wird.
Im 2. Teil befragen wir Tommy Tallarico über Video Game Komponistinnen.

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