Instrumentation: flute, Bb clarinet, violin, violoncello, game boy
Year of Completion: 2013
Over two decades have passed since Mario and Luigi jumped and swam their way into American popular culture. Tied into that game is a soundtrack filled with absolutely wonderful sounds; every coin, mushroom, and flagpole grab is accompanied by a corresponding bloop from the NES sound chip. While technology permits live soundtracks today, musicians who grew up with the original gaming systems continue to compose with the original console sounds. This genre of music called chiptune is a nostalgic slice of the beginning of the video game revolution in the 1980's.
MINIBOSS is my integration of chip music with music designed for the concert hall rather than the arcade. Live performers are accompanied by the Game Boy, which provides characteristic sounds from the limited palette of its hardware. Structurally this piece is designed like a video game session, opening with ethereal music that is my representation of the "level select" portion of a game. The clarinet plays a melody that was composed using the Konami Code - a famous cheat code using the commands Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A B A. Energetic music follows this opening, gearing up for a epic button-mashing battle. The tempo increases once again for the third section, along with the complexity of the music from both the live performers and Game Boy. The work closes with a brief section that is reminiscent of the opening sounds now accompanied by the live ensemble.
NOTE: Please email me before ordering the Game Boy option on this piece. Order times will depend on the speed at which I can acquire additional cartridges and the original grey Game Boy systems. Home