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The String Arcade Album Review

November 25th, 2014 by

string 001What’s your favourite piece of music from a game? It’s one question I’ll always truffle to answer. The Halo 2 soundtrack always jumps to mind, but then so does the Mass Effect 3 soundtrack, asking me to pick an actual song would be too much.

One thing is for certain though, I enjoy video game music more than anything, I’ll listen to it at work, while I’m running and I’ll take extra time in a game to appreciate certain sections of a game.

MLG were given the chance to review a new album called The String Arcade, a recording of video game music, arranged for a String Quartet. The album was successfully funded through Kickstarter and released earlier this year.

String 002

100% of the sales from this recording go to the Alameda Music Project (AMP – alamedamusicproject.org). AMP is an after school, K-5 music program, based on the El Sistema music program of Venezuela and is a tuition-free program featuring strings, chorus and percussion.

The aim of the album, apart from to raise money for the AMP, is to inspire young musicians with this recording by making a connection between video game music and ‘classical’ instruments such as violin, viola and cello. Inspiration for this recording also came from the soundtrack from Stranger Than Paradise, a soundtrack written for string quartet with an unique mood.

The tracklist is brilliant, spanning a few decades in video game history, from the stand-up arcade classics Galaga and TRON, to 8-bit games (Zelda), to 16 bit (Altered Beast, Sonic and Ecco) to 90′s adventure games (Monkey Island, Outlaws), to more recent titles (Portal 2, FTL), indie titles (Minecraft, Scurvy Scallywags) and mobile/social titles (graBLOX, Pettington Park, Ravenshire Castle.)

I was sure what to expect at first but within a few songs I realised how good this was, my favourites are Sonic 2 and the Portal 2 tracks. It was lovely to listen to while designing some new violets at work and is now a permanent fixture in my work playlist.

String 003

I’m no music buff so I can’t tell you how well the arrangements go together other than each of the tracks sounds great, and best of all its for Charity so well worth a few quid of your hard earned money.

Song List

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)

MLG Rating: 8/10                                 Release Date: Out Now

Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of  The String Arcade by the publisher for review purposes. The album was reviewed over the course of 2 weeks. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.

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