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Tag: Video Game Orchestra

Video Game Orchestra

5 Questions with Captain America composer Alan Silvestri

Earlier this year, I got a chance to interview Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated composer Alan Silvestri at one of the rehearsals for his concert with the Video Game Orchestra at Symphony Hall, where he conducted his suites for Forest Gump and Back to the Future.

The sold-out performance also included appearances by other accomplished film and television composers, many of whom are from the Berklee fold, including Gold Knight winner and almnus, Lucas Vidal, and Emmy-winner, and Chair of Berklee’s Film Scoring department, Daniel Carlin.

Berklee alumnus and Golden Knight winner Lucas Vidal rehearsing with the Video Game Orchestra

Film Scoring Chair Daniel Carlin conducting the Video Game Orchestra

Founded by Berklee alumnus Shota Nakama in 2008, the Video Game Orchestra is the first and only New England based orchestra that focuses on showcasing interactive media compositions and is comprised of graduates from Boston-area conservatories, including Berklee College of Music. The breadth of music represented at the concert was not simply confined to artists with Berklee ties, however, as the second half of the concert highlighted the best in video game music, including Wataru Hokoyama’s suite from Afrika (who flew into Boston to conduct his suite live at the concert),  Yasunori Mitsuda’s suite from Chrono Cross, and Nobuo Uematsu’s infamous suite for Final Fantasy VII. Given the huge turn-out and incredibly enthusiastic response from the audience, I sincerely hope producing a concert that celebrates the work of film and video game composers becomes an annual event [to see more photographs from the rehearsal, scroll to the bottom of this post].

The Video Game Orchestra's musical director, Yohei Sato, rehearsing with the orchestra in anticipation of their Symphony Hall debut.

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Video games at Berklee this week

From the 2010 Video Game Sound and Music Workshop (photo by Phil Farnsworth)

Recording session from the 2010 Video Game Sound and Music Workshop at Berklee (photo by Phil Farnsworth)

Why spend your summer playing video games when you can learn to write music for them? Video game music has really taken off around here in the last few years—you can even minor in the subject now. This week, for the first time, Berklee is offering not one but two summer programs for aspiring video game composers. We caught up with faculty member Michael Sweet before students arrived.

– What video game summer programs is Berklee offering?

MS: This year we have two different programs for video games. The Video Game Sound and Music Workshop is a three-day program for beginning to intermediate level, and the Video Game Composer Institute is an intensive five-day program for experienced writers.

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