Just over a year ago, Video Games Live! debuted to critical acclaim in the Hollywood Bowl in California. A year later, VGL! is coming back the Hollywood Bowl after touring the country and leaving thousands of pleased patrons in its wake.
This coming Thursday, September 21st, you'll be able to catch Video Games Live! once again playing all of your favorite video game tunes. This includes a Classic Arcade Medley, Mario™ , Zelda® , Warcraft® , Final Fantasy® and of course Halo .
As a special treat for those in attendance, the score that you heard in the Halo 3 Trailer and which Marty discussed in the Behind the Scenes feature will be performed live for the first time ever. There's no telling when or if this may ever happen again, so you'd better check it out while you can. And it may even contain a surprise or two.
One of the coolest features of the Video Games Live! tour is the Pre-Show Festival. If you show up early enough you can take part in the costume contest, classic arcade game competitions, play pre-release game demos ( Guitar Hero 2 will be there) and of course the Meet and Greet with composers.
Speaking of composers, Marty O'Donnell and Mike Salvatori will once again be on hand to sign autographs and various appendages at the Meet and Greet. Along with those two will be Dee Baker , who you know as the voice of Gravemind in Halo 2, and Jen Taylor , the voice of Cortana from Halo 1 and 2. Hmm...
To get the full scoop on the upcoming Video Games Live! performance, we spoke with the co-founder of VGL!, Tommy Tallarico about the tour, how Halo figures into it and about fisticuffs.
Who would win in a fight, you or Marty?
Definitely Marty... he's a lot more experienced than I am... of course another word for experience is OLD!!
The Hollywood Bowl is where Video Games Live! debuted back in July of 2005. Is that why you’re pulling out all the stops to put on a huge performance this year?
Absolutely! It's important that every year we return to the Bowl and each new year we do our concert that we constantly update and change the show so that all of the people who went last year have a reason to come this year. That being said, our Bowl show is always the biggest and best show due to the nature of the venue and the sheer amount of people who come.
Did you originally discover the Halo music by playing the game or by hearing the buzz about it and getting the soundtrack?
I've been good friends with Marty for over 12 years or so. I first heard the music in a trailer before the game came out and I immediately contacted Marty and said... "I LOVE what your doing with the choir! He responded... It's actually just me a few jingle singers from Chicago!" Which I thought was even cooler!
What did you think of the Halo 3 Announcement trailer? How did the music strike you?
It blew me away!! Which is why we had to get it in our show. It's got that Halo vibe but with even more power! It's the perfect piece to end our show (after we perform Halo 1 & 2).
Of all of the games that you’ve worked on, and the list is quite long, what has been your favorite to write music for? Which was your favorite in terms of the gameplay?
I would have to say Earthworm Jim for both answers. Advent Rising was a fun project also to work on musically because of the live orchestra and choir which complemented the Italian Opera style I chose for the music. From a sound design standpoint the 1st Tony Hawk game and Metroid Prime were very fun because of the talent and vision of the teams involved.
Earthworm Jim will always be my very favorite though. In fact I'm coming out with an Earthworm Jim Anthology Album this week! We're launching the soundtrack at the Hollywood Bowl and after that it will be available online. Has all of the original music done by live instruments as well as a bunch of newly remixed tracks by fans of the game over the years (which I produced).
You’re incredibly busy producing VGL!, appearing on your own shows and various other ventures. Do you ever think about getting back to simply creating music for games?
I'll always be working on music for game projects here and there but there is too much other fun stuff to be doing in the industry right now. I actually think it's good for my composing to take breaks and focus on other things. Bringing VGL to the masses around the world really helps to elevate game music to the cultural and artistic level it deserves.
Thanks a ton to Tommy Tallarico for taking the time out of his busy schedule this week to speak with us and for respecting his elders. You'll be able to meet him at the Hollywood Bowl as well, so bring your autograph book as well as your sunglasses to shield your eyes from the glory that is The O'Donnell .
Marty's Lament: Lyrics.
Marty is as Marty does
Odes to games gone by
Rhythms taut as drums
Clarions and Timpani
Oboes, flutes and trumpets
We open hearts and ears alike
Blaring brass and thumping
Evermore the music melts
Laden with loss and languor
Liberty's the bell of choice but never rings with anger