Play! A Video Game Symphony


From Jason Michael Paul, the creator and producer of Play! A Video Game Symphony:

“I am extremely pleased that the Utah Symphony will be presenting Play! A Video Game Symphony! The Utah Symphony is an extremely talented orchestra that further legitimizes and adds a tremendous amount of credibility to the art of video game music. The fans have been eager to have a show in Utah so I am hopeful that they will come in full force to experience the magic that this show has to offer.”

Utah Symphony will present Play! A Video Game Symphony on Tuesday, November 17th. This isn’t the first time that Utah Symphony has delved into the world of video game music and it certainly won’t be the last! Video game music is truly finding its way onto the concert podium, and the academic world isn’t far behind (check out this academic article on the semantic contributions of video game music to the world of video games:; or to delve into the world of the quasi-acedemic, Wikipedia has an excellent history of video game music here, including a history of video game concert performance:

Says gamer Dave Sullivan, “Some of the older music is interesting because the composer could only have four notes of a fixed tone playing at the same time – so they had to try to use funkiness to make it interesting (i.e. Super Mario Bros), and seeing it orchestrated gives a new dimension to what was previously limited to a bunch of beeps.”

So how has video game music affected you? Please write in five of your best gaming moments/memories ever as a comment and post them one at a time with a tagline for the upcoming Play! performance. You might even see your headline used!

Here’s a complete list of what you’ll hear on November 17:

PLAY! Opening Fanfare by Nobuo Uematsu
Super Mario Bros.® by Koji Kondo
Lost Odyssey by Nobuo Uematsu
Sonic the Hedgehog™ by Masato Nakamura
Battlefield by Joel Eriksson
Shenmue by Takenobu Mitsuyoshi
Castlevania by Michiru Yamane
Kingdom Hearts™ by Yoko Shimomura
Chrono TriggerTM / Chrono Cross™ by Yasunori Mitsuda
World of Warcraft® by Jason Hayes
HALO® by Martin O’Donnell
The Legend of Zelda® by Koji Kondo

You’d better hurry to get tickets for this performance, because they’re going fast! KBER-FM 101.1 will be at Abravanel Hall until 7 PM that day with Rock Band and free giveaways. Click here to purchase tickets.

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  • PLAY! A Video Game Symphony November 17th!

    My first memory of any video game is playing pong on my mothers ancient apple computer. You know, the one with the rainbow apple sticker. I would sit on my fathers lap with the black joy stick with the bright orange button on top between my legs screaming into his ear everytime I missed the ball. I loved hearing him laugh at me everytime I would move my entire body from left to right with the joy stick. I loved that game!

  • “Some of my first musical memories come from video games…”

    My parents had an Apple ][e that we played the original Bard’s Tale on. The music was simple, but the little songs stuck in your head before too long. Later on, I learned that the creators had used Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No 7 in C minor as one of the main themes in the game, and I’d been humming it since I was 5 years old!

  • “Gaming is a great passtime for people of all ages!”

    Growing up, my brothers and sisters and I always had the MOST fun when we could get our parents or other adults involved. We spent hours playing Gauntlet, M.U.L.E., and other games. It was a special occasion to sit down with mom and dad for playtime.

    To this day, I still get a thrill peddling a new addiction to my mom. (Always under protest, of course.) She’s been playing a LOT of Plants vs. Zombies. 😉

  • “Video games can introduce you to music you never thought you’d love.”

    The first CD I ever owned (in 1992 or so) was a “live” version of music that I already loved in PC games. It had a strong influence on my love of symphonic movie scores. Electronic music, foreign music (Japanese pop, etc.), rock and heavy metal can all be found in games. Some games let you create your own music (or pretend to!), which is a total blast.

  • “I’ve had moments of excitement, laughter, sadness, power, terror, and awe through video games.”

    Starting from a very early age, I learned that games can evoke all kinds of emotions and broaden horizons. Games like Prince of Persia, Monkey Island, Shadow of the Colossus, Silent Hill, God of War and others have left lasting impressions on me through interactive storytelling. It’s fun sharing “my” version of the game with others who have had similar experiences.

  • “It’s great to share a love of video games like Flower and Mario Kart with my kids.”

    It’s important to me that my children have a good relationship with their media. I spend time with my little girls playing simple games like Flower, where you blow petals in the wind and learn about harmony. One of my kids has gotten really decent at Mario Kart, and could probably give her grandpa a good challenge.

    It’s fun to watch little kids do yoga on Wii Fit, and learn that gaming doesn’t always have to be about wiggling your thumbs… but often using your mind, and sometimes your whole body to have fun!

  • The Legend of Zelda! Sweet got my tickets, glad my GF agreed to this =)

  • Jon Miles

    My earliest memories of video games was playing on the Atari – Pacman, centipede, etc.. Also, we had a Texas Instruments system. It plugged into the TV with a game called “Miner 49er” that was lots of fun.

  • Stella

    “The music of a video game pulls you into the world your playing in by making you FEEL, you become emotionaly connected to this fantastic alternate reality”

    I am a huge fan of the storyline type adventure or MMOG video games for PC’s. They are incredably labor instensive worlds created with the most beautiful and amazing Music, Artwork, and Technology.
    The music in these games enhances the experience for me imeasurably! I can’t wait to hear what the Utah sympony has to offer with Play!

  • Jordan

    This looks epic!

    Too bad I’m broke. $30 is just too much for me. If only they allowed the student discount…

    Anyone know which Zelda song(s) are being played?