Have you heard of The String Arcade? If the name rings a bell, it’s probably because of the Kickstarter campaign they ran that finished at the end of August 2013. The project was pitched as “A recording of video game music, spanning 8 bit games to the present, arranged & enhanced for string quartet”, and thanks to their talented and hard-working crew they were able to surpass their initial goal of $6000!
The group is composed of four excellent musicians who play through music that spans multiple decades of gaming history. The track list includes themes from The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, Portal 2 and Altered Beast, among others (check out a full track listing here). The music is arranged by Dren McDonald and Jasonn Poss, who worked on Ghost Recon Commander and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, respectively, among a variety of other projects. If that’s not indicative of the album’s high quality, you can check out a FREE sample track right here: https://soundcloud.com/dren-mcdonald/plants-vs-zombies-from-the
Enticed? Craving more? Unfortunately, the album doesn’t launch until February 11th, but you can pre-order your own copy on iTunes (for $7.99, 20% savings!) or BandCamp (for$9.99, $2 savings!). The best part is, all profits will go towards supporting the Alameda Music Project, an after-school program launching in September that aims to give K-5 children a chance to experience music education free of charge, and regardless of their life’s circumstances. You could help fund the next generation of musicians!
Check out the full press release below:
Classic video game music reimagined in The String Arcade, now available for preorderString quartet album releases February 11; all profits support Alameda Music Project after-school programALAMEDA, Calif. – January 28, 2014 – In August, Bay Area composer Dren McDonald led a successful Kickstarter campaign for The String Arcade, a recording of classic video game music reimagined for string quartet. The finished recording was distributed to backers this month and is now available for preorder to the general public from iTunes and BandCamp (see below for links). The String Arcade will officially release February 11 for digital download and CD.About The String Arcade – http://www.thestringarcade.comThe String Arcade is a well-curated collection of music arranged for string quartet by Dren McDonald (Ghost Recon Commander, Ravenwood Fair) and Jason Poss (Lord of the Rings film trilogy, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King). The arrangements go far beyond chamber music emulations of the original themes, with each piece creatively interpreted, embellished, and reimagined to capture emotions evoked by the games. In conceiving the project, McDonald was inspired by John Lurie’s Stranger Than Paradisefilm soundtrack (1984), which featured a moody, string quartet score.Besides giving gamers a new way to enjoy beloved classics, The String Arcade is also poised to inspire young musicians to pick up a violin, viola, or cello. Several tracks were specifically chosen from games popular among kids, and all album proceeds will be donated to the Alameda Music Project (http://www.alamedamusicproject.org), a tuition-free K-5 after-school program launching in September.About The MusicThe String Arcade‘s 15 original arrangements (plus 2 CD bonus tracks) were inspired by games from Galaga to Minecraft and performed by local musicians, with a special appearance by the Boston-based Videri String Quartet. One preview track, Plants Vs. Zombies‘ “Grasswalk,” has been released as a free digital download: https://soundcloud.com/dren-mcdonald/plants-vs-zombies-from-theThe String Arcade spans a few decades in video game history, from stand-up arcade classics (Galaga, TRON), through the 8- and 16-bit eras (Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Ecco the Dolphin) and the golden age of 1990s adventures (Monkey Island 2, Outlaws), to more recent hits (Portal 2, Minecraft), indie favorites (FTL — Faster Than Light, Scurvy Scallywags), and mobile/social games (graBLOX, Pettington Park, Ravenshire Castle). For a full track list, visit http://www.thestringarcade.com/#!about/c10fk.Preorder DetailsUntil the album’s February 11 release, The String Arcade digital download can be preordered from iTunes for $7.99, a 20% savings over the normal $9.99 price: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-string-arcade/id805763356The CD version, which includes two bonus tracks not included with the digital download, can be preordered from BandCamp for $9.99 (regularly $11.99):http://thestringarcade.bandcamp.com