Greeting and welcome to Video Game Notes. Since this is the first post, in what I hope to be a continuing blog, I’d like to start by just go over what the focus of this site will be and tell you a little about myself.
If you haven’t already guessed from the name, Video Game Notes is a site that is focused on video games and the music that is written for them. While that will be the main focus to my writing on the site, I will occasionally have some posts that will be more about the games themselves. Some other blog articles will have more emphasis on music writing and may not always be tied directly to video games. There will also be some occasional reviews and retrospectives on particular soundtracks and games. Eventually, I will be making some announcements on music projects that I am personally working on, but for now this will be strictly a blogging site on video game music.
A Brief Biography
I’ve been playing games since the early 90’s. The first games that I remember playing were owned by my older cousins. They had a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and later a Sega Genesis consoles and having them show me how to play games was always the highlight of my visits to their house. The first two games that I played with them were Tetris for the NES, and Sonic the Hedgehog for the Genesis. At the age of six, I wasn’t particularly good at Tetris and I always needed to have my cousins beat Dr. Robotnick at the end of each zone in Sonic the Hedgehog for me. I still remember having a blast with them and it got me hooked on games. After some pestering, my parents allowed me to get a Game Boy Pocket and later a Game Boy Color. We then got a Nintendo 64, our first console, a few years later for Christmas. To this day I still play video games and they remain one of my favorite pastimes.
Music has also played a major role in my life. Having a father who is a pianist meant always having music in the house. My father taught me a little, but I mostly taught myself how to play. My parents considered having me take lessons but they decided against it in the end. I really just played because I thought it was fun and in retrospect I think it was better that I didn’t have music turned into just another class I had to take. Unfortunately, music wasn’t a big thing with my peers at school. Sports were more important there and if you didn’t get involved with them, you didn’t fit in. This lead to some rough times, especially in junior high. Luckily, music ended up being a good emotional outlet for me. If I had a bad day, and there were many, I would come home from school, sit at the piano, and play for an hour or so. It wasn’t until college that I seriously thought about pursuing music as a career. After a lot of practicing and a few audition attempts, I was accepted into the University of Southern Maine’s School of Music. During my undergrad degree, I got involved in writing music with the school’s Composer’s Ensemble and I’ve been writing music ever since.
Why Video Game Music?
Since both music and video games have played big parts in my life, it seems like an obvious choice to combine my interests. While I am a classically trained musician, I do enjoy a wide range of music genres including video game music. It has always seemed to me that video game music is an underrated genre. There are certainly particular pieces from games that everyone knows, like the Super Mario Brothers and Final Fantasy series. However, aside from the more well-known music from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, there seems to be little recognition of the music that is written for games, even among gamers. There is definitely a niche audience for it and it is growing. With this site I hope to bring more focus on the genre and some of it’s lesser known content. I will still be writing about some of the more well-known music that many gamers enjoy, but I would also like to bring up some discussions about pieces and composers that not everyone knows about. With all that said, I hope you enjoy the blog. The next blog post will be on a game soundtrack that I guarantee few people know about.