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Trinity34
12th Aug 2005, 23:59
Enriched by rising stardom, video game tunes go mainstream
By RYAN PEARSON, Associated Press Writer

Monday, August 8, 2005

(08-08) 00:01 PDT Los Angeles (AP) --


Violinists playing sweetly beneath her, the video game heroine Lara Croft has two guns blazing and the full attention of 10,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl.

The animated star of "Tomb Raider" games, which have collectively sold more than 30 million copies, unflinchingly braves explosions on a giant TV screen that hangs, incongruously, above the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra.

At the bizarre yet beautiful debut performance of Video Games Live, the sotto voce murmurs of the "Tomb Raider" theme give way to choir-assisted crescendos then to more crowd-pleasing music and images from other games.

The spectacle last month, which promoters say will be performed by similarly topflight orchestras in more than 15 cities in the coming months, is just the latest sign that songs written for the interactive gaming world are blasting out of consoles and into the mainstream.

Orchestra concerts of music from "Final Fantasy" games — a long-running role-playing series with a cult-like following — have sold out venues nationwide.

Video games with their rising budgets are now attracting serious composing talent. Scoring for traditional television may soon enough be playing second fiddle.

Award-winning film composers such as Danny Elfman of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and Howard Shore of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy have written music for games. Shore recently completed work on the upcoming "SUN," an online role-playing game set in a medieval world of emperors and monsters.

And hit singles such as Green Day's "American Idiot" were heard on the hugely popular "Madden NFL Football" games even before they got radio play. In fact, 14 of the 21 songs in the game's latest version, to be released Tuesday, are previously unreleased. The new version features music from Foo Fighters, Rev. Run of Run-DMC fame and others.

It's all a sonic leap from the blips and beeps of "Pong" and "Asteroids" — so memorably annoying they've come to define game audio for decades.

"The music in video games is basically maturing to the spot where it can live outside" of home systems, said Chuck Doud, music director for Sony Computer Entertainment.

Like movie scores, game soundtracks seldom top the charts, though a few have been big sellers.

The score from "Halo 2," an Xbox game that pits players against alien invaders, has sold about 100,000 copies since its release late last year. Sales of the "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" soundtrack have reached 47,000 copies since being released in 2003, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Video game music's growing popularity is being driven by budgets that can now reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, spending that has climbed along with overall industry revenue.


READ MORE.. (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/08/07/financial/f093112D07.DTL)

sfgate.com

CatSuit&Ponytail
13th Aug 2005, 11:45
May I just say, " :eek: " ? :D