June 2015, Volume 19, Number 3

Cultural Spotlight

Student orchestra
Orchestral students performed their concert to enthusiastic crowds at North and Kendall campuses.

Musicians Enter Realms of Zelda and Skyrim

Video Game Concert projection
An MDC student orchestra played a live performance of video game scores, while the games themselves were being projected for the audience to watch.

Miami Dade College recently treated the community to an extraordinary audiovisual spectacular. In a contemporary take on piano accompaniment for silent films, a 60-strong MDC student orchestra played a live performance of video game scores, while the games themselves were being projected for the audience to watch.

The event was the culmination of months of musical and technical consultation between the musicians and members of MDC’s School of Entertainment & Design Technology, who provided technical know-how and created the game videos.

The collaboration required a high degree of preparation, explained Alberto Bade, professor and orchestral director at MDC.

In Sync in Another World

“We had a click track to keep the musicians in time with the video, and coordinating that so all the musicians could keep in sync was difficult,” Bade said. “The videos were also an enormous amount of work. In addition, we have students from every campus in the orchestra, so it sometimes was a challenge to get everyone together for rehearsals.”

Music representative of a variety of video games was performed, ranging from the classic Mario Brothers and Legend of Zelda to more contemporary games like Skyrim.

Mastering a Strange New Language

“The makers of Skyrim created their own language for the game, so we had to research that and interpret the lyrics,” Bade said. Musically, the scores range from jaunty pieces that would fit in a Fellini film to darker works that include complex sound effects and Gregorian chant.

The impetus from the project came from the young musicians, who found and prepared all the musical transcriptions.

“It was all student-driven and a really exciting concert,” Bade said.


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