Play the Credits Music Loud: A Project at its EndDecember 7, 2010
Thank you for reading Video Game Music Daily! I started this blog on October 20, 2009 and have posted and discussed one song per day until today, December 7, 2010. Though you might remember today for other things, there really is no significance to ending it today – I simply happened to run out of stuff I wanted to talk about today! (Well ok, I DID run into a rock mix of 1942 a couple years back, but I haven’t been able to find it on my hard drive! However, there is another version on Dwelling of Duels played on kazoos…). Since I have talked about most of the music I am familiar with, in order for me to talk about new music in detail, I realized I would have to listen to a whole new soundtrack each day – which is not something I have the time for (and it’s not like it’s my job). This and I realized that the blogs have been taking up about one hour of my time to write – that’s even if I got home from a trip at 3 AM, I still would spend some time writing about a song. If you think about it, that’s 1/24 of an entire year, spent on just one thing!
Anyway, I started this project as ‘post one song a day for one year’ and it extended a little beyond that initial scope when I realized there was a little bit more I wanted to discuss. The idea was to both keep myself busy on a project I could sustain and share the love of game music to hopefully introduce more people to vgm and expand the variety of what fans already listen to. Of course, my own tastes sort of limited what is on this blog, as the big keywords ‘KONAMI’, ‘CASTLEVANIA,’ and ‘YASUNORI MITSUDA’ attest! So this is by no means an exhaustive look at game music, though there is quite a lot on here! I suppose this means these are mostly my favorite songs or ones that stood out for me over the past year.
I also tried to expand the project a little through special features such as:
- 8-Bit Mondays (an 8-bit song each Monday)
- Is it VGM? (what defines game music?)
- Music Appreciation (learn more about music by looking at game tunes)
- What Makes a Song Memorable? (game music sticks in your head, but why is that?)
- Weekly themes such as joke music and cowboys, and ninjas.
- Detailed looks at artists such as Chris Huelsbeck and series like Mario, Mega Man, Metroid, Final Fantasy, and Castlevania.
- An official soundtrack release: Ultima X: Odyssey, courtesy of the composer!
The project has changed a bit over the years, initially starting with the idea of posting JUST one song…This meant I had to choose what the best rendition of a song might be, and unfortunately this meant leaving out some other great tunes. By the end, it really turned into ‘talk about one song and notable versions of it’. I began to expand the project even further, looking at the music of a particular series in the week a major release came out. Also, when the project started, there were maybe a couple dozen people who read the blog each day. In case you’re curious about statistics, today, I get an average of 125 daily visitors and about 3,000 each month since March, though I’m not sure why traffic picked up so much then (the most hits I ever received was for the Mega Man 3 “Title” theme; lately, most people have been reading the Metroid: Other M “Ridley” post).
If you have been keeping up, you might have noticed that some of the music here is linked to YouTube rather than uploaded onto the server (hosted on the Metroid Database, one of my other websites). This is because I tried not to include downloads of music that is easy to purchase (such as on iTunes, Amazon, or Bandcamp). If you like the music, you should consider buying it to support the artists! Maybe then it won’t cost $30+ to import a single disc from Japan and we’ll get to see more album releases, concerts, etc. of our favorite music.
I said earlier that after one year, I realized I had spent about 1/24 of my year working on this project. This got me asking: What did I gain from this, and what else did I use my year on? If I could spend 1/24 of my year doing just one thing (or 365 hours, which seems a lot less than it actually is), what else could I do with my time? So far, I have decided that what I want to try and do is work on Japanese translation for one hour each day (another hobby of mine) and/or also study the language for one hour. It is a more ambitious project (1/12 of the year spent doing just one thing!), and is particularly so because I won’t be keeping up with it on a blog, so the whole world isn’t watching if I fail to do my job!
Of course, this doesn’t mean I will stop thinking about game music! There is a lot of music out there, so how do you decide what is best? This is where I began thinking about future directions for this project to take. I think listening to one (affordable) album each week in sufficient detail and then writing a review about it might be a sufficient place to start. You might call this project ‘Affordable VGM’ or ‘VGM Weekly’. That way, maybe it will be easier to decide just what is worth purchasing off iTunes or Bandcamp – especially if you’ve never even played the source game before! I think it would be great as well to interview some composers (something I had wanted to do with this project, but never got off the ground). We’ll just have to see how it goes!
Anyway, this post has gone on for too long, so best to just end it with that. I want to thank everyone who has been a regular visitor to the site, and a special thanks to anyone who has been visiting this site since on or around October 20, 2009! I really enjoy your support! And, of course… Thanks to all the composers! Without your great music, we never would have loved videogames so much!
PLAY IT LOUD