Video Gaming With My Violin: The Art of Virtual Collaboration

October 26, 2022, 2:09 PM · I recently played violin on a collaborative musical project for a video gaming event called vgmtogether. The event brings together various musicians and arrangers who play a set of their choosing, based on a featured video game. The final collaboration is a medley of music livestreamed on Twitch TV.

The featured game last year was "Paper Mario: The Origami King." This year, we collaborated on "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild." I specifically played four violin parts in the track "Rito Village." Working with only one other violinist, our challenge was to make our individual tracks blend to ultimately sound like a full string section.

video music on violin

While this is far from my favorite way to make music (I'd much prefer to play with people when we're all in the same room), there’s something quite nice about receiving, practicing, and recording my parts, knowing I'll be playing with my fellow musicians to create one beautiful track. This has been the predominant way I've made music since the pandemic: online in this virtual space. And while I’ll probably always prefer live music, I’ve come to embrace the positive aspects of this type of collaboration.

What made working on this medley especially exciting was seeing how many unique arrangements and styles were represented. There were a few other string players on certain tracks, as well as jazz, big band, a brass ensemble, and lovely minimalist piano solos. And while the final product can feel a bit like whiplash, there's animation between each track to help smooth the transitions.

Something that makes this online form of music-making unique as compared to concerts and recitals is the fact that there were so many minds behind one medley. It made the entire experience feel even bigger and more special to be part of.

It's available as a YouTube archival video or Twitch under vgmtogether.

BELOW: I recently took my style of filming and recording game covers and applied it to an original piece: "Autumnal!" It’s a work in progress, but I’m quite pleased with how it’s shaping up. Check it out here:

* * *

Enjoying Violinist.com? Click here to sign up for our free, bi-weekly email newsletter. And if you've already signed up, please invite your friends! Thank you.

Replies

October 27, 2022 at 09:36 PM · That's very evocative!

I used to be somewhat dismissive of video game music, thinking that it was more catchy than well crafted, but the more I dig in, the more I'm impressed with how creative composers have been in adapting and making the most of hardware constraints, being able to capture mood and motion with sound, and having to write music that somehow doesn't repel when looped over and over.

This one is cool; not to be reductive by making unnecessary comparisons, but this reminds me of some of the stuff from the latest Zelda game.

Thanks for sharing, Josh!

October 27, 2022 at 10:37 PM · I really love your ability to find these positive projects! (The former Concertmaster of my local symphony composes and performs video game music. He said he got into it because he loved movie music but knew that trying to break into movie composing would be extremely difficult. He felt the gaming world had some of the same musical opportunities.) I wish you well with this endeavor, Josh!

October 28, 2022 at 07:35 AM · Interesting and exciting! I hope we'll hear more from your projects, Joshua.

November 1, 2022 at 12:06 PM · Thank you all for the comments, even though I'm replying so late! I have loved being able to find these online opportunities connecting with musicians in this gaming world (it's quite new to me, too!) and it's been great to take part and share some of them with you. I love how gaming has become more a mainstream thing with its music - I had the sentiment for the longest time that I only wanted to work in film, not games - but they're starting to grow on me as of late. Hope I can share some of the winter projects I have planned with some friends too!

November 1, 2022 at 12:06 PM · Thank you all for the comments, even though I'm replying so late! I have loved being able to find these online opportunities connecting with musicians in this gaming world (it's quite new to me, too!) and it's been great to take part and share some of them with you. I love how gaming has become more a mainstream thing with its music - I had the sentiment for the longest time that I only wanted to work in film, not games - but they're starting to grow on me as of late. Hope I can share some of the winter projects I have planned with some friends too!

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Violinist.com Shopping Guide
Violinist.com Shopping Guide

Stringtelligence

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

FiddlerShop

Fiddlerman.com

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Baerenreiter

String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

Subscribe