The String Arcade is a string quartet tribute to both modern and classic video game music. The idea was cultivated by composer Dren McDonald. McDonald took the idea to Kickstarter and successfully funded the project. The String Arcade released this past Tuesday and all of the proceeds with be donated to the Alameda Music Project (http://www.alamedamusicproject.org). Before I dive into the project I have to say that just the idea of it is great. I was once a band geek and though I no longer have the time or an instrument to play, I have a fondness for music especially the classical variety. The fact that McDonald sought out video game music as a way to connect to gamers is wonderful and lo and behold, so is the music he created.
All bias aside for classical music, it is a genre of music that is better experienced than listened to. It’s a lot like baseball in that regard; boring to watch on TV, but amazing in person. I’ve always enjoyed watching classical music being played first hand more than listening to a CD or on the radio, but I didn’t find that to be the case with The String Arcade.
The fact is I didn’t know all of these songs; sure there were some standouts like Plants vs. Zombies “Grasswalk” or Galaga’s “Dance of the Space Bugs.” But quite a few weren’t as familiar as I would have liked and yet I still really enjoyed the album. Perhaps it’s the repetitive nature of video game music that I found so enjoyable or simple the fantastic renditions.
Overall if you like video games from any era The String Arcade has something for you. Obviously if you can’t stand classic music then you may not enjoy this, but I think even then you’ll get a kick out of hearing recognizable songs performed by the quartet. Really anyone that appreciates music or video games is sure to enjoy The String Arcade and considering the cause it’s going towards how can you say no?
Here's a sample: