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BBC Radio 3's Sound Of Gaming is a nice look at video game tunes and the people behind them

Chiptunes off the old block

BBC Radio 3 are getting stuck in to the world of video game music beginning today, with composer Jessica Curry (whose work you’ll hear in Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture) beginning her new show Sound Of Gaming. It’s good listening, particularly if you, like me, can’t stand to have lyrics on while putting words to paper (or internet) lest it become a tangled mess.

As Natalie Clayton explained earlier this month, Radio 3 is the BBC station that specialises in classical music. This new show is founded on the fact that “some of the most cutting edge, dynamic and expressive music being made today is composed for video games. And the music, like the games themselves, comes in all shapes and sizes: from intimate chamber music to full jazz bands or electronica to symphonic music on the largest scale.” In other words, games music: it’s real music!

We may have already known that, but it’s nice to get Curry digging into it a bit further. Every week she’ll have a guest to discuss the intricacies of their work, and this week it was composer Grant Kirkhope, who’s scored games from Banjo-Kazooie to Viva Piñata to Civilization: Beyond Earth. They talked about his career path in the industry, the differences between composing video game and film music, and the intimidation of scoring for Mario himself on Rabbids Kingdom Battle.

As well as some of Kirkhope’s lovely work, Curry broadcast music from Telling Lies, Final Fantasy X, and an excellent comedy madrigal from Astrologaster, among others. The show also chatted with some EGX attendees about their favourite game tracks.

You can listen to this episode of the show on the BBC’s website, and tune in to future episodes from 3-4pm on Saturdays on Radio 3. Next week Curry will chat with Celeste composer Lena Raine, and play exclusively indie game scores in celebration.

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