Will Gibbons on “Nintendo, Stravinsky, and the Aesthetics of Limitation”

If you are one of the lucky souls with the day off today, you might be wondering what to do with your time. Well, The Avid Listener never lets you down. 🙂 It may be a holiday in the U.S. (and in Canada), but we’ve got a fresh essay for you, another investigation into video game music by Will Gibbons. (If you missed his first essay, you can read it here.) If you love Nintendo, or Stravinsky, or Nintendo and Stravinsky (you need to see how Will makes this connection!), you will enjoy this essay.

Here’s a teaser: “Not many video game consoles have the historical or cultural cachet of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The unassuming gray and black box became a ubiquitous feature of living rooms across much of the world in the 1980s and early 1990s, its massive success simultaneously revitalizing the flagging game industry and establishing standards that continue to affect many aspects of game design even today. The NES’s influence on video game music was (and still is) considerable. Music from its more popular games—including the Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Mega Man series, for example—ranks among the best known and most beloved game soundtracks, endlessly recycled in more recent games, requested in game music concerts, and reproduced in YouTube arrangements.”

Read the entire essay here. And stay tuned for next week’s essay by Kendra Leonard, “Survival through Song.” (Hint: it’s about one of my fave authors, Margaret Atwood!)

The Avid Listener: Listen. Write. Discuss. Repeat.

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