Video Games Live: Meet the maker

Founder Tommy Tallarico on introducing Mario and Sonic to the world’s concert halls

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Video Games Live creator Tommy Tallarico on introducing Mario and Sonic The Hedgehog to the world’s concert halls.

How did Video Games Live come about?
I’ve been a games music composer for 25 years. I wanted to prove to the world how artistic and culturally significant music from games had become. It was also a great way to usher in a new audience to appreciate the art of a symphony.

How many games have you written music for?
I’m in the Guinness Book Of World Records as the person who has worked on the most video games. I’ve worked on them since the 1980s as a games composer. I’ve worked on Disney’s Aladdin, Metroid Prime and the Sonic The Hedgehog games to name a few.

What can the audience expect from the show?
Video Games Live is all the greatest music of all time, played by a symphony and choir. It’s all synchronised to video game screens, rock and roll lighting and special effects. There are active elements with the crowd. It’s the power and emotion of an orchestra combined with the energy of a rock concert, mixed with the technology and fun of video games. I play guitar in the show as well.

Are you excited to be returning to Dubai?
We did our first show in the Middle East last December in Dubai and it was a huge hit. Thousands of people showed up. I’ve been doing this ten years and every year I change the show and add new content. We’re playing with the UAE National Symphony Orchestra, the same folks we played with last year.

When did you get into video games music?
My two loves growing up were video games and music. When I was ten years old in the 1970s, I’d grab my dad’s cassette player and record video games music. I’d play it to my friends with my favourite games behind me and play guitar to the music. That was perhaps the first video games concerts. Who knew 30 years later I’d be playing in front of people in Dubai.

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