< Back to Press Releases

Video Game Tribute Album The String Arcade Now Available as Digital Download and CD

All proceeds will support Alameda Music Project after-school program for underserved children

ALAMEDA, Calif. - February 11, 2014 - San Francisco Bay Area composer Dren McDonald is announcing the release of The String Arcade, a recording of classic video game music reimagined for string quartet. The crowdfunded album sells for $9.99 as a digital download from Loudr, iTunes, and other channels. In addition, BandCamp offers a $11.99 CD version and free streaming. (See below for store links.) All profits will be donated to the Alameda Music Project, a tuition-free afterschool program that provides intensive classical music instruction to underserved children in grades K-5.

The String Arcade is a carefully curated collection of video game music, arranged for string quartet by Dren McDonald ( Ghost Recon Commander, Ravenwood Fair) and Jason Poss ( Lord of the Rings film trilogy, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King). Some tracks use a "collage" approach, slicing up and combining various themes from within a game into one piece of music while staying true to the original melody and harmony. Others are more loosely interpreted and embellished to showcase the quartet performers' strengths. The result is an introspective listening experience that stands on its own regardless of the listener's familiarity with the source material.

"I've never understood why someone would cover a song by playing it exactly like the original artist played it," McDonald says of The String Arcade's unique arrangements. "A lot of thought went into choosing music that would work as an experience from top to bottom. As a point of reference, The String Arcade will probably appeal to people who enjoyed the soundtracks from games like Sword & Sworcery, Dear Esther, or Fez."

The String Arcade's 15 original arrangements (plus 2 CD bonus tracks) were inspired by games from Galaga to Minecraft and performed by local Bay Area musicians, with a special appearance by the Boston-based Videri String Quartet. The eclectic track list spans decades of video game history from stand-up arcade classics, through the 8- and 16-bit eras and the golden age of 1990s adventures, to more recent hits, indie favorites, and mobile/social games. To further the goal of raising money and awareness for children's music education, several tracks were chosen from games popular among kids including Portal 2, The Legend of Zelda, and Plants vs. Zombies.

Learn more about The String Arcade at http://www.thestringarcade.com, and about the Alameda Music Project at http://www.alamedamusicproject.org. Press who want to review The String Arcade or learn more about the project can contact strings@thestringarcade.com.

Store Links:

 

Advance Praise for The String Arcade:

"An incredible album which further helps legitimize how culturally significant and artistic video game music has become!" -Tommy Tallarico, Video Games Live executive producer & Game Audio Network Guild founder

"Dren takes the essence of these great game songs and transforms them into the classical style. The result is a new way of looking at these songs in a different light, and in a soothing manner." -John Romero, game designer ( Doom, Quake)

"They are, without a doubt, one my favorite musical groups working in the games field." -Ben Prunty, composer ( FTL, Gravity Ghost)

" The String Arcade's take on Scurvy Scallywags is a brilliant arrangement, and in such fine company with so many iconic games!" -Clayton Kauzlaric, game designer ( Scurvy Scallywags in the Voyage to Discover the Ultimate Sea Shanty, Voodoo Vince)

Track Listing:

  • Grasswalk ( Plants vs. Zombies)
  • Echos of Ecco ( Ecco the Dolphin)
  • Ferdinand Wanders Out For a Late Night Haircut ( Pettington Park)
  • Engii ( FTL - Faster Than Light)
  • Sonic 2 Scherzo ( Sonic the Hedgehog 2)
  • Outlaws Title Theme ( Outlaws)
  • Medicated Cow Walks the Cobbled Streets with Disgruntled Goat ( Ravenshire Castle)
  • Scurvy Scallywags Theme ( Scurvy Scallywags in the Voyage to Discover the Ultimate Sea Shanty)
  • Scabb Cemetery/International House of Mojo ( The Secret of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge)
  • Altered Beast Title Theme ( Altered Beast) *CD bonus track
  • Optimism For an Improvement in The John Situation (original composition by Dren McDonald)
  • Turret Suite ( Portal 2)
  • Minecraft Title Theme ( Minecraft)
  • TRON Arcade Medley ( TRON) *CD bonus track
  • Tango Down ( graBLOX)
  • Dance of the Space Bugs ( Galaga)
  • The Legend of Zelda Title Theme ( The Legend of Zelda)
 

 

Games Press

Games Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com