Video Games Live and Classical Music Cultural Relevance

The San Francisco Classical Voice takes a look at Video Games Live and talks with Tommy Tallarico about the show.

“I think it was in Pittsburgh. Big symphony. Woman comes up to me and she has tears in her eyes. ‘I just want to let you know that I’ve been playing in the symphony for 20 years I’ve been trying to get my 17 year old son to come see me just once and he never has. But tonight not only is he here to see his mom but he’s brought all his friends. It’s huge deal and he’s bragging to all his friends, my mom’s going to play Halo. Thank you so much for what you’ve given us.’”

Video Games Live is going to be in my area this fall and I have second thoughts of going? Why?

Because it’s going to be like a rock concert.

I don’t mean like a big summer festival, but Video Games Live tries encourages their audience to be disruptive in an attempt to be hip. Try listening to their Volume 2 album featuring the recordings of tons of fans screaming. There’s also music in their somewhere.

Purveyors of classical music have been trying to figure out how to become culturally relevant again. Some suggestions include letting audience members come and go during concerts, encouraging screaming and other audience participation, and costume contests.

I know this stuff is fun for many of the attendees. Maybe when I was a kid I would have felt the same way. But isn’t this another example of trying to become culturally relevant through teenagers? Shouldn’t the music be enough? If you need to let your audience come and go during your performance, maybe the content of your performance isn’t…good.