Respawn! What If Haydn Wrote Game Music?

Mar 15, 2016

The Videri String Quartet is a group of young Boston-based, conservatory-trained musicians who use their powers to perform imaginative arrangements of music for games. I talked with the members of the quartet, violinists Lizzie Jones and Michael Hustedde; violist and founder, Rosalie Samter; and cellist Jeremiah Barcus. 

Videri String Quartet

You can listen in on our conversation here:

  

As she's arranging music from games, violinist Lizzie Jones says it's a challenge because, "some tracks from a soundtrack are very much background music, but some things sit very well on their own. For instance, everyone knows the melody from Super Mario Brothers."

Mario and friends

Because of gifted composers like Garry Schymann (Bioshock), Jason Graves (Dead Space and The Order 1886), and Austin Wintory (Journey), there isn't much of a leap to create arrangements for string quartet from these scores. 

Bioshock Infinite

  

As violinist Michael Hustedde explains, "(Composers) really do take a lot from the traditional classical style, not only technically, but also in the sounds that they're producing."

Videri members credit Austin Wintory with much of their success. As their Kickstarter campaign to record an album was winding down, Wintory suggested they arrange his music from Journey, and he's been very supportive of everything they've done. As Rosalie Samter says, "It's been phenomenal to be able to work with him. For everything we've done with him, he's sent us his scores!"

Journey, with an award-winning score by Austin Wintory

The open road beckons for the Videri Quartet, and next year they plan to start touring with a full program of music from games.