Stop for a second! Take out your phone or music player and just hit pause! That’s what I did on Sunday evening when I got fed up of blaring the same track, the same electric beats and sugar pop.
Don’t get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with these pieces, in fact I’m sitting here now with the fast beats and passionate energy of Sia’s ‘Move Your Body’ blaring through my headphones.
What I found earlier though was a sense of change, there was still energy and passion, still amazing music being made but it’s sound went a little further and I remembered just how video games led me to find and falling in love with these pieces so many years ago.
This is ‘Music Monday’ and these are seven classical tracks featured in some of the best and memorable games around!
Piano Sonata No. 14 – Resident Evil
More commonly known as the ‘Moonlight Sonata’ this stunning piece by Beethoven first appeared on my musical radar when Jill Valentine played it on the piano in the Spencer Mansion. It’s still one of my favourite go to pieces when I just want to listen to something and send my mind away to some place I can just shut the world out. The piece’s timing helps me focus and track my thoughts and while some may find it a tad ominous to listen I find comfort in it and it’s a piece I prefer to listen to alone.
Night On Bald Mountain – Earthworm Jim
Speaking of ominous it doesn’t get more terrifying, more diabolical than Mussorgsky’s ‘Night on Bald Mountain’. To this day when I think of the Earthworm Jim videogame I’m reminded of this piece, the stage and the ultimate fight with Evil the Cat. Though perhaps not the most memorable moment in the game, (I hate the submarine stage with the brilliance of a thousand fiery suns) this is the only piece of music from the game I can recall and it has stuck with me for a very long time.
Korobeiniki – Tetris
You may know this one from Tetris and while it may not fall typically into the category of ‘classical’ it is a piece of music that dates back to 19th century, an old Russian folk song first published as a poem.
Rondo Alla Turca – Lemmings
Okay truth be told I can’t hear this without the sound of the Lemmings falling to their death then that splat noise they made as their tiny blue pixel bodies met the bottom of the stage or worse the never ending pit that fell well past off screen! This should be something a little playful, a little flighty but I can’t help but be swamped by guilt and waves of despair.
Requiem Mass in D Minor – Bioshock: Infinite
Yes it’s my second Mozzart piece but I’m not pretending to know all their is about the world of classical music. I’ve not even dipped my toe into that pool but I can recognise the greats and they do not get as great as this chap. Sadness, majesty, regret and foreboding all weigh this piece down for me, it captured the character of Lady Comstock perfectly in Bioshock Infinite as the piece echoes at the site of her memorial.
Clair de Lune – The Evil Within
No no you’re going mad! If you’re recalling this piece then you may have heard it most recently on the soundtrack of The Evil Within. The piece is used in the hub menu at moments when you can save progress and step out of the game but it acts against the nature of the song.
What is most certainly a beautiful and entrancing piece lulls you into a false sense of security in the game, it acts to disjoint you from the madness and darkness around you lulling you into a false sense of security.
Liberi Fatali – Final Fantasy VIII
Fine, this one is a cheat but so what! It is a powerful, stunning and quite frankly brilliant piece of music. I dare you to listen to this on full volume, to sit back, unplug your headphones and just let the power of this Final Fantasy track wash over you.
Editor-in-Chief, part-time super villain and hoarder of cats. If you can’t find me writing, I’m probably in the kitchen!