3- From 16 beat to 16 bits: a case of hypertextual dialogue in vintage videogame music - Guillermo T. S. Caceres, Université Laval

9:00 AM, Sunday 26 May 2019 (2 hours)
Coffee break   11:00 AM to 11:30 AM (30 minutes)

Originally conceived by Genette (1982), and later expanded into music by Lacasse (2000, 2018), Hypertextuality is a theoretical approach that seeks to structure the underlying processes through which composers either (1) draw inspiration from existing works in order to create new compositions “in the style of” specific songs, artists or even genres (imitation); or (2) transform existing works into new ones (transformation). In the light of this theory, this presentation specifically focuses on the soundtrack for a 1991 Japanese videogame (Streets of Rage), whose composer Yuzo Koshiro was able to overcome the severe limitations of its medium to create engaging compositions that display a complex network of creative influences from several commercially successful pop recordings of its time, effectively categorizing them as elaborate imitations (or more precisely, “pastiches”). Using its title theme as the main example, its likely sources of influence were first identified, followed by the analysis of recurrent elements and the resemblance to their videogame counterparts . Finally, through a process of historically-contextualized transformation, timbres and production techniques of the era were used to recreate a cover version of the song, experimenting on the hypothetical scenario of how this composition could have sounded like had it been commercially released in 1991. The result was performed, recorded and published on social media to a remarkable positive feedback, which included the approval of the original composer himself, thus validating our attempt to provide an example on the dynamics of imitation and transformation practices between videogames and recorded popular music.

Université Laval
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