Copyright ©2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Here's some music from a new CD by Canadian violinist Angele Dubeau and the string ensemble La Pieta. You probably know this music, but not arranged quite this way. Dubeau founded La Pieta as an all-female string ensemble. If the numbers are right, this piece is one of the most listened to of all time. More than a billion people all around the world have probably heard it so many times that countless millions have probably been driven to turn it off.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: That's right. Think birds in slings, pigs, eggs. This is the music from Angry Birds. The new CD is called "Game Music." And since it's Canadian it is equally called, "Musique de jeux video." And Angele Dubeau, who has brought a little class to entire disc of video game music, joins us now from Montreal. Welcome to the program.

ANGELE DUBEAU: Thank you.

SIEGEL: You have made an album out of the tunes that are the soundtrack of life for adolescents of all ages. Why?

DUBEAU: Well, you know, it's my 27th album and I should say that I push my community to an extreme. We're always - seen my repertoire with no limits, so I always thought a good music is a good music. So going through this hours and hours of listening to video game music, I really discovered very powerful music. And I should say it was evocative enough to be able to take this music from its original frame and just fly with it.

SIEGEL: Well, let's start with what I guess for video game music would be the equivalent of early music, the most primitive game from which you've adapted.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: This is the music from the puzzle game Tetris. It combines a traditional Russian folk tune, a Bach French suite, I gather and - well, let's hear your rendition.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: And as we listen, tell me about the challenge of adapting Tetris.

DUBEAU: First, I should say it was quite easy for me to think of this revisit. Johann Sebastian Bach, of course, is the friend of all classical musicians. And then, you have this tune that we can hear now. It's from the Russian traditional and very instinct, if I can say, instinctive music. So it was a good way for me to explore first the virtuosity, 'cause there's a lot of virtuosity in this piece and very easy to build up.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: Well, let's move on to more cinematic stuff and I should say that a lot of video game music is, at least in the game, it's music to kill people by or music to kill aliens by, in this case. Here is some music from Halo 3.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: Are video games a great opportunity for composers these days and are they writing interesting things for video games?

DUBEAU: Oh, yes, they are. One of my previous CD was "Music from Movie" and when you think of it, it's just the same thing. The music has to speak at the same than the action. And if you push this way, what is opera? You know, opera is also a music where you can find, you know, liberetto. It's the same thing, you know, when I play "The Four Seasons" by Vivaldi, it's music a programme.

So it's really program music and it was, of course, not inviting the listener to go into the action, like we are now with video game.

SIEGEL: But I find it a little bit hard to get from "La Boheme" or even the score to "Bridge Over The River Kwai," which I love, to Angry Birds. I mean, what's happening for the music there is on a different order.

DUBEAU: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have also that problem, going just as fast on those two. But if I just to say that as for the composers, in a way, well, sometimes they do have a frame to respect and it's just to say that today also, for example, John Adams, you know, (unintelligible) John Adams music of a game, you know. Another unique signature like Philip Glass is also a composer of video game.

So you have, you know, wonderful composers are writing for video game.

SIEGEL: Well, Angele Dubeau, thank you very much for talking with us about the album you've done with your group, La Pieta, "Music From Video Games."

DUBEAU: Merci.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.