Stephen Meyerink
BEEP: A History of Game Sound Now on Kickstarter!
Plus, an exclusive announcement of a legendary composer attached to the project!
08.28.14 - 9:30 PM

I often remind folks that part of RPGFan Music's mission is to help foster greater appreciation for the video game music we all know and love. Our reviews and Rhythm Encounter are all made in the hope that, one person at a time, we can create lifelong fans and patrons of the exciting world of game music and its rich history.

To that same end, Ehtonal, Inc. has recently launched a new Kickstarter for their documentary project, BEEP: A History of Game Sound. The Kickstarter aims to help produce both a documentary film and detailed guidebook exploring the history of video game sound and music from its earliest days all the way to the present. The creators of the project, a team of musicians, academics, and journalists, are aiming to make BEEP the definitive chronicle on game sound and music. In a message whose spirit is very much in line with RPGFan Music's own aims, the head of the endeavor, Karen Collins, states that she "wants to use the documentary film to engage the masses musicians and non-musicians, gamers and non-gamers alike with her message."

Part of the project's aim is to help ensure that the fascinating history behind video game audio isn't lost to time, and is preserved as well as various other art forms have been. Collins says, "We have a really unique opportunity in that nearly all of the people who worked on video games are still alive. We can't go back and interview Beethoven or Max Steiner or Carl Stalling, but we can document game music and sound history right now, and then it's there for all the people in the future who might have questions. We've got a librarian on board who has a master's degree in popular music who is going to help us with archiving and making the footage available in the best way possible. So in a way, this project is about protecting this heritage that we have, recording it now before it's too late."

Already confirmed as attached to the project is the excellent Tenpei Sato (Disgaea, Mugen Souls). Regarding his participation, the team writes, "...Sato has been composing game music and designing sound effects all the way to the days of Telenet Japan. We're especially interested in talking to him about how he pioneered the use of vocals in video games, through the landmark Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure and ongoing Disgaea series."

RPGFan Music is also incredibly excited to announce that the venerable Noriyuki Iwadare (Grandia, Lunar) will also be part of the documentary. Iwadare-san is a legendary name in the game music scene, and of his participation the creators said, "...Iwadare became one of the first composers to popularise CD-based audio through his Lunar soundtracks. Incredibly versatile and prolific, he's also behind the high-quality scores of the Grandia, Ace Attorney, and Langrisser franchises."

Extensive information on the project can be found both on its Kickstarter project page, which, with 34 days remaining in the campaign, has already raised over half of its $40,000 CAD funding goal. Additional details can also be found at the project's official site.

If I may write for a moment not as the entity RPGFan Music but as the person managing it: I've already mentioned the significance of this project as it relates to the goals of RPGFan Music, and I can't overstate the value of protecting and preserving the history of video game music so that both our and future generations have the ability to take a glimpse back through the history of this fascinating medium-- not just through listening to the music itself, but also through careful, academic documentation and preservation projects like this one. While it might obviously showcase my own support, I strongly urge any and all lovers of what we do here at RPGFan Music-- both our reviews and features section and Rhythm Encounter-- to give this project strong consideration!