Tom Brier Is a Name You Should Know
Earlier this morning, my friends over at The Nerdfit Network introduced me to a couple of videos that blew my mind. I’m almost always a fan of musicians putting their own spin on video game music, as I’m a huge fan of the genre, especially the classics. What I saw today was not only unlike anything I had seen before, but impressive on several levels.
The man you see above is Tom Brier. He is a ragtime pianist, and he doesn’t know anything about video games. He is however, an incredibly gifted “sight-reader.” What that means is that he can play a piece of music the first time he looks at a sheet of music, and he can play it well. A friend of his decided it would be interesting to write up some sheet music to some old Nintendo games, and see what Tom could do with them. The results are amazing. Each video of his features a different song, and Tom giving it a go on his first attempt. There are some sour notes in the beginning, but once this man gets into the groove, there’s no stopping him. There’s even an instance where the rest of his ragtime band likes the tune so much that they join in on the fun.
What this shows is that video game music can truly transcend the medium. The limitations of older hardware created the necessity for composers to write some very strong melodies, and they hold up well to this day. It also never ceases to amaze me just how versatile this music can be, with covers ranging from acoustic guitars, to heavy metal, to even ragtime. Mr. Brier, today, you are my hero.
I’ve included a few of my favorites below.