Gaming music icon Tommy Tallarico leads the city’s first production of Video Games Live. 

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Two disparate entertainment genres and the cultures they represent merge May 21 in the form of an immersive multimedia concert experience that showcases music from the world’s most iconic and popular video games.

Classical orchestral and vocal music have long been considered a staple of so-called “high culture,” while video games have been relegated to “low culture” possibly since their infancy in the early 1970s, said Susan Webb, director of marketing and public relations for Oklahoma City Philharmonic.

Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Philharmonic Pops Chorale worked together to break down those stereotypes and preconceptions with its show Video Games Live (VGL).

The result is a rock concert atmosphere that includes a fusion of gaming imagery, videos and theme tunes melded with the dynamics and passion of a symphony orchestra and chorale. Its goal is to showcase the technology, interactivity, visuals and fun of gaming’s most dramatic moments.

“We’re trying to engage audiences with the Philharmonic,” Webb said of the production, which makes its Oklahoma City debut with this show.

It hits Civic Center Music Hall with force after it sold out all previous shows on its 2015 run in cities all over the world.

VGL was co-created by Tommy Tallarico, a composer who has created video game scores across multiple platforms for more than 20 years. He has worked on RoboCop Versus The Terminator, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Pac-Man World, MDK, Advent Rising and multi-platform sensations like the Earthworm Jim and Prince of Persia series.

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He’s often credited with helping transform the industry; his music moved gaming sounds from monophonic beeps, simple loops and chiptunes into a dynamic medium that now also includes its own game-specific soundtracks and live concerts.

Tallarico also helped create exclusive song arrangements and video for Video Games Live, organizers said. Tallarico will be at the Oklahoma City show.

“There is a subculture waiting for others to acknowledge its presence,” said Webb of video game fans. “Average single ticket buyers will come out of the woodwork at the last minute to get seats.”

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The interactivity aspect also gives fans an opportunity to help choose which songs are played on May 21.

Webb said the event’s Facebook page allows viewers to vote for their favorites, including The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Guitar Hero and World of Warcraft.

Print headline: Serious fun, Gaming music icon Tommy Tallarico leads the city’s first production of Video Games Live.

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