It may be somewhat trite to use "that quote" -- you know the one -- from Portal's ending theme "Still Alive" to mark the successful completion of something, but it's entirely appropriate in the case of Tommy Tallarico's Kickstarter campaign to fund a third Video Games Live album.
The campaign ended moments ago, with a final total just shy of $300,000 -- comfortably above the $250,000 Tallarico and the team were asking for. This is a happy turnaround from the position the campaign was in 10 days ago, when trends seemed to indicate that the project would not meet its target, despite a lineup of tracks and medleys that got more and more exciting with each update.
Both Tallarico and the Video Games Live organization itself chipped in some money to the project, since the total cost of the studio-recorded album was set to be around $275,000 in total, with the bulk of costs stemming from the hiring of professional musicians (including a 72-piece orchestra and 60-person choir) and studio expenses. The aim was not to make a profit from the Kickstarter campaign, but rather to simply help make the project a reality and, by extension, continue to bring video game music to those who care as well as introducing it to those who don't... yet.
The eventual lineup has a very strong track listing, including music from Monkey Island, Street Fighter II, Skyrim, Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, Beyond Good & Evil, Silent Hill 2, World of Warcraft and Diablo III along with the rather fantastic Tetris Opera seen in the video above. Many of the tracks set for inclusion on the album are exclusive arrangements put together by Tallarico and the Video Games Live team, most of which have never been recorded or released before -- though some have been performed at the Video Games Live concerts around the world.
Shortly before the project reached its $250,000 target on September 11 of this year, Tallarico announced that Valve was supporting the new album, meaning that two additional tracks would be added to the lineup. First up is an exclusive Video Games Live arrangement of music from Dota 2, which Tallarico worked on alongside Valve's composer Tim Larkin and their mutual friend Jason Hayes of Blizzard. Second of all is a version of Portal's ending theme Still Alive, performed by Tallarico and a guest vocalist. Although the majority of the "Level 3" album will be studio-recorded, Tallarico decided that Still Alive would be the perfect track to do a live recording of, and will thus be recording all of the song's performances during the upcoming South American Video Games Live tour, with the best, most energetic version of the song -- audience participation mandatory, of course -- making its way on to the album.
In one pleasant final surprise, Tallarico also noted that the "Bonus Round" album -- a collection of music all backers who donated at least $5 would receive -- would include a special track from YouTube vocalist Peter Hollens, best known for his Skyrim video performed alongside violinist Lindsey Stirling.
It's fair to say that judging by the increasing number of exclamation points in the last few backer updates on the Kickstarter page that Tallarico is very excited the project has come to fruition. And with good reason, too -- it looks set to be a pretty great collection of some classic video game music from over the years.
The album is set for release in February 2014. Although the Kickstarter funding drive ended earlier today, you can still read up on the project on the campaign page.
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