Playing in an Online VGM Medley

October 25, 2022, 9:32 AM · Over the couple years I've been doing more recording for online collaborations, where I send my stems over to others or they send things back to me, and we compile everything into an ensemble video. In 2016, I had some experience with playing in a Doctor Who medley, but never had I been so involved in the video-making process and really critically listening to myself before I started this recording in 2020 and 2021.

Last month, I was asked to play violin for a big collaboration video in an event called "vgmtogether!" This is a weekend on Twitch where various musicians play a set of their choosing, sometimes based on a theme for this event. There are also panels discussing various topics, like streaming game soundtracks on YouTube and the loss of sound quality versus on CDs. The final collaboration is a big medley of music from a single game, where different arrangers and performers choose a track and focus on their part of it. I'm not sure of the full history of the event, but I remember watching what I believe is the first one last year for Paper Mario: The Origami King. The one I played in this year was for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild; I specifically played four violin parts in the track "Rito Village," playing with one other violinist, so our sounds could blend together to become a full strings section (we recorded our parts multiple times over).

While this is far from my favorite way to make music, as I'd much prefer to play with people when we're all in the same room, there is something quite nice about receiving, practicing, and recording my parts, knowing I'll be playing with my fellow musicians to create a beautiful track together. This has been the predominant way I've made music since the pandemic: online in this virtual space.

I think what made working on this medley even more exciting was seeing how many unique arrangements and styles would be covered throughout it! There were a few other string players on some of the other tracks, too, one theme for jazz big band, one for a brass ensemble, and those lovely minimalist piano solos heard so much throughout the game, all represented here. It can feel a bit like whiplash, but there's a nice animation in-between each track to help ease that transition. To me, this is one of the things that makes this special online form of music-making unique from even straightforward concerts and recitals. Just the fact that there were so many more minds behind this one medley made it feel even bigger and more special to be part of.

I'll be sharing a video of it on YouTube when they upload it. For now, it should still be available on Twitch under vgmtogether, if you look through videos and for the big showcase.

Side note: I recently took my style of filming and recording game covers and applied it to an original piece: "Autumnal!" The violin part ended up being slapped on top of the piano part right as I was deciding I would record it for a video, but I am still quite pleased with how this small work turned out! Check it out here!


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