Video Game Dreaming (1996/2010)

for saxophone quartet

duration: 13 minutes

Faber Music publishing details, also available in version for clarinet quartet

Audio Excerpt

Excerpt from “GameBoy Music”, performed and recorded by Continuum Sax

Programme Notes

i. Start Select Pause Reset

ii. Gamer’s Hypnagogia

iii. GameBoy Music

Video Game Dreamingis a work written in response to video games, their characteristics and their effects upon our everyday lives. For the past 30 years or so of my life I have been an avid player of video games, going right back to the advent of Pong and Space Invaders in the late 1970s through to the first-person shooter and real-time strategy games of the current day. To some people, video games are a waste of time, whereas for others, they are an intriguing, addictive form of relaxation and even social interaction.
This piece is in three movements. The first, “Start Select Pause Reset”, refers to the buttons found on the controllers of many video game consoles. Each of these buttons interrupts and alters the flow of the game in progress, and similarly the music in this movement is segmented and interrupted. The term “hypnagogia” refers to the state (and hallucinations) between waking and sleep, and provides the inspiration for the second movement. One problem with playing too many video games is the difficulty of sleeping afterwards, with images from the games constantly flooding your mind, uninvited. It is as if the game is still playing in one’s brain without conscious control. The final movement, “GameBoy Music”, takes as its starting point the idea of a malfunctioning video game, perhaps a hand-held game in which the batteries have gotten wet.

notes by Matthew Hindson.

CD Recording Available?

              The final movement, “GameBoy Music”, is available on a CD by

Continuum Sax.

Other Information