Video game music has become a massive genre, filling stadiums at concerts that feature full orchestras playing classic tunes. Now, one of its most iconic original composers is releasing new music, with tracks that fit perfectly into a dungeon crawling adventure or 16-bit space battle. Manami Matsumae, the genius behind the soundtrack for the first Mega Man game, has just published her first solo album ever. Check out some of the tracks below:
With a total of 12 original tracks and two remixes, the album features music reflective of several genres in video game music. Matsumae's work spans three decades, and that's likely what the album's title, Three Movements, refers to -- in some way, at least. The arrangement itself feels like it is split up into three different acts, separated by the soft Intermezzo entries. From chiptune-style boss battle themes to softer tracks like the album's Intermezzos, it's easy to see why Matsumae was hired to create some of the most recognizable themes in video game history.
“By this point, I've created music for a number of video games,” Matsumae says on the album's Bravewave page. “These songs come in a variety of genres, and I want everyone to listen to the different styles I've experienced throughout the years, which is why I ended up creating my album in this fashion.” Matsumae composed, programmed, and mixed every track on the album, including the 8th song, Neverland, which features her own vocals.
Matsumae's career began in 1987, promptly after graduating from the Osaka University of Arts. She joined Capcom’s Sound Production Department in that same year, and by December, her first major entry into video game music -- the original Mega Man -- had been released. Since then, she has worked on countless other titles, including recent entries like Shovel Knight and Mighty No. 9.
Three Movements is available now for $10 via Bravewave.