Posted on March 28 2015 by Jeffrey Edelstein
Hello fellow music lovers and welcome back to another entry of our (forever belated) Weekly Feature: The Weekly Music Spotlight! Every week, we showcase a YouTube artist or two who takes tunes from The Legend of Zelda and makes them their own, whether it be through arrangements, covers, or any other kind of altered take on the source material.
Last week, we took a look a couple of musicians who excel on the keyboard, so this week we’ll turn to a different branch of instrumentalists whose focus is found in the haunting timbre of stringed instruments. These two artists excel in the use of one or more stringed instruments, and use them to turn the tunes that we know and love into even more moving pieces of music.
Our first featured artist goes by the YouTube handle CelloBassett, and (as his title implies) his specialty lies in the cello. Relatively new to the YouTube scene, CelloBassett has released a handful of videos on his channel, all showcasing video game tunes played solely with the cello, but only one of them in from a non-Zelda game (Metal Gear Solid, in case you were wondering). Just yesterday, we showed off his beautiful rendition of the Lost Ancient Ruins theme from A Link to the Past, but today we’d like to show off an equally fantastic (if not more so) arrangement of his, found above.
CelloBassett’s above cover of the iconic Hyrule Castle theme from A Link to the Past does more than put the piece on a new instrument; it expertly encapsulates the mixture of fear, adventure, and excitement experienced in-game. We can likely expect more ALTTP greatness from this artist in the coming weeks as he moves further through the soundtrack of the game, so be sure to subscribe if you don’t want to miss a beat!
Next up is an artist we’ve also featured in the past, and whose instrumental talents are demonstrated on everything from the violin to the guitar. String Player Gamer, headed by Diwa de Leon, produces everything from orchestrated video game music covers, to original musical compositions. Leon himself is a live musician and professional tv and film composer who plays specializes in string instruments, and plays violin, guitar, and the hegalong (a two-string guitar from the Philippines). Among the wide range of tunes that have been released on his channel in the past seven years are a wide number of video game covers, with everything from Zelda, to Mega Man, to Mario, to Final Fantasy, a acapella videos (sometimes aided by instruments), and so many more.
While many of the smaller arrangements and covers feature Leon, in the past couple years, a wide array of his orchestrated arrangements have been released in the form of his multi-man Mini Mario Orchestra, characterized by (what else?) many Marios playing any number of instruments side by side. If you’ve been with us for a while, you’re probably familiar with one of our favorites of this format: The Ultimate Zelda Medley. An epic thirty-minute arrangement of Zelda tracks from across the years, it’s well worth a listen for any and all fans of the series. Beyond that, chances are if you’ve got a favorite Nintendo tune, The String Player Gamer’s got you covered.
As per Nintendo’s recent policy changes regarding content that draws from their IPs, however, Leon won’t be producing new Nintendo tunes in the immediate future, so the above arrangement of Dragon Roost Island, featuring fellow musician and harpist extraordinaire, Perovskite13, might be his last Zelda arrangement for some time. For the sake of more inspiring stringed arrangements and covers of our favorite Zelda tracks, let’s show him our support and hope this issue gets resolved quickly and painlessly.
If you’d like to learn more about either or both of these artists, please check out the links below! And remember: the best way to keep up with a YouTube artist’s works is to subscribe to their channel. Not only do you support the artists you love listening to, but you can receive notifications via gmail whenever they release a new track! Have you found any new favorites among these artists’ tunes? What are you looking forward to (hopefully) hearing next from these two musicians? Share your thoughts with us below.