Tarleton piano professor’s recital to feature music of video game composers

Dr. Leslie Spotz

STEPHENVILLE (January 3, 2019) — Dr. Leslie Spotz, professor of piano at Tarleton State University, will perform a public recital and present music as part of a special project upon returning from a semester-long faculty development leave to Asia, New York and Los Angeles.

The free recital takes place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Theater.

Spotz spent the spring 2018 semester visiting Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, New York and Los Angeles and conducted a critical study of some of the most prevalent, recognized composers for piano in gaming music — a group that is international and relevant to today’s music industry.

Her upcoming recital will feature gaming composers both from Asia and also the U.S., where it is now a burgeoning discipline. These include composers of Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Tetris and Halo. There just may be a few surprises in store, says Spotz.

The professor of piano also has been invited to perform this program in Timoteo, Brazil, the week of Jan. 7, at McLennan Community College in Waco on Jan. 31, and at the Coppell Conservatory in Dallas on Feb. 17.

“It is an honor to have pianist Leslie Spotz as artist faculty of the II Encontro Internacional de Pianistas no Vale do Açoin Minas Gerais, Brazil for January 2019. She made a great impact in Brazil when she visited in 2013, when she co-founded the Encontro Internacional de Pianistas de Piracicaba,” said Brazilian pianist JoãoPaulo Casarotti.

Spotz brings an international reputation as artist and teacher. Piano teachers and students come from all over Brazil during this festival with a distinguished faculty from Brazil, the U.S., United Kingdom and Colombia.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Spotz share her project about video game music for piano,” Casarotti said. “This is a really important and exciting topic that fits perfectly with our new initiatives to bring classical music closer to our young generations.”

People from ages 2 to 92 play video games. At the core of most video games is the music that entices, mesmerizes and carries the player along the path of the game. Similar to a film score, the music has been characterized by “great emotion, beauty and 20th century minimalism.” This music has evolved from the earliest music of silent film and vaudeville to modern film scores and music videos from the 1980s and 1990s and MTV. It is accessible and popular with the general population and is thriving as a commercially viable enterprise, with sales on iTunes and other formats reaching into the millions and sold-out concerts worldwide of gaming music by the “Video Games Live!” and “Let’s Play!” orchestras, among other groups.

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