Rob Kovacs aka 88Bit Plays NES Video Game Music at Appletree Books

Fri 7/19 @ 7PM

The mission of Cleveland’s No Exit New Music is to commission and present new avant-garde style pieces, often in alternative venues rather than regular concert halls. In keeping with this goal, they’re presenting Cleveland pianist Rob Kovacs aka 88bit at Appletree Books in Cleveland Heights for a free in-store concert.

Kovacs, who has played in various contexts in local ensembles, has recently been doing piano arrangements of electronic music from early NES video games.

“Early video game music was written to be performed by computers, not humans — so the composers didn’t have the historic constraint of playability,” says Kovacs. “As a pianist, NES music can be super challenging to play — three voices all incredibly fast and syncopated, huge leaps, etc. I’ve transcribed the music and come up with my own arrangements, trying to be as true as possible to the original soundtracks.”

The program at Appletree include selections from Mega Man 2 (Takashi Tateishi, Manami Matsumae), selections from Final Fantasy (Nobuo Uenatsu), selections from Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (Kenichi Matsubara), The Adventures of Lolo (Hideki Kanazashi), Marble Madness (Brad Fuller, Hal Canon, David Wise) and Arkista’s Ring (Sizilla Okamura).


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