Brierized.
December 26, 2010 8:55 PM   Subscribe

For your listening pleasure, I present to you the Zelda Rag, performed (with no prior practice) by Tom Brier. When that gets old, there's also a ragtime adaptation of the horse race theme from the Ocarina of Time that is not to be missed. And if Zelda's too easy, you can try the theme from Ghosts and Goblins. And, finally, an actual rag from Final Fantasy VI: the Spinach Rag.

The theme for Super Mario Brothers 2 also works pretty well... And it looks like there are about three hundred more adaptations to be had!
posted by kaibutsu (22 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also this
posted by The Whelk at 9:00 PM on December 26, 2010


These are cool. Thanks for posting!
posted by cribcage at 9:02 PM on December 26, 2010


Previous Brierity. The Zelda rag is fantastic. Also, don't miss his rendition of Birabuto Kingdom.
posted by knave at 9:03 PM on December 26, 2010


Am I missing something--is this Zelda day? This is the fourth post, at least. And no, I can't Tri-Force.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:15 PM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is Zelda day.
posted by The Whelk at 9:18 PM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now and forevermore.
posted by The Whelk at 9:19 PM on December 26, 2010


Wow.

Not ragtime but:song of storms cello ensemble.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:32 PM on December 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


I still think his most impressive sight-read was his rendition of the Animaniacs theme-- just when it looks like he ends, he cranks up the awesome to 11.
posted by ShawnStruck at 9:41 PM on December 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


When he really started going, and the picture started to rock precipitously as if being buffeted by sound waves, I became convinced that his hands were going to break the piano, that the splintering piano was going to break the camera, and that the exploding camera was going to melt my computer.
posted by bicyclefish at 9:49 PM on December 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I still think it is weird that a ragtime piano player somehow went through life never having heard the Super Mario Bros song.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:51 PM on December 26, 2010


I still think it is weird that a ragtime piano player somehow went through life never having heard the Super Mario Bros song.

But don't you see? He had to go through life that way, so that he could bring us this Christmas* miracle.

* There are no atheists in Hyrule honky-tonks.
posted by No-sword at 10:03 PM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I still think it is weird that a ragtime piano player somehow went through life never having heard the Super Mario Bros song.

Trying to somehow make some joke referencing Unaccompanied Sonata by Orson Scott Card. Failing. Maybe that's for the best.
posted by jscott at 11:47 PM on December 26, 2010


How in the blue hell do his hands move that quickly? Is he a robot?
posted by cerulgalactus at 1:55 AM on December 27, 2010


I still think it is weird that a ragtime piano player somehow went through life never having heard the Super Mario Bros song.

I am a ragtime piano player in my crude way, and have never played a video game and never heard a Super Mario Brothers song, and it took me a few minutes to figure out that what the guy was ragging the little electronic tunes that tootle in the background of these games. I come to these melodies as a complete virgin. And I am completely delighted. "Zelda" (I'm guessing this has nothing to do with Mrs. Fitzgerald, or does it?) is marvelous.

The human desire for melody is strong. Popular culture has parched this generation, offering it monotonous chants, endless melisma, and electronic rhythm, when what the heart longs for is a nice tune. So these poor children clamp onto these little incidental melodies remembered from their youth and lap them up in their few measures like a man thirsting to death who holds his tongue under a dripping faucet. It's a sad spectacle.
posted by Faze at 4:47 AM on December 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


I daresay this Brier varmint's so good at the PEEano that I do believe I'll just wait 'til he finishes his song before I try to plug that no-good poker cheat Black Billford Buford, for fear that Brier might stop playing mid-song and quietly shuffle out the saloon door when I announce my violent intentions.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:14 AM on December 27, 2010


"I'm guessing this has nothing to do with Mrs. Fitzgerald, or does it?"

The naming of the character was is indeed in tribute to her, as I recall!
posted by beschizza at 6:03 AM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Brierized?" Is that the ah... preferred nomenclature?
posted by cmoj at 8:54 AM on December 27, 2010


This man is a national treasure. His "hand solos" are so awesome he should be frozen in carbonite and preserved for future generations!
posted by Quasimike at 9:37 AM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm confused why people are not cursing Ticketmaster trying to get closer seats to one of Tom Brier's many international tour stops at all the top-flight performance halls at $100/pop. Is this guy active somewhere? I have never heard someone this good with a piano.
posted by jscott at 10:32 AM on December 27, 2010


I found a biography of him, and now I'm wondering what the cruelty of life is that he's being wasted as a programmer/analyst.
posted by jscott at 10:34 AM on December 27, 2010


he's being wasted as a programmer/analyst.

Ah, that would explain the epic neckbeard.
posted by sourwookie at 4:20 PM on December 27, 2010


Faze:
Popular culture has parched this generation, offering it monotonous chants, endless melisma, and electronic rhythm, when what the heart longs for is a nice tune. So these poor children clamp onto these little incidental melodies remembered from their youth and lap them up in their few measures like a man thirsting to death who holds his tongue under a dripping faucet. It's a sad spectacle.
Do not write off popular culture so quickly, I find this an exceptionally uninformed view of pop culture. As a child of "this generation" and as someone who has been playing violin for 13 years and piano for 20, I am more likely to listen to Liszt than Lady Gaga, to lump all music from popular culture as "incidental melodies" is powerfully degrading of the skill, knowledge, and yes, art that goes into many video games. Even back in the days of 16-bit game systems like the SNES, games such as Crono Trigger, Zelda, and Secret of Mana have hours of fully orchestrated music. Despite the fact that it was generated with a 16-bit audio processor, much of this music was written, scored, and recorded with just as much love and care as anything written by Salieri, Bach, or Mozart.

Just because music is new, or generated by computer doesn't mean it isn't great. Music and all art is meant to be enjoyed (and hopefully make the composer boatloads of cash). Game music today is like operatic music of yesteryear. It sets the stage for the story, some is light for an operetta, others are meant to be grand stories. Not all performances were meant for the royal stage. But those that were, the games that have big stories to tell, the ones that somehow tell us a story about ourselves, are not just drips from the faucet. No, sir. These little pieces of pop culture were written with just as much care and skill as anything else. That is why they move us, they tell us stories, they carry us to a time and place we can only imagine, just like the Brandenburgs carry us to the bustling cities of 18th Century Germany.
posted by thebestsophist at 9:37 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


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