So. While hunting for a live performance of a song from the Beatmania IIDX series, a totally sweet primarily-piano piece known for its near-impossibility to play as a video game, much less on real instruments, I stumbled upon this incredible version, performed by the phenomenal TeppeikunViolin and his lovely pianist assistant. Of course, it turns out that beyond just having RIDICULOUS chops on the violin, he's also a nerd in the best sense. Not only has he done a great violin cover of the internet sensation "Bad Apple!!", he's also done a cover of the music from the original Legend of Zelda that must be seen, a cover of Super Mario Bros. that makes subtle reference in the background, as any good Japanese Nintendo fan should, to "Kintamario," and a little something he calls "Tetris being played on a Game Boy with a dying battery" that absolutely must be seen to be believed.
Long before Robert Johnson ever went down to the crossroads, violinist & composer Niccolo Paganini was rumored to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for musical ability. Evidence against this theory: Paganini's 5th Caprice actually prevented the devil from stealing The Karate Kid's soul (the devil settled for stealing Ralph Macchio's career instead). Evidence in favor of this theory: When played on acoustic guitar, the virtuosity in his 24th Caprice really seems supernaturally inspired. For my money, however, the perfect storm of ominous music & stringed instruments comes together in this version of Carmina Burana (mp3 direct download), arranged for solo banjo.