The Player Piano team is back at it again with a medley of iconic Mario music. The soundtrack to the original Super Mario Bros. is arguably one of the most iconic video game scores of all time, with variations of the original Koji Kondo compositions appearing frequently in newer Mario games. Resident Player Piano composer Sonya Belousova puts her own spin on four of the pieces most often associated with the first game; the overworld Ground Theme, the Underground Theme, Underwater Theme, and Level Complete 1 Theme.
The Ground Theme is left largely unchanged from the original composition, with Belousova adding few embellishments to the arrangement. She infuses the Underground Theme with an entirely new tone, however, giving the typically ominous-sounding track an almost bouncy feel. It has hints of 1940’s easy listening weaved into the compostion, transposing the familiar “dun-nuh, nuh-nuh, nuh-nuh” from the bass line to starring in the treble line. If Cole Porter had ever written video game music, this would be his contribution.
The Underwater Theme gets a trippy accompaniment of visual effects thanks to director Tom Grey. Sonya’s hands were already moving so fast that when the wavy effect kicked in, I was almost convinced her speed was leaving the keys trailing behind her in the wavy pattern. She ends the quartet of selections with the Level Complete 1 Theme, which is you’ll recognize from the moments after Mario reaches the flag pole at the end of a stage.
Sonya plays on an awesomely modified Grand Piano, created by Megan Burns to resemble an NES, complete with an oversized fallboard resembling the system’s hinged cartridge door. We have covered previous Player Piano renditions, including this Game of Thrones medley, the timey-wimey Doctor Who theme song, and the incredibly well-done “A-Theme” from Tetris.
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