Good friend Joey Mariano, also known as Animal Style, a person who has been a great and fantastic supporter of our website since the beginning, not to mention an amazing chiptune musician has asked me to post this info about his latest release Gameboy Madrigals (which Jephso announced when it released). He goes a little deeper into what madrigals are and why he decided to dedicate an entire album to the idea. And with that, I give the floor to Animal Style.
CLASSICAL MADRIGALS COMPOSED ON A 1989 GAMEBOY
Early composers of the madrigal used only two to three voices to create counterpoint. Realizing the opportunity for reinterpretation through the gameboy sound chip, Joey Mariano set out to create a body of Chiptune madrigals inspired by early role playing and puzzle video games, Japanese folk melodies, and masters of the madrigal such as Francesco Landini. A definite departure from his normal musical approaches, Joey Mariano's Gameboy Madrigals strives to create a mood relying on melody and counterpoint instead of an ever-present, never-ending, bleed-your-ears-dry dance beat that dominates modern electronic music.
The Madrigals seem to flux in and out of the correct era. The tambre is distinctly 8bit, a modern texture compared to some of the Classical influences in this EP. Retro video game tonalities are combined with Retro-Reniasance / Medieval mixtures of interlocking melodies on Songs like "Gather 'Round Retrograde." The Pentatonic scales and intricate bends of Japanese folk music are integrated into Mariano's song "Tokyo Cornfeild in Antigravity." These mardrigals are by no means conventional and break many of the standard rules, yet somehow they fit nicely as a modern extension of the medium. Traditionalists might raise a skeptical eyebrow to Mariano's interpretation, but there are many things that he does to retain the authenticity of the style. Early Madrigals used 2 to 3 voices, the gameboy has only 3 melodic monophonic channels with which to create melodies. Mariano argues that this helped restrain him and keep the emphasis on counterpoint. The extensive use of 6/8 and ¾ time signatures also add the feeling that these madrigals fit within the lineage.
Joey Mariano added many ideas to the Gameboy Madrigals that are not distinctly at the core of the standard Madrigal. The way he uses counterpoint is sometimes Reniasance sounding, sometimes Medieval, sometimes Baroque, but all and all it adds to the classical feel by jutting between styles. Mariano claims that he could not deny some of the styles in between the Madrigal and Modern 8bit music. "Some of them just crept in there unconsciously." It works seamlessly. The capabilities of the vintage Gameboy also helps to reinvent the Madrigal's sound. The effects of the gameboy: the chord arpeggiator, the extreme pitch bends, the portamento effects, and the glitchy break-ups all add an interesting approach to this Neo-Medieval Style.
You can download Animal Style's Gameboy Madrigals for free at iimusic.net [Pause], a newer net label that features some of the best in experimental chiptune music. Animal Style is Joey Mariano's chiptune alias. If you enjoy his Madrigals there is a Donate button that you can click on to support his music. Mariano keeps most of his music free so that anyone can download it, listen to it, and share it with their friends. He makes money through his live performances, donations, and his job as a Guitar instructor at several Art Centers in the Philadelphia area. For his next release he plans on returning to his usual style of composing, but instead of releasing the music on a standard compact disc or through and electronic format, he plans to release his own Nintendo Cartridge playable on the original NES system. This project is being completed with some help from his friends Alex Mauer and No-Carrier, both famous chip tune innovators.