Sycamore Drive…

I’ll admit it – I’m a child of the 8-bit era… After the break…

Sycamore Drive…

Despite the fact that I lived, ate & breathed through the entire 8-bit era (as well as the 16-, 32- & 64-bit eras as well), I am woefully unknowledgeable about all of the chiptune musicians floating around. I can name more people who have played in the National Hockey League (of whom my knowledge ends with, “Isn’t that like soccer but played on ice?”) than groups that produce chiptune music. I should probably change that, considering a chunk of my childhood was spent listening to the 8-bit music that accompanied the computer games that I played.

To be fair, the blips and bloops of chiptune music isn’t for everyone and I’m pretty sure that a huge part of the appeal is the nostalgia one feels when listening to the style of the music, nevermind the actual music from the video and computer games themselves. There are those who can tell the differences in the texture and patterns of, say, an Atari 800 versus a Commodore 64 versus a classic Nintendo machine. I’m not at such a stage where I can be that electronic music wine taster and say something debonair such as, “Why, yes, I believe that was recorded using the SAP format, if I’m not mistaken…”

Like any other skill, it must be nice to have the ability to write music with such an unique pallet of sounds. The ability to create chiptunes of even relative simplicity has always eluded me despite a few valiant attempts at doing so just for my own bemusement.

I mention all of this because I stumbled across an old Youtube bookmark to a group called “Sycamore Drive” the other day, a musical group that creates chiptunes.

The history of computer and video game music, like so many other areas of history involving computers and video game consoles, is woefully under-appreciated and under-documented. It makes me wonder how much of the history is already lost to time, given that people lose their precise memory of events, documents or other media storage becomes lost and that people eventually pass away. It is another example of why we need to care about our history and preserve it so that the future generations can study such events from a scholarly perspective and build upon it.


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