The Synthetic Orchestra Advent Calendar Brings Games to the Holidays

When I was a kid, my sisters and I loved doing the Advent Calendar thing. Each night in December, we’d rush to find the right door, behind which would be hidden a little ornament that we could hang along the hearth. As we got older, we added on more calendars – sometimes Lego buildings that we’d build brick-by-brick, sometimes digital stories where each day would unlock a chapter. Today is the 24th, and it marks the end of the Advent Calendar that I’ve been following all month: the Synthetic Orchestra Advent Calendar, providing Christmas-style covers of video game themes. 24 songs, each done with choirs, bells, and a drifting feel to give the overall impression of cold winter evenings. Some of the songs lend themselves nicely to the new style; for example, this Minecraft song is a pretty straight translation:

Some of the other pieces are a bit more of a stretch. Even so, I love how creative he got with the Battlefield 1942 theme:

You have to admit – the vocals are clever. Of course, the strength of a cover is in taking the original and playing with it, so it’s tough to appreciate if you don’t recognize the tune; but with 24 to choose from, it’s likely you’ll find at least one that will make you grin. And honestly, look at this spread – he’s done a great job picking some amazing themes that will trigger almost anyone’s nostalgia (like this Lemmings song does for me).

I realize now that I should have posted this at the beginning of the month, so you could open each new door with amusement and wonder (by bad – that one’s on me) – but this way, you get to pick and choose the themes you recognize for the best end product, skipping the all the covers that you don’t recognize. But even if you skip over songs, I want to make sure you know that Synthetic Orchestra is genius. I think this is a really clever idea, and I enjoyed following it – and I hope I’ll see it again next year.