Chip music has it's roots in early video gaming, taking the simple, sweet tones of the Commodore 64, Nintendo Gameboy and many more to create a diverse range of music with very specific limitations. Those limitations gave rise to ingenious and highly skilled methods of making music, pushing the hardware to it's technical limits. The sounds themselves are synonymous with the hours spent playing video games, so for those who enjoy them they hold a special resonance - if that's you, you'll be pleased to know a 2006 documentary about the scene has just been made available online:
A combination "rockumentary," art expose, and culture-critical investigation, 8 BIT ties together the 1980s demo scene, chip-tune music, and artists using "machinima" and modified computer games. Produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo, the documentary brings a global perspective to the new artistic approaches of the DIY generation that grew up playing Atari, Commodore 64, and other video game console.
8 BIT. (2006). USA. Original concept and direction by Marcin Ramocki. Produced and co-directed by Justin Strawhand. With artists Cory Arcangel, BIT SHIFTER, Bodenstandig 2000, Bubblyfish, Covox, Mary Flanagan, Alex Galloway, Gameboyzz Orchestra, Glomag, HUAROTRON, JODI, Paul Johnson, John Klima, Johan Kotlinski, Nullsleep, Joe McKay, Tom Moody, Akiko Sakaizumi, Eddo Stern, TEAMTENDO, Treewave, Chiaki Watanabe, and Carlo Zanni; curator Isabelle Arvers; media critic Ed Halter; and new media curator/writer Christiane Paul.
8 BIT premiered on October 7th, 2006 at the Museum of Modern Art in NY.
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