I remember back on the Holiday Season of 1991. The scene was Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem NC. As i reflect back on some of my favorite memories with my dad, this particular recollection stands out to me. There were two kiosks setup outside of KB toys, a very popular toy store back in the 80’s and 90’s. One kiosk had a Super Nintendo playing “Super Mario World” and the other kiosk had a Sega Genesis playing “Sonic the Hedgehog”. As my sister and i walked the halls of the mall with our parents, we saw the kiosks and ran frantically to the entrance of the toy store where the kiosks were. My sister grabbed the controller of the Super Nintendo for the very first time, and i watched on as she played (another kid was unfortunately playing the Sega at the time, so i had to wait my turn to play the lightning fast Sonic the Hedgehog 1). I was 8 years old at the time, and my sister was 11. As i marvelled at the bright colors and graphical capabilities of the Super Nintendo entertainment system, i noticed that the music and sounds of the 16-bit Super Mario World were so different and unique from the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). I couldn’t believe how great the sound quality was, and the soundtrack was superb. The clarity of the sound stood out to me the most.

The other day my father passed away, and i was searching through my book of memories in my mind and this one came up. As i looked up video game music and trap remixes to cartoon theme songs with my 6 year old daughter, i came across this remix of the Super Mario World “game over” jingle. I was blown away by this musical piece of art by Phillip Schlosser and Hephesto Music. From the excellent use of the sample, to the dynamic rhythms of the percussion and dynamics, this piece is impressive. I love how smooth and simple the sample loop is. The best part is that the synthesizers are not overbearing, so the piece still manages to maintain its value of 1991 nostalgia, while bringing the versatility of a 2018 hip-hop instrumental. Upon sharing this YouTube clip with my brother, he said something that i felt really sums it up. Since it is a game over theme, my brother texted me and said, “They turned something tragic into something fire”. Wow, that is so true in this musical creation! Then i began to think, shouldn’t this be our goal in life as people? To turn something tragic into something good, or as my brother puts it, fire? Many of us are going through trials, hardships, and tragedy. Many of these negative experience in life are circumstantial. My father consistently had a track record of turning something tragic into something “fire”, or within this context, great! My hat goes off to Hephesto music and their creation. As you listen and enjoy this smooth creative instrumental, my desire is that we all think of ways to turn what is “tragic” in our lives into something “fire” or great! The fire of passion, the fire of purpose, and the fire of goodness to others. Love, peace, and happiness to all.

V.R.

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