“Video game music is what I have been listening to ever since I got into playing video games,” said Gabe Walsh-Shore ‘22.
Walsh-Shore, taking on the Math and Theater double major in the Education department, has been a DJ for Muhlenberg’s radio station since the beginning.
He signed up to be a part of radio at the Fall activities fair and felt that this would be great practice for his future interests. That being, becoming a voice actor for cartoons or an anime dubbing project. To him, DJing seemed like a nice stepping stone towards that goal.
He soon realized, however, that there’s another reason for his contribution, that being, the music he features.
“I also get to share a very unusual type of music genre,” Walsh-Shore explains. “[One] that I really like and get to share it with the world and it’s really cool.”
Walsh-Shore’s show Bits & Pieces airs from the radio station in Walson Hall on Monday evenings from eight to ten. Bits & Pieces is a show which plays only music tracks from video games. Walsh-Shore draws his inspiration from the various video games he plays.
“I’ve played video games since I was very young and the music has always had a big impression on me,” said Walsh-Shore.
Walsh-Shore explained how video game music reminds people of a game they used to play and allows them to relive the memory of that game. To explain this further, he uses the Mario theme song as an example.
“If you heard it [the Mario theme song] just the first few notes of it—Bam you recognize: ‘oh that’s Mario’ and you get a whole image of Mario and all these experiences you’ve had with him and that has always interested me,” said Walsh-Shore. “Like how can you get an entire world just by listening to video game music.”
One of the greatest challenges Walsh-Shore has with his show is preparing the tracklist. To prepare for his weekly show, Walsh-Shore takes a few hours to find tracks and creates playlists by downloading music off of YouTube.
Each week, Walsh-Shore makes sure that he plays tracks that he not only enjoys, but creates a significant diversity for his audience to listen to.
Although he is a big fan of the Super Mario tracks, he also makes sure to play other video game tunes, searching the internet for tracks from video games he may or may not have ever heard or played before. Walsh-Shore makes sure that each track is different and that he does not repeat a track that was played in the previous show.
Each track lasts about two and a half minutes, so for each show, at least forty tracks are prepared to fill up the entirety of the two hours.
Walsh-Shore also finds talking on the radio challenging. “You don’t want to have pauses or dead air so you just have to keep talking and try to find something to say,” Walsh-Shore describes, “but that’s a nice challenge. I like that.”
Tending to not talk a lot on the radio, Walsh-Shore often lets the music speak for itself. However, moments in between songs, he may add past and upcoming titles, as well as some facts regarding the games in question. A new aspect Walsh-Shore added to his show is to give his listeners an update on the headlines in the video game industry, such as the release of a new game.
When asked what his favorite part about radio was, Walsh-Shore said that it was getting to share the music that he really loves with the hope that somebody will remember or get a feeling of nostalgia when they hear a soundtrack they recognized from a game that they played years ago and have them say “oh, I remember that.”
“I love that feeling of being in this world [of video games] and it always has had great impression and I want to share it and hopefully it will connect with others. That’s what started my show,” said Walsh-Shore.
Although he finds talking a challenge, Walsh-Shore holds a love for being able to just say his opinion with the knowledge that an audience of people are tuned in to his program.
Walsh-Shore said that he is really thankful for this.
“I love that compared to watching a movie or a TV show there is a different form of interaction between the player and the game.” Walsh-Shore said, “The pattern with all of those games that I really like is that they all have a story to them and I love stories. I love telling stories and experiencing stories.”