Published on January 25th, 2013 | by John Fuller5
Taylor Davis Brings Together Violin Music and Video Games
“This is a very exciting time for me,” says Taylor Davis. Davis, a classically trained violinist and video game fan, has managed to merge two of her favorite hobbies to produce some very exciting results for both her and her fans.
In 2012, she was not only exciting but also very busy, releasing three different albums and working on the Riders of Rohan expansion for Lord of the Rings Online.
Davis’s latest album is Game On: 2 Player Mode, a collaboration done with musician Lara de Wit. For Game On, Davis and de Wit combine their classical violin and piano skills to cover some of the greatest songs from video game history, including “Eyes on Me” (Final Fantasy VIII), “Song of Storms” (Zelda, Ocarina of Time), and the Fairy Tail theme. When asked for her personal favorite on the album, Davis says, “Lara and I both ended up liking ‘Roxas’ [Kingdom Hearts II] a lot. It’s such a passionate song and I’m really happy with how our arrangement turned out. I am really proud of the album, especially given the short amount of time we had to work together in person.”
“Lara and I both ended up liking ‘Roxas’ a lot. It’s such a passionate song… “
Davis and de Wit have worked together before, but Game On was the biggest project they’ve done in person. “Lara and I collaborate so often together online, and it’s always such a pleasure working with her.” Davis says. “We decided that there was definitely enough of an audience to justify flying her out to the states to stay with me for a few weeks to invest in producing an album together, so that’s what we did! She came out and stayed at my house for two weeks and we created all of our arrangements together and recorded all of her piano parts within the time she was here. We actually produced everything in my little homemade studio. Even though we worked pretty much nonstop it was also a lot of fun because besides being an amazing musician, Lara is also a wonderful person and a great friend of mine.”
(Davis with de Wit, from their photo shoot for Game On: 2 Player Mode)
Earlier in 2012, Davis released Gaming Fantasy, a solo album covering more video game songs, and Davis worked extremely hard on this one. In addition to playing the violin parts for Gaming Fantasy, Davis also created all of the orchestral backtracks, did the arrangements, and handled all of the mixing. “At the time I was still learning how to use the software,” she says. “It’s still something that’s very difficult for me. I’m hoping to work with some arrangers this year to help me with the new albums because it’s almost too much for one person to take on all of the production aspects.”
Easier production for Davis means she can spend more time playing the violin, and maybe enjoying a few hobbies.
One of Davis’s favorite pastimes has always been video games. She says, “I definitely spent more time playing video games than practicing my violin when I was younger.” Davis once was a big Everquest player, but now she spends more time with music than video games. She still has a few favorites, including Skyrim, Diablo III, and Torchlight II, but League of Legends is the one that gets her most attention. “I play [League of Legends] most often because it’s the game my husband and brother enjoy the most,” she says. “Since my brother lives across the country, it’s a fun way to connect with him besides chatting on the phone.”
If you look at the songs from Gaming Fantasy and Game On, you will notice a lot of classic RPG songs, with quite a few from the Final Fantasy franchise, as these games were some of Davis’s favorites from her more hardcore gaming days. “I also spent a lot time on the Final Fantasy games because I would always try and get the best weapons and ultimate to really make my characters as good as they could be,” she says.
Dedication to becoming the best possible is something that has carried over from video games to music for Davis. In 2012, she made music her fulltime work, and it is an endeavor she takes very seriously. She’s up early most mornings, and she puts in around three hours of violin practice and improvisation. “The entire afternoon/evening I dedicate either to recording a new video, recording audio for a CD, arranging/composing backtracks, or general administrative work for my websites,” she says. “ I try to keep my days fairly structured so I don’t go overboard.”
“I’d like my fans to know how truly grateful I am for all of their support”
In addition to her two gaming cover albums, Davis also released An Enchanted Christmas in early November. This album has 14 holiday songs in Taylor Davis violin style, with her “Auld Lang Syne Scottish Medley” being a TechZwn favorite.
Another exciting development for Davis has been her involvement with the Lord of the Rings Online “Theme for Rohan.” Warner Brothers approached Davis to do a promotional video for the Riders of Rohan soundtrack, and it was an opportunity Davis was more than happy to accept. “ I was so excited to get hired for it not only because of the great opportunity to receive a professional video to post on my channel, but also for the opportunity to work in person with the actual composer of the game, Chance Thomas.”
While 2012 was an exciting year for Davis, 2013 might be even better for her and her fans. Now that she has built up an audience and reputation for quality music, she will begin work on an album of her own original works. “My original music will be very similar in style to some of my favorite video game soundtracks,” she says. “I really enjoy epic music with great beats, the kind of music that would really get you pumped up in the gym.”
Davis hopes to keep delivering amazing music to her fans, and she wants to extend her thanks to everyone who has been supportive of her. “I’d like my fans to know how truly grateful I am for all of their support in helping me create a career out of doing what I love. Growing up, I had always heard how competitive and difficult it was to make a career in music, and while that’s very true, it’s not impossible. I’m so thankful that my fans gave me the necessary support and encouragement to pursue music as a full time career. So far it’s been going well and I’m able to make a living doing what I love. I couldn’t be happier!”