A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR...
“For many gamers, the SNES marked a golden age of
video games and the soundtracks that accompanied
them. For the first time, technology was available that was capable of producing games with vivid
art, complex and captivating storylines, and music that could truly establish the atmosphere
required to complete a fully engaging experience for gamers. Game developers were finally able to
produce epic masterpieces on Game Paks that truly represented their artistic vision, as opposed to
relying on the imagination of gamers to fill in the gaps left by the technology of previous
Though the SNES served as a launching pad for the level of immersiveness video games would go on to
provide over the next 30 years, it was also the pinnacle of the 16-bit era, providing gamers with
one last glimpse of how far technology had come before game developers would go back to the drawing
board to start from scratch in the 3D era of graphics. The SNES’s relatively minimal, sprite-heavy
graphics showed how vivid and imaginative artists could be with fairly primitive technology, and it
has always amazed me how well SNES-era graphics have aged when compared with their 3D successors.
Likewise, the SNES’s SPC700 audio engine, which could only handle 8 distinct voices at any given
time and up to 64kb of audio data, required composers to be extremely thoughtful in the choices they
made. The phrase “limitation breeds creativity”, is profoundly apt when it comes to the artists who
brought us the masterpieces of the 16-bit era, which have gone on to inspire a sort of renaissance
in recent years with the explosive popularity of 16-bit style games such as Shovel
Traveler, as well as the world of chiptunes and music trackers.
After the OC Jazz Collective’s in-depth exploration of Chrono
Trigger in 2016, I knew that
the console which provided us with one of the most memorable gaming experiences of all time deserved
its own treatment by the collective. After all, many series of equal stature to Chrono
Trigger such as The Legend of Zelda, Final
Fantasy, Mario, and
Metroid, all released some of their most popular titles on this console which would go on
to define their respective genres. While the initial groundwork for Mode Seven: A Jazz Tribute
to the SNES began way back in late 2016, multiple circumstances including relocating across
the country, personnel changes, the loss of my father (who bought me my SNES in 1996!), and a global
pandemic delayed the release until 2022. While Chronology will always hold a special place
in my heart, I think that the OCJC has upped their game to a whole new level for Mode Seven.
The “dream team” assembled for Chronology has grown in size, and new arrangers, musicians,
and a representation of SNES titles both beloved and overlooked have all come together to create a
fitting follow up to our first release in 2016.
Capturing a style of music such as jazz that requires such close interaction between musicians is no
easy task when the musicians are seperated by multiple continents, recording their parts one at a
time. However, with the level of musicality and meticulous attention to detail this ensemble brings,
I hope that Mode Seven: A Jazz Tribute to the SNES will be as memorable as the console
which inspired it.”
- Dylan Wiest (Wiesty)