Six jazz arrangements from the six-person ensemble.

The Hard Modes have released their second video game music arrangement album with Extra Lives, Vol. 1.

The sextet comprising arranger Gregory Weaver on saxophone, Brandon Walsh on trumpet and flugelhorn, Pat Hayes on drums, Andre La Velle on bass, Trevor Williams on vibraphone, and Nick Berkin on keys have put together six arrangements for this new release.

Themes from the soundtracks to Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy VII, Mega Man X, Persona 5, Secret of Mana, and Undertale have been reinterpreted into jazz pieces.

Every track on the album was recorded at one of two live performances last year at the WTJU 91.1 FM studio during the Charlottesville radio station’s Jazz Marathon and Free Play – an online jazz festival organised by Weaver.

“When we play a live show, the shackles come off – that’s the vibe we’re excited to bring with this album,” Weaver said. “We had another studio session planned the weekend after states closed for COVID, and while we’re itching to get back to that project, there was no better time to release these tracks.”

A couple of the album tracks – “Into the Tick of It/Did You See the Ocean?” and “Uwa!! So Temperate” – have never been recorded before.

Extra Lives, Vol. 1 is available for purchase from iTunes and can also be streamed from Apple Music and Spotify.

“Everyone is starved for the raw energy of live music right now; we hope that Extra Lives will help uplift listeners’ spirits until we can be together in person again,” Weaver added.

The group’s debut EP, titled The Cemetery Sessions, was released in 2019 and is also available from digital platforms.