8-Bit Music on 88 Keys
88bit is the alter ego of composer/pianist, Rob Kovacs, where he performs virtuosic note-for-note piano arrangements of classic video game soundtracks from the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Kovacs’ repertoire consists of music from Mega Man 2, Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest as well as lesser-known games such as Marble Madness, Adventures of Lolo, Arkista’s Ring and others. By acoustically recreating early electronic music (music never intended to be performed by humans), Kovacs is stretching the limits of traditional classical piano playing and bringing video game music to audiences that might never have otherwise heard the music.
Kovacs has been performing and recording as 88bit since 2017 and has played at major events including GDC, the G.A.N.G. Awards, MAGFest, PAX, the Mensa National Gathering, NeoSonic Fest, Classic Game Fest and many others. He has performed music by and for legendary video game composers including David Wise and Takashi Tateishi.
Not limiting himself to only 8-bit era music, Kovacs also performed with the Distant Worlds Final Fantasy orchestra and even toured with nerdcore rapper, Mega Ran.
He has been interviewed by Level with Emily Reese, gameinformer.com, NPR’s “Sound of Applause” (WCPN Cleveland), NPR’s “Shuffle” (WKSU Kent), NPR’s ReSpawn Podcast and others.
Outside of 88bit, Kovacs is an award-winning composer, pianist and singer/songwriter. He is internationally recognized as the first person to perform Steve Reich’s Piano Phase solo by playing both piano parts on two pianos simultaneously. Kovacs composed the entire score to the virtual reality game, STRAYLIGHT.
Kovacs also writes and performs as a solo singer/songwriter as well as fronts the indie-rock bands Math + Logic and Return of Simple, the latter of which plays regionally and who’s music has been played on satellite, college and Pandora radio. He has performed and recorded with other artists including Mark Mothersbaugh, Parson James, Sandra Bernhard, Natalie Weiss, Rachel Potter, Grace Love, Margot Bingham, and Herzog.
88bit is supported by an amazing group of generous supporters on Patreon.