Game Soundtrack Composers.
The Sound tracks composed for computer games rivals many works composed for cinema and big-screen productions. In this post I have highlighted a few pieces created for computer games and their respective composers.
One of the first pieces highlighted in this post is the theme music for the 2006 game Tombraider: Legend, the theme music of which was composed by Troels Brun Folmann(b.1974), who also composed works for Project Snowblind(2005), Tombraider:Anniversary(2007), Tombraider:Underworld(2008) and the 2009 video game Batman:Arkham Asylum. The piece created TR: Legend won Folmann a BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Telvision Arts) award for best original soundtrack of which he speaks about in an interview with Westlee Latta from CDM (Create Digital Music) where he also lists his influences and explains a bit about the “adaptive micro-scoring” technique used for composing music for games.
“Allow me to go into detail on micro-scoring. One of the ways that games differ from motion pictures is in the interactive nature of the media and the fact we can never fully predict player behavior. The micro-scores are made in such a way that they adapt to player action or interaction.” (Folmann. 2006).
Below is a video demonstrating the theme music for Tombraider: Legend(2006) as well as a link for the website containing the full interview with Folmann and fan’s related comments.
Another composer, and now Audio Directer at Bungie Entertainment Studios, who has composed one of the most iconic video game soundtracks is Martin ‘Marty’ O’Donnell(b.1955). Along with fellow composer Michael Salvatori, the two have composed and scored the soundtracks for all games in the Halo series. In the video clip, posted below, O’Donnell explains his take on why audio and music is so important to the feel of a computer game
In an interview with Daniel Schweiger for Film Music Magazine, O’Donnell briefly highlights the importance and difference between scoring music for interactive gameplay and cinematic cut-scenes.
“Cinematics are linear and I can score them to a set time. In-game music needs to adapt to variables that can change the length of the music that plays. I need to compose and design music that can seamlessly playback in our sound engine and adapt to triggers that cause changes in the music. Hopefully that will give the player the sense that their personal journey through our game has been scored in a way that’s unique to their own experience.” (O’Donnell. 2010.)
Below is a video showing the theme music for the first in the Halo series, Halo:Combat Evolved(2001), as well as a link to the website containing the rest of the Schweiger/O’Donnell interview.
The last composer I have highlighted, and who has been mentioned in my previous post on ‘Composers for Digital Media’, is Tyler Bates. As well as having composed soundtracks for films, Bates has also created works for games which include Army Of Two:The 40th Day, Transformers:War For Cybertron(2010) and Watchmen:The End Is Nigh(2009).
Below is a video of the main theme music for the 2010 game Army Of Two: The 40th Day, which is a typical example of Bates’ apocolyptic soundtrack composition involving similar chaotic, orchestral instrumentation with a slight ethnic feel characterised by sweeping-pitched string sections and eastern sounding percussion as found in his previous works.
Other game soundtrack composers:
-Elder Scrolls:Oblivion (2006)- Jeremy Soule
-Dead Space 2 (2011)- Jason Graves.