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Favorite Game Composer
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StudioTan



Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Posts: 323

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 12:37 pm    Post subject: Favorite Game Composer Reply with quote

I thought maybe we could discuss musical scores in video games that we find really interesting. After all, the score can often make bad/mediocre games tolerable. If you'd like, also include a sample of a score you find particularly interesting.

My favorite (at the moment) is Jesper Kyd. He has an impressive body of work; mainly in video games, but also fiilm.

Here is a list of his works:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesper_Kyd

And here is a particular piece that I really enjoy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyykU4GwSDs

These moments often compel me to halt progress and turn up the volume. I can give many other examples, but I thought I would let someone else name names. Wink


I'm interested to see if anyone else has similar errr.. interests!
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Longo_2_guns
Ruler of the Queen's Navy


Joined: 29 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jesper Kyd's work in the Hitman games has been phenomenal. I hope they bring him back for the next one. Same with Assassin's Creed. 3 and 4 were clearly lacking his talent.

And picking a favorite is really hard. So instead I'm just going to share one of the most amazing NES songs ever.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypNPxwnppU0

I'll come back when I've made a decision.
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StudioTan



Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Posts: 323

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, Longo. What an amazing piece! I totally didn't expect it to take off in the many directions it did. Now I want to play this Solstice game. Never had an NES. I think I'm missing out on a lot of awesome gems. Thanks for contributing, buddy!
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De-Ting
Formerly Known as Prince


Joined: 11 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, I hardly ever focus on who's actually making the songs, but there are a few composers whom I've taken the time to learn their names.

The two that stand out the most would be Pierre Estève and Stéphane Picq.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGv684as3zo
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HK-47
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shoji Meguro

Anything really.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMrLgtM8HV8
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StudioTan



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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool submission, De-Ting. I love the different instrumentation. Its use of all the percussion and vocal chanting gives it a tribal vibe; African perhaps. I dig it! I particularly like the music that starts at 16:02, "Am ma eya." Glad to see games I'm not familiar with!

Ah, Shoji Meguro. Excellent composer. The piece you posted reminds me of something I've heard off Brian Auger's Oblivion Express.. maybe with a hint of Steve Vai. Thanks, HK!


Last edited by StudioTan on Thu May 29, 2014 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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UrbanMasque
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobuo_uematsu
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StudioTan



Joined: 29 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was waiting for Mr. Final Fantasy Wink I don't think there is a single composition by him that I don't absolutely love.
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De-Ting
Formerly Known as Prince


Joined: 11 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

StudioTan wrote:
Very cool submission, De-Ting. I love the different instrumentation. Its use of all the percussion and vocal chanting gives it a tribal vibe; African perhaps. I dig it! I particularly like the music that starts at 16:02, "Am ma eya." Glad to see games I'm not familiar with!

Yeah, that's one of my favorites. Atlantis' soundtrack was probably the first to strike me as emotionally-engaging video game music.
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StudioTan



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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, here's another: Caesar 3. It's a city construction game, and your job is to govern and build on Rome's ever expanding provinces. I have logged sooooo many hours in this game, and what really hooked me (other than its light-hearted gameplay) was the music. If I went back in time to visit Rome at its peak, I would be really bummed not to hear music similar to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7UL2Dnyf1I

Doesn't it make you want to build gladiator colosseums and prefectures and waste as much of Caesar's money as possible?
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Lien
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michiko Naruke

People rarely talk about female video game music composers, especially the Japanese ones. She's probably one of the best in regards to that group.

Her best work? The wild arms series:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfEnhiZz_5c
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StudioTan



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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wild Arms, hmmm. There's another game to add to the list. I really like what I hear so far!

Unfortunately, there aren't that many notable female composers. Historically, many were well known because of who they married or were kin to (like Clara Schumann). One does stand out to me: Sofia Gubaidulina, who doesn't write for video games, but is a reputable modern composer nonetheless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4lPrz4Nhtk

This piece could definitely be used for a video game (or The Shining). It does seem to be influenced by Bartok. It was actually written in dedication to the great cellist, Rostropovich. It's quite haunting, and a lot of it contains an ambient tone so it wouldn't be too intrusive and overshadow gameplay. Her music is definitely worth checking out. Thanks for the input, Lien. I will be on the lookout for more women of music now.
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Green_Lantern
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Performer rather than composer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhy2aNEPshw
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De-Ting
Formerly Known as Prince


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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Green_Lantern wrote:
Performer rather than composer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhy2aNEPshw

Yeah, you'd have to be some kind of weirdo to not like McGroove.
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Green_Lantern
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's so smooth.
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MattAY
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Joined: 02 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What abour Rough McGruff?!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoC8W5ALnJI

NOBUO UEMASTU!!!!

Kidding Wink

I love Kyd's work on AC2. Ezio's Family theme is my favourite in the whole series.
I loved Harry Gregson-Williams in MGS2 until I realised he actually was a film composer!...Well I still love him, but he doesnt count here.
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StudioTan



Joined: 29 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MattAY wrote:
I loved Harry Gregson-Williams in MGS2 until I realised he actually was a film composer!...Well I still love him, but he doesn't count here.


Sure, he counts! If a person has written for a single game, count it! I encourage everyone to research a little something about the music you like, especially within film and games. You may be surprised with what you discover. For instance, after looking up Harry Gregson-Williams, I found that he's been involved with every MGS after "Son's of Liberty," has collaborated with Hanz Zimmer (Lion King guy) he is composing the score for the newest CoD game (which may be its only redeeming quality - just kidding). He was also the composer for Shrek 1-3. Wow!

I'm glad I made this thread; superb submissions so far. Thanks, comrades!
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LinksOcarina
The Anti-Fanboy


Joined: 08 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lien wrote:
Michiko Naruke
]


Fun fact, Naruke guest composed an arrangement for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It is one of my favorite remixes in the game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7PsFD9UuY8&feature=kp

There are a lot of good composers out there. Uematsu, Kyd, Fallion and Naruke are all good choices.

I'll throw a few more into the mix, starting with Robert Prince. He was the guy behind the scores of a lot of id Software games,including Doom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRpxZsHQJDA

Grant Kirkhope, probably among the best composers in gaming, working on pretty much every Rare game from the mid to late 90's to 2008. Some of his best work includes games like Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark, and Goldeneye, Hes recently done work for Kingdoms of Amalur and Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBSG6O5cfKY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7dXoNUPE74

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z28AtkRbqqM

We also have Jack Wall and Sam Hulick, the team for BioWare's Mass Effect. Wall worked on the first two games, while Hulick did a lot of the work in 3, along with composer Clint Mansel and several others.

Wall recently worked on Lost Planet 3 and did other games, such as Jade Empire, Mark of Kri, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. Hulick's game credits are Maximo vs the Army of Zin, Conclave, Baldurs Gate: Enhanced Edition and Fates Forever as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVm_ljDSdwA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOEQm2UAJCo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YuNG_lF7as

And thats off the top of my head. Will likely think of more tomorrow.
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HK-47
You are all meatbags


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

StudioTan wrote:


Ah, Shoji Meguro. Excellent composer. The piece you posted reminds me of something I've heard off Brian Auger's Oblivion Express.. maybe with a hint of Steve Vai. Thanks, HK!


Your welcome, loved his work in Persona 4 and after 70+ hours it was summed up in the True Ending Final Boss Battle. The Genesis, it was just glorious.
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StudioTan



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all that input, Links! I only recognize Robert Prince out of the names you mentioned - cool man! I like what I hear from all the links you provided, especially the Banjo-Kazooie tune. It's like a polka and a march; almost an evil carnival sound. The instruments reminded me of what you'd hear on the pirate ship in Donkey Kong Country 2. I imagine lugging around cannon balls with a Bassoon for a peg leg.

I've noticed many newer games tend to have a team of music writers. I wonder how that works. I suppose they may write their own material, then it's all used throughout the game.

HK-47 wrote:
Your welcome, loved his work in Persona 4 and after 70+ hours it was summed up in the True Ending Final Boss Battle. The Genesis, it was just glorious.


This is my favorite part about great video game scores: Motif. It's a musical "theme" you can hear throughout the entire game. Sometimes it's been transposed in another key, arranged with different chords to add color, sometimes heavily embellished with little counter melodies. So, often times, you have to listen carefully.

One example of a game that relies on a motif is Demon's Souls (composer - Shunsuke Kida). It is the four notes you first hear in the opening credits. Now, music is interestingly absent for most of the game except for boss battles and some video sequences - I like this, it adds to the suspension of pondering what's ahead. Ok, Most bosses have their own unique tune to give them character, but each piece contains that haunting motif somewhere inside. It's a very powerful and grimacing sounding theme. In my opinion, it bears a strong resemblance to Dmitri Shostakovich's DSCH motif (which is basically his musical signature, considering his constant use of it).

Here are some examples of the Demon's Souls motif. The first three are easy to distinguish:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGo5UWO_HLA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFjotdhdBLM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0AJLiW91aQ

The motif shows up in this one around the 1:05 mark
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBVgcgIeD_g

This one is basically comprised of the main theme, it's just colored differently:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaZWK0RaPFk

How many times did I use the M word? Anyone else know of any game scores that have a recurring theme/motif?
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