Music Respawn With Kate Remington

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WSHU Public Radios Kate Remington combines her love of music and video games in this series of informal conversations with composers and performers of game soundtracks. Plus, theres lots of music in the interviews, so you can hear it for yourself!


  • Ian Chens Fantastic Soundtrack For Fantastic Creatures

    Ian Chen's Fantastic Soundtrack For 'Fantastic Creatures'

    28/05/2020 Duração: 01h55s

    Composer Ian Chen says writing the soundtrack for the Chinese mythology-inspired Fantastic Creatures by Blue Callisto Studios was a dream project because he combined his love of traditional Chinese instruments with the myths he listened to as a child and his love of real-time strategy games. He enjoyed the challenge of combining traditional Chinese instruments with Western ones to bring out the best qualities of both. Fantastic Creatures uses Chinese myths of creation and destruction to give the player a choice to bring the desolate world back to live, or destroy evertying. Ian says he enjoyed giving a musical voice to the ancient gods and godesses whose stories he learned as a child. Ian's soundtrack was nominated for Game Music of the Year by the Game Audio Network Guild. Although it didn't receive the award, Ian says it was an amazing honor to have his first full-length game score recognized alongside those of established game composers. And it's whetted his appetite to write more

  • David Housdens Soundtrack For Lost Words: Beyond The Page Is An Emotional Journey

    David Housden's Soundtrack For 'Lost Words: Beyond The Page' Is An Emotional Journey

    14/05/2020 Duração: 47min

    In Lost Words: Beyond the Page, Izzy deals with her grandmother's illness by writing her thoughts in her journal. As the game progresses and it's clear that her gran's illness is quite serious, Izzy's journal becomes an escape as she creates the fantasy world of Estoria. David Housden created a soundtrack that partners perfectly with this emotional story. David says he looked to films by Pixar, Dream Works and Studio Ghibli for inspiration for the emotionally difficult experience young Izzy is going through. To help with the process of writing music for orchestra, piano and voice, David tapped his good friend and fellow composer Gareth Coker and his team for orchestration. At Gareth's suggestion, David approached the developers with the possiblity of the outstanding Nashville Scoring Orchestra recording the soundtrack at Ocean Way Studios, something that really makes the music come alive. David also worked with wind virtuoso Kristin Naigus and classically trained singer Elizabeth

  • Peter McConnells 1928 Banjo Gives Plants Vs. Zombies A Down Home Vibe

    Peter McConnell's 1928 Banjo Gives 'Plants Vs. Zombies' A 'Down Home' Vibe

    07/05/2020 Duração: 43min

    Award-winning composer Peter McConnell is no stranger to the world of Plants vs. Zombies . Battle for Neighborville is his third soundtrack for the series. He's also no stranger to the banjo! He's been playing since he was 13, but when he spied a gorgeous 1928 Gibson five-string in a music store he regularly haunts, he knew it would be perfect for the Cheese Mines levels in the game. Peter gave the whole soundtrack a real roots feel, also using a slide guitar. He even wrote his own, in his words, "earnest" folk song, Where Have All the Plants Gone , inspired by legendary folksinger Joan Baez, who's actually a neighbor. Because Plants vs. Zombies Battle for Neighborville is a science fiction game at heart, Peter also added plenty of classic synths. He says the developers at Pop Cap also suggested the sound of the score for The Time Machine, based on the novel by H.G. Wells. Peter says getting the right emotion in his music for a game keeps the writing interesting, whether it's the

  • Kenny Wood And Igor Nemirovskys Music Goes Large In Amoeba Battle

    Kenny Wood And Igor Nemirovsky's Music Goes Large In 'Amoeba Battle'

    29/04/2020 Duração: 36min

    Amoeba Battle, a real time strategy game, gives teams of players a chance to save the world, defeating one virus at a time. Composers Kenny Wood and Igor Nemirovsky were encouraged by developer Grab Games to create music that gives an epic scale to the microscopic world the amoebas inhabit. Players in Amoeba Battle can explore different worlds, and adapt their army of amoebas to the different enemies they encounter. Kenny and Igor say the developers at Grab Games provided lots of inspiration for the various enviroments. Amoeba Battle has been in development since 2011, and both Kenny and Igor say it's been a great experience to revisit the music they wrote all those years ago and adapt it to the finished game. They're planning to release a soundtrack in the near future as well. Episode tracklist: All tracks performed by Kenny Wood and Igor Nemirovsky Amoeba Battle: Kenny Wood: Battle 2 Igor Nemirovsky: Obsidian Peak Kenny Wood: Final Battle Igor Nemirovsky: Mushroom Kingdon; Primorial

  • Winifred Phillips Score Adds 60s Cool To Spyder

    Winifred Phillips' Score Adds '60s Cool To 'Spyder'

    22/04/2020 Duração: 51min

    The spy-thriller, Spyder , from studio Sumo Digital, is an homage to a classic genre that had its golden age in the 1960s. The Apple Arcade game features an adorable mechanical spider, Agent 8, created like one of James Bond's gadgets, that players control during missions that are increasingly dangerous. Composer Winifred Phillips created the perfect '60s and early '70s inspired soundtrack, featuring elements of jazz, orchestral, and even early synth rock sounds. She says doing the research by reviewing classic spy and adventure films and TV shows helped her keep the score pitch-perfect. Winifred says the first music she wrote for Spyder was the trailer soundtrack, which encapsulates lots of aspects of the game: suspense, heroics, and Agent 8's confident swagger. Winifred's insightful articles about writing game soundtracks appear regularly on Gamasutra, and her sessions at the annual Game Developers Conference are among the most well-attended. She was planning to present a session

  • Oda Tilset Sees Computer-Generated Music As A Tool, Not A Threat

    Oda Tilset Sees Computer-Generated Music As A Tool, Not A Threat

    15/04/2020 Duração: 19min

    At this year's (now postponed) Game Developers Conference, composer and sound designer Oda Tilset planned to present a session about how incorporating music created by a computer's Artificial Intelligence can be a useful tool. Oda tells me that AI-generated music is really helpful to generate ideas that a composer might not have thought of. For musicians and composers who are just getting their feet wet with computer-generated music software, Oda reccommends Noknok Audio , which is very flexible and easy to use. One of the murkier aspects of using AI to create music is who owns the end product. Oda has studied numerous user agreements for sharing audio and music, including SoundCloud and there's no clear answer. She says the best part of using AI is that it's like having a collaborator without those painful discssions about whose ideas are better! Episode tracklist All tracks composed by Oda's computer AI, modified in her digital audio workstation. Thanks to Dick Roberts for production

  • Gareth Coker Scores Oris Next Adventure In Will Of The Wisps

    Gareth Coker Scores Ori's Next Adventure In 'Will Of The Wisps'

    06/04/2020 Duração: 02h46min

    Ori and the Will of the Wisps by Moon Studios continues the adventure begun with the beloved Ori and the Blind Forest. Will of the Wisps takes Ori on an emotional journey as he searches for his new friend, Ku. Gareth Coker, who also scored Blind Forest , told me that writing the score for Will of the Wisps gave him plenty of fresh ideas because of all of the new characters in the game. Gareth was part of development of Will of the Wisps since the game's beginning, which gave him plenty of time to finetune themes for each of the new characters. Gareth worked with some outstanding musicians, including Kristin Naigus, who plays 21 different wind instruments on the score, and vocalist Aeralie Brighton, whose voice was so memorable in Ori and the Blind Forest. The digital release of Gareth's soundtrack is over three hours long, and follows the story arc of the game. A vinyl release by IAM8Bit is planned as well, and because LPs hold fewer minutes of music, Gareth describes it as "composer's

  • Paul Ruskays Ambient Lumote Sound And Music Is Inspired By Nature Films

    Paul Ruskay's Ambient 'Lumote' Sound And Music Is Inspired By Nature Films

    27/03/2020 Duração: 49min

    Lumote is a dreamy puzzle platforming game created by the tiny team of Luminawesome. Composer and sound designer Paul Ruskay describes it as "a science fair project" because they designed a completely new way of generating the graphics with a program that's normally used to place the music at the appropriate moment in a game. The art style is flowy, and as the little blobby Lumote moves through the world interacting with the various flowers and little "dumb-bats," or batteries, the whole environment feels like it's underwater. Paul used that as inspiration, as well as the way nature films are shot and edited to create his playful, ambient soundtrack. Paul says he was thrilled to have a chance to add music and sound design to the genre of puzzle platformers, including games he really admires, like Portal. He says working on this soundtrack felt like unexplored territory, as it did when he wrote the music for the iconic Homeworld series of games. Paul's soundtrack is available with the

  • Helge Borgarts Music Is The Perfect Sound For The Surge 2

    Helge Borgarts' Music Is The Perfect Sound For 'The Surge 2'

    18/03/2020 Duração: 44min

    The sparsely-populated world created as the result of a plague in The Surge 2 needed a suitably dystopian sound for the music. I talked with composer Helge Borgarts of BowsToHymns who, with his colleague Thomas Stanger, crafted their music for the soundtrack that's inspired by the striking visuals and unique sound design by developers Deck 13. Helge and BowsToHymns also worked on the soundtrack for The Kraken , an expansion for The Surge 2 set during the 1980s on an aircraft carrier that's been turned into a cruise ship. Helge says it was really fun to recreate a grunge rock sound from some of his 1980s heroes. The Surge 2 Soundtrack, including the Kraken expansion is available in Apple Music, and many other sources. Episode tracklist : All tracks composed and performed by Helge Borgarts and Thomas Stanger (BowsToHymns) The Surge 2: Plane Crash; Infiltration; City Exploration; University; The Wall; Dangerous Harbour; Black Market; The Escape (feat. Alina Lesnik, vocals); Kraken Electro

  • Chilling Out With Alessandro Coronas And His Laidback Mutazione Soundtrack

    Chilling Out With Alessandro Coronas And His Laidback 'Mutazione' Soundtrack

    10/03/2020 Duração: 55min

    Mutazione , a quirky game created by the studio Die Gute Fabrik, has one of the most laidback soundtracks ever. From his very relaxed studio on Sardinia, Alessandro Coronas created a wonderful mix of low-fi, accoustic and synth sounds to accompany young Kai on her voyage to save her grandfather on a very unusual island. Mutazione has been in development for ten years! Alessandro says the initial concepts remained from the beginning. They included the magical seeds the player can select for their various healing properties and musical sounds. That allows you to create your own soundtrack, too. Alessandro is also the sound designer for the game, so he was able to grow the music out of the sounds of the game world. He says working with the small team of Die Gute Fabrik, and especially artist Nils Deneken, was a wonderful experience because of the freedom and synergy they all had. The four-hour soundtrack, which includes extended suites adapted from the musical cues, is available through

  • Revealing The Heart Of Hollow Knights Music With Solo Piano

    Revealing The Heart Of 'Hollow Knight's' Music With Solo Piano

    03/03/2020 Duração: 01h06min

    Christopher Larkin's score for Hollow Knight is one of the most beloved soundtracks in recent games. I talked with arranger David Peacock and pianist Augustine Mayuga Gonzales about their project to adapt Chris' haunting music for solo piano. David says he appreciates Christopher's involvement in developing the arrangements. He says Chris advised him to use the lore of the game as inpiration for his arrangements. Augustine says he loved playing David's arrangements because they were challenging, but also allowed him to use his background as a classical pianist. The soundtrack is available through Bandcamp, and a vinyl release as well as a book of sheet music are also planned. Episode tracklist All tracks by Christopher Larkin, arranged by David Peacock and performed by Augustine Mayuga Gonzales Hollow Knight : Hornet; Greenpath; Resting Grounds; Dung Defender; Crossroads; City of Tears; Reflection; Radiance; Hollow Knight Follow Kate on Twitter Subscribe to Music Respawn in Apple

  • Swingin With The 8-Bit Big Band

    Swingin' With The 8-Bit Big Band

    21/02/2020 Duração: 33min

    Led by arranger and founder Charlie Rosen, the 8-Bit Big Band has rekindled a love of swing with fans of game music. Following a sold-out show in New York City, the band has invited high-energy sax virtuoso Grace Kelly to join them for two concerts in Boston on March 1 . As Charlie told me, he has so much admiration for classic themes from Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy that he thinks of them as The Great Game Songbook. Charlie says his love of Broadway provides the inspiration for his arrangements, which range from classic Benny Goodman to a Frank Sinatra-style cover of Still Alive from Portal. Grace and Charlie performed together as part of The Late Show Band, and their energy just clicked. Grace has been a special guest for many of the 8-Bit Big Band's concerts. Both Charlie and Grace are planning to debut new arrangements of beloved game themes at the Boston concerts. The band has released two albums , and third is due out this summer. Episode tracklist

  • Rob Kovacs Rediscovers Buried Treasure In Long-Lost Game Music

    Rob Kovacs Rediscovers Buried Treasure In Long-Lost Game Music

    14/02/2020 Duração: 42min

    For every classic NES video game that we all remember, like Castlevania, Zelda and Super Mario, there are literally hundreds that have fallen into obscurity. Pianist, composer and arranger Rob Kovacs is on a mission to bring these long-lost treasures to a new audience with his note-for-note piano transcriptions of themes from obscure games like T he Adventures of Lolo , Arkista's Ring and Marble Madness . As he told me, he's become a sort of musical archeologist, and it's been exciting to rediscover music from the very early days of Nintendo's history. Rob's not completely stuck in the past, though. He's currently working on the soundtrack for the VR space flight game Straylight. He says his music is built around his classic Prophet 5 analog synthesizer from the late 1970s with its iconic sounds. Videos of Rob's performances of classic NES themes are on YouTube, with even more available on his Patreon. And he has plans to release his Straylight soundtrack this summer. Episode tracklist

  • Grant Kirkhope Stretches His Wings As A Film Composer

    Grant Kirkhope Stretches His Wings As A Film Composer

    07/02/2020 Duração: 40min

    Writing the score for the award-winning animated short film The Wrong Rock gave BAFTA-nominated composer Grant Kirkhope a chance to spread his wings and offer an enjoyable change of pace from a busy year composing game soundtracks. As Grant told me, getting the perfect theme for Martin, the courageous mushroom who didn't fit in on his home rock, was the key that unlocked the music. Grant says he enjoyed the different challenges writing a film score presented, including having the music exactly fit the visuals in the film, even if it meant cutting out just two seconds of music to make it perfect! Through its simple story, The Wrong Rock , created by award-winning film maker Michael Cawood, explores prejudice, finding an environment where you feel comfortable and working up your courage to make a significant change. The film was shown at a number of festivlas, and it's now available online: Grant's soundtrack is also available online and he says, "Watch the film! Make the 13 minutes

  • John Paul Haywards Symphonic Tribute To Chrono Cross

    John Paul Hayward's Symphonic Tribute To 'Chrono Cross'

    31/01/2020 Duração: 01h05min

    Composer John Paul Hayward has such great memories of playing Square Enix's classic Chrono Cross that he created an orchestral tribute to Yasunori Mitsuda's soundtrack, imagining what it would sound like if John Williams had arranged it. John's album, Cross Symphonic , was released in November 2019, on the exact date Cross was released in 1999. John told me it was an incredibly ambitious project. Chrono Cross has a complicated story, involving visits by the main characters to parallel universes and timelines, where the outcomes are different. John chose among Mitsuda's many themes and used them as departures for his own arrangements to tell the story of Cross as if it were a symphony. Cross Symphonic is available on Bandcamp , and other digital outlets, and John is also planning a vinyl release. Episode tracklist All tracks by John Paul Hayward, adapted from Chrono Cross themes by Yasunori Mitsuda Perfomed by CMG Music Recording and The Game Brass Cross Symphonic: Torn Between Worlds;

  • Marty ODonnells Music For Dreamers In Golem

    Marty O'Donnell's Music For Dreamers In 'Golem'

    24/01/2020 Duração: 56min

    Golem , created by Highwire Games and released in November, has been one of the most-anticipated VR games in recent years. The game puts the player in the world as the younger child of a family who live near a huge ruined city filled with treasures and populated by massive golems. With a special artifact, the children are able to inhabit a golem themselves and explore the city. Nearly four years ago I talked with legendary composer Marty O'Donnell about his project to create a prequel album of music for Golem to set the scene and invite players into the world of the game, so it was wonderful to have a chance to catch up with Marty and chat about how he used all that musical material in the game. In addition to being the game's composer, Marty is also Highwire's audio designer, which allowed him to create a world where the music and sound design complement each other so well that it's hard to tell at times where the natural sounds of the game leave off and the music begins. If you don't

  • Jason Graves Busy, Busy Year

    Jason Graves' Busy, Busy Year

    30/12/2019 Duração: 01h14min

    It's been an incredibly busy year for composer Jason Graves: writing music for the terrifying Dark Pictures: Man of Medan from Supermassive Games. He also scored episodes of DC's Swamp Thing, and in the midst of all that terror, carved out time to return to the charming world of Quill, the young mouse hero of Moss . I caught up with Jason to talk about all three projects. Jason says staying hyper-organized, and making sure he takes a couple of days off for weekends is how he doesn't get burned out, and how he's able to deliver a massive amount of music on a tight schedule. He's also got some unusual instruments, as well as creatively assembled devices set up in his studio as his go-to collection while he's working on a project, and he takes us on a tour around his studio, which also included included his bearded dragon, who was hanging out with us. For the Moss: Twilight Garden DLC, Jason wrote an eight-minute suite, weaving in themes from his original soundtrack for Moss , which

  • Ludvig Forssells Death Stranding Soundtrack Is Alien, Yet Human

    Ludvig Forssell's 'Death Stranding' Soundtrack Is Alien, Yet Human

    12/12/2019 Duração: 01h08min

    Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding has been one of the most anticipated games in recent years. I caught up with composer and audio director Ludvig Forssell while he was in Los Angeles for The Game Awards, and he told me that it's exciting to finally be able to share what he's been working on for four years. The game is set in a not-too-distant post-apocalyptic future, filled with terrifying creatures. The player follows Sam Porter Bridges, who is tasked with a crosscountry journey to reunite the far-flung cities across America. Ludvig's soundtrack mixes alien sounds sampled from everyday items, mixed with synths and the human sounds of live strings and voice. Ludvig built the sound library from samples he and co-composer Joel Corelitz gathered at a fun shopping trip to Home Depot. He says the most surprising sounds they got came from small items, like a paint roller, that they were able to turn into epically huge sounds that add a massive scale to the instrumentals. Everything Hideo Kojima

  • Cris Velascos Empathetic Soundtrack For GYLT

    Cris Velasco's Empathetic Soundtrack For 'GYLT'

    06/12/2019 Duração: 57min

    On its surface, GYLT , the new game created by Tequila Works, is a terrifying adventure in which teenage Sally is looking for her missing cousin. But Tequila Works dives into deeper psychological waters, and the game also deals with the effects of bullying. Cris Velasco says both of those concepts gave him plenty of inspiration to create a scary soundtrack, while also incorporating a lush, empathetic sound with the orchestra. GYLT is set in an industrial town in Maine that's seen better times. The developers described it to Cris as "Stephen King crossed with Rime ," one of their earlier games. Cris has provided the soundtracks for many of Tequila Works' games, and he says working with them is always a fantastic experience because they realize that "a happy composer is a productive composer." The soundtrack is available in iTunes, Spotify and other digital outlets. Episode tracklist: All tracks by Cris Valasco, performed by the Czech Republic's Capilano Orchestra GYLT : You're Just

  • Mikolai Stroinskis Light-As-Air Soundtrack For Bee Simulator

    Mikolai Stroinski's Light-As-Air Soundtrack For 'Bee Simulator'

    29/11/2019 Duração: 40min

    Writing lyrical music for the charming Bee Simulator has been a wonderful change of pace for Mikolai Stroinsky, whose game soundtrack credits also include The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine , and Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 . Developed by Varsav Studios in Poland, and inspired by a children's story, Bee Simulator takes us into the tiny, busy world of bees and illustrates their daily struggles against the environment and predators. Mikolai says he crafted his soundtrack with joy, even when he was writing cues for scenes with hornets, which he hates with a passion! The game's setting in a fictional New York City's Central Park provided Mikolai with lots of inspiration. He says seeing those skyscrapers around the park instantly reminded him of the city's vibrant jazz scene. Bee Simulator's creator, Lukasz Rosinski, intends it to be played by kids and their parents. Mikolai treats his young audience with respect by writing sophisticated music that can be enjoyed just as much away from the game. The