Favorite Game Composer

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by StudioTan, May 29, 2014.

  1. StudioTan

    StudioTan Regular

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    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. ;)
    [​IMG]

    I'm interested to see if anyone else has similar errr.. interests!
     
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  2. Longo_2_guns

    Longo_2_guns Forum Moderator
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    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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  3. StudioTan

    StudioTan Regular

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    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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  4. De-Ting

    De-Ting Rookie

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    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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  5. HK-47

    HK-47 Rookie

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  6. StudioTan

    StudioTan Regular

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    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!
     
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  7. UrbanMasque

    UrbanMasque Everyone Wears a Mask

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  8. StudioTan

    StudioTan Regular

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    I was waiting for Mr. Final Fantasy ;) I don't think there is a single composition by him that I don't absolutely love.
     
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  9. De-Ting

    De-Ting Rookie

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    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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  10. StudioTan

    StudioTan Regular

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    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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  11. Lien

    Lien Rookie

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    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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  12. StudioTan

    StudioTan Regular

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    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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  13. Green_Lantern

    Green_Lantern Forum Moderator
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  14. De-Ting

    De-Ting Rookie

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  15. Green_Lantern

    Green_Lantern Forum Moderator
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    He's so smooth.
     
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  16. MattAY

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

    NOBUO UEMASTU!!!!

    Kidding ;)

    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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  17. StudioTan

    StudioTan Regular

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    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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  18. LinksOcarina

    LinksOcarina Rookie

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    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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  19. HK-47

    HK-47 Rookie

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    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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  20. StudioTan

    StudioTan Regular

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    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.

    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?
     
    #20

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