Music is the most powerful form of magic.
It is often the prerogative of the experienced player to appreciate the in-game music. A young man with a burning gaze from the sixth grade of high school will certainly appreciate, first of all, the “cool grafon” and the opportunity to crush an old woman with a stolen garbage truck. The players who have been passionate about for a long time and in earnest know that without the right music, hits might not have become hits.
Everything that we will talk about below is better to listen to once than to read about it a hundred times. So here’s a playlist with wonderful game music on Yandex.Music.
Well, the best examples of musical accompaniment can – and should be! – listening apart from games, just for aesthetic pleasure. The gentlemen listed below write just such music. You need to know their names if you consider yourself a connoisseur and connoisseur of good video games. And do not forget to listen to the compositions from this material – you will not regret it, even if you did not play the projects for which the music was written.
The ambitious horror film The Medium will be released on January 28. The game is notable not only for the console exclusivity of the Xbox family – the great and terrible Akira Yamaoka worked on the music. Let’s start with him.
Japanese, born in 1968.
Mysticism and love for the horror genre runs through the work of Yamaoka. The minor focus in his work is clearly indicated, and even if he wrote a calm ballad, it will surely show through sadness and almost painful longing. The beautiful, instantly catchy tunes of Yamaoka are mostly played in video games about otherworlds, demons, zombies and cities covered with fog.
Yamaoka worked with Konami for a long time and wrote music for many games of the cult Silent Hill series. In an interview, he said: “IN Silent Hill I immediately recognized my dream project “… It is through the example of the Silent Hill franchise that you can clearly see how much the work of a composer means to the success of the game.
Akira Yamaoka was keenly interested in the development of Silent Hills and, apparently, would have written the soundtrack for this promising project. But the harsh reality did not allow plans to come true, Silent Hills was canceled.
Proven empirically: things like Theme of Laura from Silent Hill 2 instantly “catch” even people who are as far as possible from video games. Of the characteristic compositions, it is also worth mentioning Another Warm Body (Silent Hill: Shattered Memories), where beautiful instrumental parts and almost palpable anxiety are very organically combined. And you can learn about the different sides of the composer’s talent from things like Love For My Insane Lover – naughty punk rock was written for Lollipop Chainsaw, where a young cheerleader hacks a zombie flock with a chainsaw. One hundred percent hit of each note in the style of the game.
Akira Yamaoka is light on his feet: he came to the cities of Russia four times (!) With concerts and visited Minsk. The composer noted that the Russian-speaking audience is as open as possible to perceive a foreign culture, to new experience.
US native, born 1975.
Jeremy Soule is distinguished by his masterful use of symphonic sound in game soundtracks. His tracks are majestic, and the themes for epic role-playing games or large-scale strategies have become the composer’s calling card. Soul is capable of writing both a stately hymn for a fantastic adventure and a lyrical motive – an emotional response from the listener is guaranteed in any case.
Soul went down in the history of game development for the musical accompaniment to the games of the Elder Scrolls series. At one time, the main event of the year (five-year plan? Century?) In the post-Soviet space was the release of TES III: Morrowind – everyone without exception played or tried to play it, they released mods for it, fiction stories and multi-page optimization guides were devoted to it … Veterans of the genre remembered Morrowind is largely due to Soul’s music. An incredible title theme or a piercing violin playing in the tranquility of the Vvardenfell night under the starry sky – during the game, the music provided a strong sense of immersion and involvement with life on the other side of the screen.
In the role-playing genre, the composer has successfully noted in such famous projects as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Neverwinter Nights.
Regarding the upcoming TES VI, Jeremy said: “I’m not involved with the development at the moment”… It seems to us that the keywords here are “at the moment”.
Soul is also great at making warlike motives – where without them in the world of fantasy and science fiction. Dragonborn for TES V: Skyrim or Ork Theme for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War can disperse the blood in the veins of any phlegmatic.
Jeremy Soul has collaborated with Russian-speaking game developers on numerous occasions. He wrote tracks for the strategy Order of War from the Belarusian team Wargaming.net, for Il-2 Sturmovik: Winged Predators and for the multiplayer titan War Thunder. Music knows no boundaries.
American, born 1955.
Martin O’Donnell has received worldwide acclaim for his work on Bungie games.
O’Donnell was able to capture the essence of the video games for which he wrote music. Nearly all of Bungie’s projects have become large-scale, deep and long-lasting. The composer was able to perfectly emphasize these features with a symphonic soundtrack with skillful use of vocals, often choral, which sounded especially cool.
The first game for which Martin O’Donnell wrote music was the revolutionary Myth: The Fallen Lords, which, back in 1997, showed that strategy can be innovative, tough, complex, with unprecedentedly realistic physics. For the story of saving the whole world from the forces of Evil, appropriate music was needed, and Martin did a great job. There were many tracks, they were different in mood, but all the music in the game sounded very strong and perfectly suited the process. The harsh dark fantasy should sound like this in your head.
And when the Bungie team built the universe from scratch for the Halo series, Martin O’Donnell wrote a series of songs that loudly proclaimed in the language of notes – yes, this is a brave new world, welcome.
And it’s not surprising that Bungie brought O’Donnell back into the mix to create the music for its biggest franchise, Destiny.
Bungie is currently busy playing in a completely new universe. It’s a pity that we won’t hear Martin’s music there: in 2014, an extremely unpleasant story happened between the studio and the composer and a long litigation followed – as usual, over money. And although the final decision was made in favor of O’Donnell, the parties broke the pots hard and are unlikely to cooperate in the future.
Was born in Denmark in 1972.
The Dane Jesper Kyud, with the light hand of the domestic press and pirate translators long considered Jesper Kid, is distinguished by a wide variety of creative techniques.
Depending on the task, Jesper surprises the audience in different ways, but with a consistently convincing result. He can write in an amicable way a pretentious theme for the most exciting episodes in the adventures of Ezio Auditore, he can give a high-pitched electronic sound for Unreal Tournament 3, or he can voice the start screen for the next Hitman series with Ave Maria’s vocals.
Kyud prefers to write, in his own words, hybrid music, without going into pure fantasy instrumental or other direction.
Not surprisingly, Danish Kyd often worked with the Danish team IO Interactive. Although Jesper left his homeland and lives in California, he not only cooperates with his fellow countrymen, but is also friends. The composer has created music for such IO hits as the Hitman series, Kane & Lynch, Freedom Fighters. His music has graced several games in the Assassin’s Creed and Borderlands franchises. Given Kyud’s assertiveness and hard work, it is worth assuming that his magnum opus is still ahead.
Well, in 2005 Jesper Kyud received the prestigious British BAFTA award for the music for the game Hitman: Contracts. And this prize, according to the modest Kyuda, came as a complete surprise to him.
Russian musician and composer (March 25, 1962 – June 1, 2015).
Pokrovsky became famous as a musician of such rock groups as “Aria” and “Master”. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, he moved to Belgium, where he began his collaboration with the team of computer RPG masters Larian Studios.
Pokrovsky met the founder of the Larian studio Sven Vinke when Vinke was still a student. It was Sven who convinced the composer that video games are a very promising sphere of mass culture. In the very first game of the future role-playing franchise Divinity, Pokrovsky’s tracks were already played.
To create the right mood and atmosphere, Pokrovsky used a rich sound palette, sometimes with an unexpected choice of instruments. Also, in his play compositions, skillfully selected vocals often sounded, as, for example, in Scorching Wind for Divine Divinity.
Pokrovsky quickly found his own unique style in play music. So, in the title theme for Divinity: Original Sin, the violin sounds very unusual and touching. And in the composition Afterburner for Divinity: Dragon Commander, you can feel the pressure and even aggression of the sound, because the game is about a large-scale war.
The cause of the composer’s death has not been announced to this day. Rest in peace, Kirill, your music will forever remain in our hearts.
German composer, born 1957.
Hans Zimmer has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He achieved particular success and recognition as a composer of film music. Hans wrote soundtracks for “The Rock”, “Gladiator”, “The Dark Knight”, and on his bookshelf flaunts “Oscar”, a couple of “Golden Globes” and many other awards.
Zimmer’s involvement confirmed the viability of video games as a full-fledged art movement. Having written the soundtracks for the game, and not the Hollywood blockbusters Crysis 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the composer outlined his attitude to game development – this is no less serious than a big movie.
In his play role, Zimmer remained faithful to the traditions of cinema. His shooter music is epic and instantly sets the tone for the upcoming action game. Well, for Beyond: Two Souls, Hans wrote a slightly different – but always cool! – music. In collaboration with Lorne Balfe, he released Jodie’s Suite with magical female vocals, as well as some other very worthy themes.
Hans Zimmer has been busy with film projects lately. During 2020, he wrote music for the new “Dune”, “Top Ghana” with Tom Cruise and for the new series of adventures of agent 007. Amid the pandemic, the composer even set up a real recording studio at home. For some reason, it seems to us that we will still hear Zimmer’s creations in new video games.
Australian composer, born 1985.
The youngest of the listed maestros. This, perhaps, explains the main style of creativity Mick Gordon. He writes adrenaline-fueled, furious music with a tangible energy for cool action games. Gordon’s works convey frenzy, passion and even anger – these are the goals the composer himself designates, here the genre obliges.
Gordon wrote his most famous compositions for such neoclassical shooter as the last parts of Doom and the relaunched Wolfenstein.
Mick Gordon boldly experiments with sound: his works organically combine heavy cuts on electric guitars (including eight-stringed ones) and sound effects of a completely unexpected kind, as in the composition with the self-explanatory name Kill Everyone for Wolfenstein: The New Order. As an example of Gordon’s non-standard approach, you can listen to The Phantoms for Prey (2017), this music is completely alien.
Gordon is very scrupulous about his work. For example, to create music for Doom, he was not too lazy to fly from Australia to the States and already there he began to deeply immerse himself in the topic. And for this, he first played a hundred online battles with id Software employees!
It is a pity that this story was not without discord between a wonderful development studio and an equally wonderful composer.
Country – Israel, year of birth – 1965.
Suhr has written soundtracks for an impressive array of video games. But, perhaps, his best things sound in RPGs: in the Fallout series, Dragon Age, Champions of Norrath, in Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Inon Zura, by some secret magic, manages to attract adventure seekers, escapists, romantics – fans of RPGs, in short, to the game worlds.
In this regard, one of his works for the latest RPG of the era of the 2D graphics engine Infinity is noteworthy. For Icewind Dale 2, Zur wrote the Town Targos Rhapsody theme, and this theme is notable not only for accompanying adventures in the frame, but precisely for anticipation, anticipation of those very adventures. The smooth and very beautiful sound of live instruments accompanied the band of adventurers on quiet excursions around the port city of Targos. And for the later Dragon Age: Origins, Zur wrote a touching bardic composition Leliana’s Song, which sounded in the game at a campfire night. However, Inon can shake the player up – just listen to the harsh Never Surrender theme for Fallout 3.
Inon Zur tries to get into the world of the video game for which he writes music as much as possible. So, while working on the tracks for Dragon Age 2, the composer participated in the beta test and sent the BioWare 360 team a bug report!
When Inon was asked about the sources of inspiration, the composer replied that the world around him is full of sounds that you just need to listen to. And in an interview with IGN, Zur ingenuously said that if he lived in the world of Dragon Age, he would like to be an orc and destroy everything around him. Artists are truly multifaceted personalities.
French composer, born in 1978.
Deriviere has written a lot of great music for a wide variety of video games. But perhaps his best work is in action-horror movies like Alone in the Dark (2008) and harsh RPGs like Vampyr. Although Derivier is easily rebuilt for Streets of Rage 4 or, say, the assassin franchise.
In his writings, Olivier addresses the listener’s emotions directly. His music cannot sound like a background, it draws attention entirely and immediately.
One of Derivier’s best compositions is Edward Carnby for the Alone in the Dark relaunch, where symphonic orchestration is complemented by some transcendent female vocals (voice is the most powerful musical instrument, according to the maestro). The vocal parts were performed by the Bulgarian Radio and Television Female Choir. The video clip from the game, by the way, was played for a long time on MTV during the best airtime. And on the spooky adventure of 2019, A Plague Tale: Innocence, Derivier did a fantastic job with stringed instruments – there has never been such a violin and cello in games.
Currently, the composer is involved in the long-term construction project Dying Light 2 about the zombie world – the dark side does not let him go, and he does not mind.
Olivier fell in love with both music and video games from early childhood. He began to study musical literacy at the age of five, and in the first games he played with the Commodore 64. Already an accomplished musician, Olivier chose the path of a game composer, because he saw at the turn of the century how the world of interactive entertainment was rapidly developing.
When Derivier is asked why he did not choose cinema, the composer replies that film music reached its peak with John Williams (the author of the soundtracks for Star Wars and Indiana Jones). But the music for games is still ahead.
Of course, we have not listed all the worthy composers from the world of video games. Speak in the comments – who else is worthy of recognition? Whose tracks did you love, remember and become classics for you personally? Perhaps we will prepare a continuation of the material.
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