I just checked out GamesRadar.com’s new VGM podcast, “SoundRadar,” through its WordPress page. So far there are only two episodes, the first being with Greg Edmonson, who scored the Uncharted games as well as Joss Whedon’s Firefly, and the second with Brian Tyler of Modern Warfare 3 “fame.” I have my own opinions on the music of each game (reviewing those two for the blog are on my to-do list), but regardless, it’s interesting to hear the composers talk. Greg Edmonson’s interview was especially excellent because he seemed very excited to talk about his work in detail and give the listener some very interesting inside information. It was a joy listening to a very passionate and genuine-sounding guy.
Some topics Greg covers:
– How the game industry is treating “ambiance” vs. “melodic content.” He talks about how at first he wished to write more melodically for Uncharted but was instructed not to do so, and how only later did he have more freedom to write less ambient music. I can rant about how… “disturbing” I think the trend towards less melodic VGM is, but I’ll save that–Greg luckily was able to liberate his music and create some great melodies after the first game in the series, showing in turn that even with games becoming more cinematic there is still plenty of room for VGM’s trademark: great melodies.
– The differences in the timelines and compositional process within the video game industry and the film industry.
– How he decided to characterize and convey the environments of the Uncharted games musically. One of most interesting things he says lies in this topic. He reveals that, while he used ethnic instruments that are native to the environments for which he was writing, he decided to use the native instruments as “colors” rather than trying to make “ethnic music.” I think this idea of his is very powerful, and it’s something that I certainly will keep in mind as I continue writing.
Enjoy the episode! I would love to hear what else people found interesting, and if there are any topics that the reader would like to discuss, please feel free to comment and I’ll be happy to share my thoughts.