Movie News

ScoreKeeper Wants You to Meet Your Favorite Video Game Composer!!

Published at: May 30, 2011, 11:09 a.m. CST by scorekeeper

Greetings! ScoreKeeper here hands cramped from playing twenty-seven straight hours of Space Invaders (and I still can't get past level three) to tell you about an upcoming video game composer event that video game music aficionados are apt to revel in.

Sumthing Else Music Works will be sponsoring one of the largest video game composers and fans gathering to take place since Atari's Home Pong console gave birth to the blips and bleeps of the video game universe.

"The Maestros of Video Games" will take place on Saturday, June 11th at Dark Delicacies Books & Collectables in Burbank, California. Over a half-dozen of the hottest names in the video game scoring industry will be on hand for an hour long Q&A panel hosted by Dan Schweiger of "On The Score." Following that, an in-store composer signing session where fans can get their favorite CDs autographed by the people responsible for penning them.

The Q&A panel has limited seating which I've heard is already filled to capacity but if you're gregarious enough perhaps you could bully you're way aboard. The signing is open to everybody. If you're the world's biggest Inon Zur fan and you're living on an island off the northern coast of Newfoundland, fear not. Autographed copies of many of the CDs will be available for purchase through the Dark Delicacies web site.

I've been to a handful of these composer gatherings at Dark Delicacies and I can vouch for their coolness. Whether you're mingling amongst composers for film, television, video games, or all the above, they're some of the nicest, warmest, and most approachable people in the industry.

 



The composers on hand that day include:

Greg Edmonson (UNCHARTED series, FIREFLY TV series)
Inon Zur (DRAGON AGE series, CRYSIS, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: WAR IN THE NORTH)
Jesper Kyd (ASSASSIN'S CREED series, HITMAN series, RESISTANCE/SyFy)
Garry Schyman (BIOSHOCK series, DANTE'S INFERNO, DESTROY ALL HUMANS! series)
Mike Reagan (GOD OF WAR series, CONAN, DARKSIDERS)
Penka Kouneva (PRINCE OF PERSIA The Forgotten Sands, MIDNIGHT MOVIE)
Richard Jacques (JAMES BOND 007: BLOOD STONE, MASS EFFECT, HEADHUNTER)
Sean Murray (CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS, CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER TV series)

The Q&A (if you can get in) takes place from 2PM-3PM. Call (818) 556-6660 for availability. The composer signing takes place immediately afterward from 4PM to 5PM. You can call (818) 556-6660 to order any available autographed CDs without having to attend the event.

For more information visit Dark Delicacies.

Enjoy!

 

ScoreKeeper!!!

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@ScoreKeeperAICN

Readers Talkback

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  • May 30, 2011, 11:14 a.m. CST

    I thought you said FAVORITE composers.

    by Richard

    Yeah I'm sure CoD has an AMAZING soundtrack.

  • May 30, 2011, 11:19 a.m. CST

    God of war guy and Uncharted guy ftw.

    by UltraTron

    But where is my little portal hippy guy?

  • May 30, 2011, 11:20 a.m. CST

    lordrivas

    by flclhack

    Do you actually have any idea whether or not CoD has a quality soundtrack, or are you talking out your ass?

  • May 30, 2011, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Sean Murray is awesome!

    by Gorgomel

    Love his World at War soundtrack.

  • May 30, 2011, 11:24 a.m. CST

    video game music hasn't been good since the early nineties

    by frank

    Before then it was awesome. The music for Metroid is incredible.

  • May 30, 2011, 11:28 a.m. CST

    No Nobuo...

    by unkempt_sock

    don't give a damn...

  • May 30, 2011, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Where's Rob Hubbard!?

    by Brent1138

    Granted, these guys are incredibly talented composers but look at the resources they have. Go back to the eighties and the 8 bit computer era and have a listen to some of the music that Rob Hubbard created on a humble Commodore 64. Thing on a Spring and Monty on the Run being a couple of examples.

  • May 30, 2011, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Video game music is better than ever!!

    by JarJar25

    What the fuck have you been smoking franks_television? Final Fantasy 13, all the Xenosaga game, Call of Duty games, Resident Evil, Kingdom Hearts and countless others. Give me some titles of games that haven't been good. I really find it annoying, when someone just blurts out something negative and they don't even back it up. The music for game was good back then, but as gotten so much better. Most games where designed using keyboards, though while great, you had to keep everything basic, because the console systems back then were limited in what you could play on them. Now you can have more complex sounds and a full on orchestra.

  • May 30, 2011, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Where's Kow Otani?

    by david starling

    Composer of the superb soundtrack to Shadow of the Colossus? He has more talent than all of the people there combined.

  • May 30, 2011, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Hirokazu Tanaka

    by frank

    did the Metroid soundtrack and also Kid Icarus. Both great. Nobuo also has done some fantastic music for Final Fantasy games, particularly III/VI.

  • May 30, 2011, 11:41 a.m. CST

    No Koji Kondo?

    by D.Vader

  • I also hate orchestral video game music. The orchestral versions of the old Final Fantasy game themes sound so much worse than the original versions. They lose all the atmosphere of the originals, and become overblown and muddled. Final Fantasy has sucked in general since the early nineties. I did Like FFIX pretty well, but it was the exception. The original Metroid soundtrack is ingenious.

  • May 30, 2011, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Second the call for Rob Hubbard...

    by Pawprint

    Any composer can knock out a piece of generic 'war' music for 'Call of the Medal of Generic Shooter 6', but it takes a special kind of genius to knock out something like the 'Skate or Die' loader, or 'Master of Magic' solely on something with less processing power than a modern calculator. These people aren't 'video game composers' - they are composers who make music to be used in video games.

  • May 30, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST

    I can hear the "Thing on a Spring" music now.

    by ihatetalkbacks

    by Rob Hubbard. There was a good but pricey CD called C64 Orchestre that has some orchestral music from the 8bit era.

  • ScoreKeeper, any idea if they plan to tape and release the talk for those who won't be able to make it? Since it's not a paid event? I'd love to get some info about this.

  • May 30, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Rob Hubbard

    by Rabbitcakes

    I'm going to have to 2nd the sentiment that the lack of Rob Hubbard makes this event seem kinda blah. Using the limitations of the medium to stengthen the composition was what made many of my favorites from the 8bit days.

  • May 30, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST

    The Japanese are the greatest video game composers

    by Andy Pandy

    From Zelda to Final Fantasy, their themes have been the most iconic.

  • May 30, 2011, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Wing Commander

    by hadrion

    Wheres the WC guy?! Both the WC1/2 composer, and 3/4 composer!

  • May 30, 2011, 12:29 p.m. CST

    frank you are so blinded by nostalgia that you cannot see

    by UltraTron

    that what you seek would be a friggin anachronism. Oh, and Ghouls and Ghosts is waaaay better than the refined and modernized super ghouls and ghosts. Fuck! Now you got me doing it

  • May 30, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    all of them combined cannot touch The Fat Man. Sorry.

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    nice B list there, tho.

  • May 30, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Say what you will about Final Fantasy XIII...

    by NeoDevilbaneX

    ... but that was the most brilliant music score I've heard in a game in years.

  • May 30, 2011, 12:48 p.m. CST

    I love game music, new and old

    by BillEmic

    but I admit, it's hard to beat the era of chiptunes. And yeah, most of my favorite game composers are from Japan. The problem with American game music circa now is that it's nearly indistinguishable from film music and as such it has that overblown, overproduced, same-y feeling that you get when you listen to most blockbuster movie scores from Hans Zimmer, Henry Gregson Williams, Tyler Bates, Ramin Djawadi, etc. It's kind of like aural wallpaper. I much, much prefer something like the ambiance of Shadow of the Colossus or the piano melodies from the Kingdom Hearts series. The Japanese haven't lost sight of what makes game music great, whereas Americans are just trying to turn it into movie scores.

  • May 30, 2011, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Rob Hubbard...

    by Rob Sloane

    ...I'll add my voice to that. I've met the man several times (and got very close to bridging the gap between his games work and full on film composing) and he's a great person. He's very humble despite having created the soundtrack that powered the 80's dominance of the C64 and the emerging Amiga market that laid all the foundations for the EA's of this world. He worked for several years for EA in California as a producer and still managed to create great music for "Populous" and "Budokan". They should pony up and get Rob a ticket out to the states. Between him and Martin Galway, video music simply didn't get any better or symphonic (on an FM synthesis chip running tunes in thousands of bytes). Call out to RKO C64 http://remix.kwed.org/ where you can hear remixes of 'real' video game music (not the filler you get between 'splosions in modern games). Dammit -now I feel nostalgic! Keep cool, Ummphoo

  • May 30, 2011, 1 p.m. CST

    Bioshock's soundtrack is AMAZING

    by starmin76

    Beautiful use of strings.

  • May 30, 2011, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Japanese were/are the best composers

    by NotEnoughBiehn

    None of those above have done anything nearly as memorable or iconic as Super Metroid, Zelda, Mega Man 2, Strider, Catlevania, Ys, Final Fantasy 6 ,and too many others to mention. Those games had music I heard once and still can recall to this day. The west got it right with Diablo 2, Halo, and Deus Ex though.

  • May 30, 2011, 1:12 p.m. CST

    @billemic

    by NotEnoughBiehn

    You said it exactly.

  • May 30, 2011, 1:54 p.m. CST

    what are people's opinions on la noire red dead scores?

    by RealDoubleJ

    I would definitely agree that video game music has become more influenced by cinema whether for good or bad. I ask because RDR's scoring was interesting in how thry implemented themes dependant on action and location, say hunting wolves in tall trees will sound dynamically different than hunting cougars in mexico. LA Noire is more traditionally scored but maybe it's my bias to a good sax track, but the main theme alone is by far more awesome than the entire recent black dahlia film score. Thoughts? I'll throw in, my favourite modern video game score personally is silent hill 2. My favourite old school score was Joe and mac caveman ninjas but that's pure nosyalgia baby!

  • May 30, 2011, 1:59 p.m. CST

    What about the Castelvania:SOTN composer?

    by Snake Foreskin

    Michiru Yamane - one of the great VG soundtracks of all time. A true classic!

  • May 30, 2011, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Tim Wright, just for Shadow of the Beast II

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    Twenty years later and I still find myself youtubing videos to listen to this score.

  • May 30, 2011, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Call of Duty Modern warfare 2 was composed by Hans Zimmer

    by RobertoInfinite

  • May 30, 2011, 2:39 p.m. CST

    without him and Michael Giacccino there, not interested.

    by RobertoInfinite

  • May 30, 2011, 3:14 p.m. CST

    No love for the old guard like Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway, etc?

    by Mr Nicholas

  • May 30, 2011, 3:19 p.m. CST

    No Dan Forden or NON?

    by awepittance

  • May 30, 2011, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Mega Man 2

    by TBon2

    Was the best by far!

  • the shit gets boring. Even normal people who have no musical or audio training can sense how cheesy and brittle and shit orchestral preset libraries sound when they are trying to sound like a big orchestra. And let's face it even the videogame music expensive enough to hire a real orchestra is usually always the most banal, derivative and uninteresting classical music ever put to a recording. It's taking all of the worst elements of Zimmer, Horner and modern movie action music and even watering it down further. As soon as america took over the videogame market, the music in masse started to sound awful. Sorry, i'm american but i cant deny that the Japanese created something very special with videogame music in the mid 80s and until the late 90s

  • May 30, 2011, 3:25 p.m. CST

    "The Maestros of bad orchestral preset libraries"

    by awepittance

  • May 30, 2011, 3:57 p.m. CST

    @jarjar25

    by sai_justin

    "I really find it annoying, when someone just blurts out something negative and they don't even back it up." You must REALLY fucking hate the forums here, then...

  • May 30, 2011, 3:58 p.m. CST

    No Jeremy Soule? NT

    by JonRD463

  • May 30, 2011, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Where's Jeremy Soule?

    by RichardLuzT

    Of these guys, the only I've heard is Inon Zur. Maybe I should check out the works of the others

  • May 30, 2011, 4:07 p.m. CST

    @ ummphoo

    by Brent1138

    Thanks for mentioning Martin Galway. Along with Rob Hubbard he was one of the many composers who made incredible music from a glorified calculator...his Rambo: First Blood Part II music being one of the many highlights. I personally loved Hubbard's Monty on the Run soundtrack, from the "electric guitar solo" midway through the in game music, to the sad little number that played over the high score table. It brings it all flooding back and makes me feel old. I too had the pleasure of talking to Ron. As a 12 year old kid I got his phone number from the telephone directory of all places and called him out of the blue. Anyone else would have told me where to go and hung up (they'd have been perfectly within their rights to do so) but Ron was more than happy to talk about his music and the new projects that he was working on. A true gentleman! If it wasn't for the likes of him and Galway we wouldn't even be talking about video game composer Q & A's today.

  • May 30, 2011, 5:09 p.m. CST

    I'm only familiar with Inon Zur and Jesper Kyd

    by Killah_Mate

    Personally I find Inon Zur to be too bland and Hans Zimmer-ish, sort of fitting for those megabudget blockbusters, but still not very interesting. Jesper Kyd on the other hand is fucking awesome. The guy actually started in the early 90s, making what you decrepit fossils shriek to be "true videogame music!" (seriously, it's the 21st century, get with the fucking program already - so sorry we use more than two channels and eight bleeps now, guess we sold out to The Man) and followed the medium right into the modern age. He does the Assassin's Creed music, but in my opinion he's done his best work for the Hitman franchise. He doesn't do "sonic wallpaper" - you *remember* his stuff.

  • May 30, 2011, 5:19 p.m. CST

    No Japanese composers? Seriously?

    by some dude

    While some of these composers are not bad I'm a bid disappointed there isn't a single Japanese composer old or new in this mix. Where is the creator of one of the best scores in videogame history, that being Yamoaka who created the music to Silent Hill 2? Or what about the man, his name escapes me, that created the best score ever, Streets of Rage 2! I'm sure the event will interesting and good but I feel that a lot of this stuff is going to blend together and not in a good way.

  • May 30, 2011, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Where is Harry Gregson-Williams?

    by Reilly

    His MGS2-4 music was so awesome. Also if that's the same Garry Schyman that composed the song Praan, then he is awesome.

  • May 30, 2011, 6:27 p.m. CST

    xenon 2's version of Precinct 13 theme!

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

  • May 30, 2011, 10:55 p.m. CST

    pretty good list of game composers, but I do agree that

    by lv_426

    there should be some Japanese game score composers included, and not to forget HALO's Martin O'Donnell & Michael Salvatori, as well as the awesome composers for the MASS EFFECT games... Jack Wall, Sam Hulick, Richard Jacques, & David Kates.

  • May 30, 2011, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Starfox for the Super Nintendo

    by successor

    Best video game music ever IMNSHO.

  • May 31, 2011, 1:39 a.m. CST

    God of war series is easily epic movie quality.

    by UltraTron

    Red Dead of course is surreal when the "western" music kicks in after you've been playing a while. There have been many examples of truely memorable, epic movie quality scores for games. Uncharted 2 was flawless also. But man I love cranking my Spy Hunter. It's got a whole separate sound board for the music.

  • May 31, 2011, 1:45 a.m. CST

    ahem..

    by smylexx

    Rob Hubbard, Stavros Fasoulas, Ben Daglish, Tim Wright... THESE are great game music composers. Ilove the stuff Harry Gregson Williams did for the Metal Gear series and there are other contemporary artists out there whom i respect but most of them cant hold a candle to the above list for sheer melody.

  • May 31, 2011, 2:30 a.m. CST

    What about...

    by DishyDish

    The music to Quake II. Best score ever!!!

  • May 31, 2011, 3:22 a.m. CST

    No Michael Giacchino?

    by SunTzu77

  • May 31, 2011, 3:29 a.m. CST

    The problem with *some* modern game music...

    by photoboy

    ... it that it's generic orchestral ambience. Looking back on games like MegaMan 2, Contra, OutRun, Castlevania, etc is that the music was so memorable and distinctive. There's a reason that even today people still revisit those old tunes and remix them with orchestral or rock instruments. Having said that, there's plenty of examples of excellent modern VG music. Off the top of my head Mario Galaxy 2, Mass Effect 2 and Street Fighter IV all had fantastic scores. I think in the case of some modern games, authenticity to the setting can give rise to scores that are appropriate but not especially fun to listen to on their own e.g. LA Noire's score is perfect for its period, but the music itself isn't particularly distinctive. I think maybe the difference is that old game music didn't serve the plot or enhance the setting, it was just music to play to. Modern game music is often part of the overall aesthetic and because of that you cannot have a kick-ass rock soundtrack playing while jumping around Renaissance Italy in Assassin's Creed, because it would feel out of place.

  • May 31, 2011, 4:13 a.m. CST

    Err...Tim Folin, Chris Jojo, Ian Livingstone, Martin Gallway...

    by KillaKane

    Charles Deenan, Matt Cannon, Rob Hubbard, Suddi Raval...No School like the 'Old skool'.

  • May 31, 2011, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Oh for fuck's sake

    by Killah_Mate

    Here, watch this: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/extra-credits/2019-Videogame-Music

  • May 31, 2011, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Yeah, where the hell is Harry Gregson-Williams?

    by Stalkeye

    Great Metal Gear Soundtrack. Also props to Sean Murray for the COD Black Ops theme. Even my wife hums the theme when I'm playing the Multiplayer matches. One of my all time favs has to be the guys who performed the score for the RE series. The soundtrack from the first resident evil game scared the shit outta me. (not to mention the Zombie sound effects.) Great stuff.

  • May 31, 2011, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Hans Zimmer's theme for Crysis 2 stands out among the best.

    by Stalkeye

    A perfect blend of superheroic and sci fi. The theme works even better during the game's kick ass intro. It even surpasses TDK's theme IMO.

  • May 31, 2011, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Monty on the Run...

    by Paul Morrison

    Crazy Comets, Thing on a Spring, Delta, International Karate, The Human Race, Phantoms of the Asteroid, The Last V8, Sanxion, etc., etc... Rob Hubbard. 8-bit God.

  • May 31, 2011, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Don't forget Zoids

    by photoboy

    Rob Hubbard's Zoids theme was awesome! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtKyHqqXB8g It's probably worth saying that for every classic 8-bit theme, there's some shitty game that loops the same bleepy-bloopy tune from start to finish. At least that's one thing that doesn't happen often with modern games.

  • May 31, 2011, 1:59 p.m. CST

    canned_dirty_ape, Crysis 2 is not good, it's effin GREAT!

    by Stalkeye

    With a solid and somewhat lengthly campaign mode, tactical gameplay (not your average run n gun.) and the most addictive multiplayer since Black Ops, yeah I would say this is the best FPS of 2011 thus far. (Unlike Brink and Homefront which underperformed despite having good potentual.) The game is well worth the $60 and if you like games such as COD and HALO, you won't be dissapointed. Game runs perfect on my X360 BTW and if you're into multiplayer, you may wish to forgo the PS3 Version since they have been having serious problems as of late.

  • May 31, 2011, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Rob Fucking Hubbard

    by Bop N Rumble

    Scorekeeper. You are a joke. Not mentioning Rob Hubbard is blasphemy. The man is a legend and one of the biggest, if not, the biggest computer music pioneers ever. Hubbard not being there means there is no Maestros of Music. You should call it Wannabe Meastros Of Music. And where are Stvaros Fasoulas and Jeroen Tel? Not to mention the other guys as mentioned here like Tim Follin, Matt Gray, Ben Dalgliesh etc.

  • May 31, 2011, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Skate Or Die

    by Bop N Rumble

    That music was the bomb. I still get goosebumps when I hear those guitar riffs. And did you C64 people know Charles Deenen works in Hollywood now? As for Rob Hubbard, check out his presentation on programming music in the 80s. I bet 90 percent of the people there didn't even understand what he was talking about. The presentation was so funny if you know what he is talking about. And yeah, I met Rob Hubbard too. So down to earth. Rob Hubbard is Skate Or Die, Knucklebusters, International Karate, Command, Sanxion, Ace II etc. Computer Games music sucks so hard these days.

  • May 31, 2011, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Richard Jacques and Yuzo Koshiro

    by theyreflockingthisway

    Are the two that most often come to mind when I hear video game composers. Koshiro especially did the memorable Streets of Rage and Revenge of Shinobi soundtracks and also worked on the amazing Shenmue. Jacques stuff is always awesome - especially love what he did on Jet Set Radio, HeadHunter and, dare I say, Sonic R.

  • May 31, 2011, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Love to see what these guys could do...

    by Rob Sloane

    ...with a SID chip and some 8-bit Assembler. They probably can't even read sheet music! Without Dolby Pro Logic II and the LA Strings and 100gb of samples they would be likely be lost. Rob Hubbard and his generation built the foundations for gaming music one bit at a time; actually overclocking and rewriting the SID's internal memory to push it to the limit -to NOT include any 'classic' composers invalidates this entire enterprise IMHO. It's actually insulting. I enjoy Scorekeepers contributions to AICN and think he knows his stuff; I urge him to check out Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway, Tim Follen, Joroen Tel, Matt Gray, Richard Joseph, etc... really experimental and added SO much atmosphere and accessibility to the nascent games music genre. It's a real history lesson (and often the music outshone the game). I used to buy C64 titles JUST for the music! :) The stuff now is just... instantly forgettable with a very few exceptions. Certainly few will be remembered with such fondness in 30 years from now! Oh, and DAMN Tron Legacy's score owes a great deal to the SID and FM soundscapes of the 80's! Keep cool, Ummphoo

  • May 31, 2011, 7:53 p.m. CST

    nobuo is the best

    by Superponte

    no contest

  • June 1, 2011, 2:39 a.m. CST

    @Viggo

    by Bop N Rumble

    You ignoramus totally prove my point. You know shit about Hubbard. You can go bash all you want, but in the end you are still an ignoramus. All the titles you mentioned (Metal Gear, Silent Hill) etc were done waaaaaaay after what Hubbard did. And they were done with a lot more gear and processing power. With today's technology even a monkey can make music. So why don't you start making music, Viggo?

  • June 1, 2011, 7:53 a.m. CST

    No...buo?

    by The Chosen

    No Nobuo, no win.

  • June 1, 2011, 8:43 a.m. CST

    What about the guy who did the music for Jedi Outcast? C'mon!

    by HapaPapa72

    Sounded just LIKE the friggin' SW movies and he doesn't get a mention???

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