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Archives  News  Jeremy Soule Discusses The Art Of Creating Game Music  

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

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Jeremy Soule Discusses The Art Of Creating Game Music
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

G4TV recently published a new interview with famed game music composer Jeremy Soule about his award winning musical compositions for a variety of games over the years. His work is featured in games such as Total Annihilation, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Neverwinter Nights. The interview covers a broad range of topics including the difficulties peculiar to composing music for games, his musical background, and his current projects.

For someone out there who is learning music, reverse engineering as you say, is that the most challenging part of the learning process? And what has been most challenging for you as you have emerged  in your career?
The biggest challenge with music for me is having the kind of control to create something at 3 or 4 in the morning and wake up the next morning and still like it, like “hey, I wasn’t completely crazy and out of my mind at 4 in the morning! That was actually a good idea!” That extends beyond the 24 hour cycle. I look back at some of the work I’ve done, and I will say there’s a period of time in my career where just the economics of the business and scheduling worked against me where I wish I would have had a little more time to work on a couple of these games. To create something that stands the test of time not only in the composers mind but in the mind of the audience, that to me is the holy grail.
I think the big challenge is being persistent. Calvin Coolidge, great president, I’ll paraphrase, he basically said “talent isn’t enough, intelligence isn’t enough, persistence is really the thing that gets through” and I think for anybody just getting started…once you’re far enough along in music you can do something. I think for the people just getting started, you have to find a way to have the sticktuitiveness, the diligence and get to the next stage.

You mentioned the economics of the industry. You have a record expansion of the gaming industry last year. Are you doing anything special with Artistry to expand with the industry?
I’ve heard from reliable sources that a Peter Jackson production can easily have a multimillion dollar music budget. And this is true of Hollywood. I think the video game industry as always been about ingenuity and sort of thriving with the tools you have to make something good. For me to make a living writing music for the video game business, I was really, really, really lucky in terms of being able to carve out a spot. I think we have to look at the video game business as a field of specialists. Music can no longer be an afterthought with video games; it’s never been an afterthought with movies, all the way back to the 30s.
For me I follow the advice of J.S. Bach. He said if you want to be a great composer, compose every day. Specialization is absolutely key. The economics are starting to support more specialization, but we are a long way from having a million dollar video game music production, a long way from doing it. At some point the stakes will be high and they’ll[developers] realize that it’s money well spent.

To read the full Q&A follow the link provided below.

G4TV: Jeremy Soule Talks Music And Games

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