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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

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The Broken Hourglass: Interview With Composer Rob Howard
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Planewalker Games has released a new feature showcasing the upcoming RPG, The Broken Hourglass. This time the website offers a conversation with game composer Rob Howard, who explains how he went about composing music for the game. The interview includes a musical excerpt from one of the Hourglass' character themes.

PWG: How did you know what The Broken Hourglass should sound like, musically? How did you begin?
RH: The process early on involved Planewalker giving me a list of different influences they wanted in the music, and it was an interesting set, so the first thing I did was check those influences out. And we had to decide what instruments would be involved. There's a good example of how that happened early on in the process. Because of some of the influences I was asked to follow, the very first drafts for the theme of the game have a rock-and roll-instrumentation, but Planewalker said it wasn't really what they were going for. So it became clear that I was not going to use any really modern instruments.

I wanted to use ethnic instruments throughout because the gameworld is supposed to be roughly like the Byzantine area of the world. One of the dominant sounds became the cümbü? [a sort of "Turkish banjo"]. Jason (Compton, producer) kept saying, "Man, I want to hear more of that," so it became dominant in the score.

We say there are two types of songs--the ones played by the "Mal Nassrin Symphony Orchestra" and the songs played by the "street band." The orchestra was something that made a lot of sense from the start. When you play an RPG with an epic feel to it, you want the power an orchestra can give. The street band came about as one of those happy accidents. As I was working on the residential music, the music that plays in the various residential areas of the game outdoors, I imagined a little street band. I had spent some time traveling in places like Italy where you see things like that all the time and I thought it would be a cool thing to represent in the game. So the street band plays some songs you might expect to hear in a neighborhood, or in somebody's home.
To read the rest of the Q&A head over to the site below.

The Broken Hourglass: Composer Q&A
The Broken Hourglass

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