Category Archives: Music & Book News

JASON GRAVES ANNOUNCED AS COMPOSER FOR UBISOFT’S VIDEO GAME FAR CRY PRIMAL

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BAFTA Winner Scores Open-World First-Person Action Adventure Set in the Stone Age

Today, two-time BAFTA winning composer Jason Graves was announced as the composer of the original game soundtrack for the next exciting chapter in the award-winning Far Cry® franchise, Far Cry® Primal. Graves is renowned for his textural concept scores and cinematic orchestration on AAA titles such as Until Dawn, The Order: 1886, Evolve, Tomb Raider and Dead Space.

As a classically-trained composer and world percussionist, Graves created an entirely live organic score for Far Cry® Primal, blending a diverse array of sounds from the natural environment and incorporating many animal effects into the score. The evocative soundtrack features a unique set of textures representing each of the tribes that players will encounter, including a ram’s horn and solo flute (Wenja); Aztec death whistles, female vocals, ritualistic percussion (Izilia); raw sounds from Far Cry’s Stone Age natural environment including bushes, bones, antlers, clay pots, wooden artifacts and male vocals (Udam). Crafted together the sounds bring the rich and primal gameplay alive to players challenged to survive in a hostile environment and rise to become the apex predator.

“Jason manages to convey the beauty and the roughness of the land of Oros with his music,” said Jerome Angelot, Music Designer – Ubisoft Montreal Studio. “Far Cry Primal’s score is a fresh mix of savant sound design, epic percussions and attention to detail. It will surprise the players; each time I hear the screams and the chants in the Izila tracks, I get chills.”

The Far Cry® Primal original game soundtrack, digital edition, is available for pre-orders today. The soundtrack will be available worldwide when the game launches on February 23.

Starting today, fans that pre-order the soundtrack will get 1 track from the album every Friday in the three weeks leading up to the release.

http://apple.co/1VuqOTV

The first track “The Heart of Oros” is available now on YouTube:

The award-winning franchise that stormed the tropics and climbed the Himalayas now brings its innovative open world sandbox gameplay to a time when humans were not at the top of the food chain, but were fighting to climb it, bringing together massive beasts, breathtaking environments, and unpredictable savage encounters, in Far Cry Primal.

 

COMPOSER TIM WYNN SCORES SCI-FI VIDEO GAME SEQUEL “XCOM 2”

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Soundtrack released with XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition and on iTunes February 5

Award-winning composer, Tim Wynn (Supernatural, XCOM: Enemy Unknown), returns to the sci-fi genre to score a new alien threat in XCOM® 2, the sequel to the award-winning strategy game from Firaxis Games and 2K. The original soundtrack is available with the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition and will also be released via iTunes on February 5.

XCOM 2 transports players into the future, where humanity lost the war against the alien invaders and a new world order now exists on Earth. After years of lurking in the shadows, the remnants of the secret paramilitary organization known as XCOM must build a global resistance to eliminate the alien occupation and save the human race.

The score for XCOM 2 continues the legacy sound of the acclaimed reboot and expands the franchise’s sonic palette with emotional orchestral themes and synth-driven sci-fi ambience now defined by the epic fight to take back the planet.  XCOM 2 marks Tim Wynn’s second outing in the XCOM universe having also written music for XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

Wynn’s other work includes the long-running hit TV series Supernatural, as well as video games in the Command & Conquer series, Total War series, Marvel’s The Punisher and The Darkness II, another 2K title that was based on the best-selling comics from Top Cow.

XCOM 2 will be available globally for PC by 2K and Firaxis Games on February 5, 2016, as well as Mac and Linux by Feral Interactive.

For more information, please visit www.XCOM.com.

Ori and the Blind Forest original score composed by Gareth Coker

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Composer Gareth Coker crafts a lush orchestral score for the enchanted world of Nibel in Ori and the Blind Forest, the highly acclaimed new action-platforming game from Microsoft Studios and Moon Studios releasing on Xbox One and PC (Steam) on March 11. Universally praised for its beautiful visuals and masterfully orchestrated score, the soundtrack from Ori and the Blind Forest is available now for digital download at iTunes and other digital music sites.

English-born composer Gareth Coker created a whimsical orchestral soundscape for Ori and the Blind Forest, primarily recording with an intimate string ensemble while also applying exotic and unconventional tones that befit the story being told, including ethnic wind instruments and vocals from Aeralie Brighton. The score is also complemented by a full orchestral palette comprising of 56 musicians for the more epic moments during the game.

Ori and the Blind Forest is published by Microsoft Studios and developed by Moon Studios, an independent studio founded by Thomas Mahler (Blizzard Entertainment) and Gennadiy Korol (Animation Lab). Featuring hand-painted artwork, meticulously animated character performance, and a fully orchestrated score, Ori and the Blind Forest explores a deeply emotional story about love and sacrifice, and the hope that exists in us all.

After graduating in composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Gareth Coker traveled the world extensively to study music from different countries worldwide, including Japan, before completing the film scoring program at the University of Southern California. In his constant pursuit of creating unique soundscapes, this multi-cultural background has enabled Coker to draw upon numerous musical influences that have shaped his rich and versatile musical sound. 

As an emerging film composer Coker’s other recent scores include the upcoming feature The Labyrinth (2015) starring James Franco as well as several indie films and numerous shorts. He has also composed custom scores for motion picture trailers such as the Oscar winning The King’s Speech.

For more information on Ori and the Blind Forest visit the official website: http://www.oriblindforest.com

Ubisoft Announces Collaboration with Cliff Martinez on Far Cry 4 Soundtrack

Today, Ubisoft® announces that it partnered with film composer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Cliff Martinez to compose the original game soundtrack for its upcoming open-world, first-person shooter Far Cry 4, the much-anticipated sequel to the #1 rated shooter of 2012.* Cliff has a background in music as a former member of the award-winning rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers and has composed scores for films including “Traffic,” “Drive” and “Spring Breakers.”

Working with Ubisoft Montreal’s Far Cry 4’s Music Designer Jerome Angelot, Music Supervisor Simon Landry and Audio Director Tony Gronick, Cliff created original music specifically for Far Cry 4’s gameplay and helped bring to life the gorgeous, yet ruthless environment and the unforgettable characters found in the game.

“Bringing Cliff on board was a no-brainer. Collaborating with him was a dream. He has the remarkable ability to portray compelling emotions and elevate the mundane into extraordinary with his musical talent,” said Tony Gronick, Audio Director for Far Cry 4, Ubisoft. “Cliff delivered everything I hoped for. I’m so proud of the music in Far Cry 4 and am thankful for the opportunity to work with him.”

“It was an honor to be asked to write the music for the Far Cry 4 game as my first full-length video game soundtrack,” said Cliff Martinez. “It was exciting for me to be asked to take my usual minimalistic cinematic approach to the immersive game world.  Any game where you can ride on a rampaging elephant is a project you can’t turn down!”

In Far Cry 4, players find themselves in Kyrat, a breathtaking, perilous and wild region of the Himalayas struggling under the regime of a despotic self-appointed king. Using a vast array of weapons, vehicles and animals, players will write their own story across an exotic open-world landscape.

The Far Cry 4 Original Game Soundtrack digital edition will release worldwide on November 4, the limited 2-CD edition will release on December 2 in North America and on December 9 in Europe, and the limited 3-LP edition will release in January 2015.

Far Cry 4 will be available November 18 worldwide for major platforms and Windows PC.

 

Sarah Schachner’s Baroque-Classical Action Score for “Assassin’s Creed Unity” Released by Ubisoft

Rising star composer Sarah Schachner (Assassin’s Creed IV Black FlagFar Cry 3Lazarus) returns to Ubisoft’s flagship series Assassin’s Creed to score the combat, co-op and multiplayer music for this year’s most anticipated next-gen blockbuster title, Assassin’s Creed® Unity, a new epic adventure set within Paris during the French Revolution. The soundtrack is now available digitally through Ubisoft Music and will also be released on limited edition vinyl. 4 full-length tracks are available to preview on Soundcloud.

Schachner combines her dynamic talents as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (violin, cello, guitar, mandolin, voice) and modular synth artist/programmer to create a unique classical soundscape infused with analog pulses. “The French revolution was an interesting time musically because it was at the beginning of the classical period but there was still some crossover from the baroque era,” explains Schachner. “The missions at Versailles, for instance, reflect more of the overly flourished baroque sound that the aristocracy was reluctant to let go of.”

Sarah Schachner’s action-driven score for Assassin’s Creed® Unity immerses players in the time period during which the action takes place but also reflects the game’s overarching modern sci-fi element. “The combat music in Unity needed to strike a balance between the methodical and calculated chamber sound of the era while also encompassing the passion and struggle that was at the center of the revolution,” continues Schachner. “As always with the franchise, the player is periodically reminded of the sci-fi modern Abstergo element with low gritty analog synth pulses weaving in and out of the classical soundscape.”

Sarah’s previous scoring credits include arranging and composing additional music for Brian Tyler on various cinematic projects such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3Far Cry 3Now You See MeIron Man 3 and Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, which was nominated for a 2014 BAFTA Award for Best Original Music. Her upcoming projects include the Lionsgate horror thriller Lazarus produced by Jason Blum (Paranormal ActivityInsidiousPurge) and starring Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Donald Glover, Evan Peters and Sarah Bolger. Lazarus premieres in US theaters January 2015.

Set in a once-magnificent Paris, Assassin’s Creed Unity plunges into the terror of the 1789 French Revolution and features the most dense and immersive Assassin’s Creed city ever created. Through the streets of Paris, the starving inhabitants are set to take up arms for freedom and equality. In this time of chaos and brutality, a young man named Arno, wounded by the loss of those he loved, sets on a deadly path of redemption. Arno’s pursuit throws him into the middle of a ruthless struggle for the fate of a nation, and transforms him into a true Master Assassin.

Assassin’s Creed® Unity will be released on November 11 in the US and on November 13 in Europe. For more information visit www.assassinscreed.com.

The Music of Grand Theft Auto V: Limited Edition Soundtrack CD and Vinyl Box Sets Coming this December

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To celebrate the release of the new, enhanced versions of Grand Theft Auto V for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, Rockstar will be releasing limited edition collections of the game’s star-studded soundtrack on both CD and Vinyl, in collaboration with Mass Appeal Records.

‘The Music of Grand Theft Auto V’ limited edition collections include 59 tracks with original music from A$AP Rocky, Tyler, The Creator, Twin Shadow, Wavves, Flying Lotus, Yeasayer and more. In addition, these limited editions will feature the original score composed by Tangerine Dream, Woody Jackson, The Alchemist + Oh No, mixed by DJ Shadow, along with the other incredible music featured in Grand Theft Auto V. Limited to a production run of under 5,000 units worldwide, these limited editions will be available from December 9 at top online and physical record stores.

The vinyl collection will feature a total of six vinyl records, a full color booklet and an exclusive lithograph poster in a classic box-set. The CD collection includes three discs along with a branded Grand Theft Auto V gold brick-shaped USB Drive, artwork and poster all sealed in a special die-cut package.

gtaost2Also, as previously announced, a number of DJs from GTAV are returning to add new radio content to their respective stations, including Danny McBride (Duane Earl of Blaine County Talk Radio) and JB Smoove, (Dr. Ray De Angelo Harris of Chakra Attack), as well as DJ mixes and additional commentary from returning DJ’s including:

  • Big Boy (Radio Los Santos)
  • DJ Pooh (West Coast Classics)
  • Nathan and Stephen of WAVVES (Vinewood Boulevard Radio)
  • DJ George (Twin Shadow) (Radio Mirror Park)
  • Kenny Loggins (Los Santos Rock Radio)
  • Cara Delevigne (Non-Stop Pop FM)

For more information on Grand Theft Auto V, please visit www.rockstargames.com/v

 

BORDERLANDS: THE PRE-SEQUEL SOUNDTRACK TO BE RELEASED BY SUMTHING ELSE MUSIC WORKS

Original sci-fi soundtrack available for digital download
and streaming on September 30, 2-CD out October 14

Borderlands Pre-Sequel Cover

Sumthing Else Music Works, the premier record label dedicated to licensing and distributing video game soundtracks, is proud to present Borderlands®: The Pre-Sequel™ Soundtrack featuring the original music score from the newest entry in the critically acclaimed Borderlands franchise. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Soundtrack will be available digitally on iTunes, Amazon.com, Sumthing.com and all major music streaming sites on September 30, followed by a 2-disc CD album on October 14.

The album features a pulsating electronic synthesizer sci-fi score by celebrated series composer Jesper Kyd (BorderlandsBorderlands 2Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep) on CD1, followed by a diverse mix of ambient soundscapes and synth-tastic combat music by 2K Australia in-house sound designers Des Shore and Justin Mullins on CD2. Music samples from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Soundtrack are streaming on SoundCloud and the album is available for pre-order at Sumthing.com.

Describing his music for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Soundtrack on CD1, Jesper Kyd said, “There are no traces of real instruments, everything is made with analog synths, drum machines and old gaming consoles. The music is my take on 1980s sci-fi music and electronic music and there’s everything from Commodore 64 and Sega Megadrive instruments to massive analog synths and vintage drum machines. It’s basically a headtrip through 1980s film-inspired electronic synth scores with my own twist on that genre.”

Shoot ‘n’ loot your way through a brand new adventure that rockets you onto Pandora’s moon in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, releasing on October 14, 2014 in North America and October 17, 2014 internationally. Discover the story behind Borderlands 2‘s villain, Handsome Jack, and experience his rise to power. Taking place between Borderlands and Borderlands 2Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel features four new playable character classes, powerful laser guns, icy Cryo weapons, all-new low-gravity gameplay, and an array of new enemies. Co-developed by 2K Australia and Gearbox Software, and published by 2K, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a great introduction into the franchise while showcasing Handsome Jack’s transformation into the ruthless tyrant fans loved to hate in Borderlands 2.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is rated M for Mature by the ESRB.

PAX PRIME 2014: “MAESTROS OF VIDEO GAMES” COMPOSER PANEL SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED

Featuring the award-winning composers of ASSASSIN’S CREED, BASTION, BORDERLANDS, DEAD RISING, DESTINY, HALO, HITMAN, MASS EFFECT, RATCHET & CLANK, STATE OF DECAY, SUNSET OVERDRIVE, TRANSISTOR and many more!

PAX Sphinx Theatre
Sheraton Seattle Hotel
Saturday, August 30th, 5.30pm

What does it take to write music for video games? Hear from six of the industry’s most accomplished composers with diverse musical backgrounds as they share their experiences and discuss the craft of scoring music for some of the most popular titles in interactive entertainment.

The PAX Prime 2014 composer panel “Maestros of Video Games” will feature award-winning composers:

Martin O’Donnell
Destiny, Halo

Jesper Kyd
Assassin’s Creed, Borderlands, Hitman, State of Decay

Darren Korb
Bastion, Transistor

Boris Salchow
Sunset Overdrive, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance

Sascha Dikiciyan
Mass Effect 3, Borderlands, Dead Rising 3, Tron

Oleksa Lozowchuk
Dead Rising 3, Dead Rising 2

Moderated by Emily Reese, host and producer of Minnesota Public Radio’s “Top Score” podcast, attendees will receive a complimentary soundtrack sampler courtesy of premier video game soundtrack label Sumthing Else Music Works www.sumthing.com. The panel will be followed by a Meet & Greet / Signing Session – details to be announced.

For information on PAX Prime visit: http://prime.paxsite.com.

The Walking Dead: Season Two – ‘In the Pines’ Music Download and Trailer

Today we would like to share an all-new trailer for the critically-acclaimed second season of The Walking Dead: The Game.

The Walking Dead: Season Two, Episode 1 – ‘All That Remains’ and Episode 2 ‘A House Divided‘ are now available for download worldwide on Xbox Games Store, for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation 3 via PlayStation®Network in North America and Europe, PC and Mac from the Telltale Online Store, and other digital outlets, including Steam, and on the App Store for compatible iOS devices.

The Walking Dead: Season Two will also be premiering on PlayStation®Vita in the next few weeks, and we encourage fans to stay tuned to @telltalegames on twitter for release dates as they become available.

Today we would also like to share a very special track arranged by long-time composer for Telltale Games, Jared Emerson-Johnson, with vocals supplied by the multi-talented Janel Drewis, who also works as an animator on the development team at Telltale.

Together, Jared and Janel recorded their take on the classic traditional American folk song, ‘In the Pines,’ which dates back to the 1870’s and is believed to be of Southern Appalachian origin.

Heard during the credits to the critically-acclaimed Episode Two, ‘A House Divided,’ the track is currently free to download at telltalegames.bandcamp.com.

In addition to this track, fans can also look for more singles from Anadel, whose tracks ‘Carver’ and ‘In the Water’ are also available separately on their page at anadel.bandcamp.com.

Fans looking for additional tracks from The Walking Dead: Season Two can look forward to the full soundtrack releasing later this year after the season concludes.

For more information on the game, visit the official website, Facebook, and follow Telltale Games on Twitter.