027 | Interview: Game Music Designer Matthew Walker[expand title=”Show Transcript”] 00:00 Hello welcome to episode 27 of ComposerCast 00:03 On this episode we do a really fun 00:06 interview with a composer and what did 00:09 what did he comes up labeled himself a 00:11 music design music designer yeah Matthew 00:14 Walker and he was a very very nice man 00:16 yeah lots and lots of interesting stuff 00:19 about how he goes about composing music 00:22 lots of we got a bit philosophical yeah 00:24 it was nice we turned into hippies for a 00:26 bit yeah it’s good yeah we’re just gonna 00:29 dive right in because it is quite quite 00:32 a long episode but lots of good stuff so 00:33 I hope you enjoy it 00:35 and over to what first sparked your 00:41 passion for music it’s difficult to kind 00:45 of say without sounding a bit 00:46 run-of-the-mill so I began playing piano 00:49 riding the age of seven 00:52 by default really my brother played and 00:55 we had this really beat-up honky-tonk 00:58 signing piano like most most starter 01:00 pianos yeah my brother played a bit and 01:03 and and and that was fine but um it 01:05 didn’t really kind of captivate too much 01:07 with him so yeah I just took to it from 01:10 that and it was something that was um I 01:12 was quite encouraged by how easy I found 01:15 it to sort of put notes together we’re 01:18 talking about really basic stuff here 01:19 yeah but I’m like I would just kind of 01:21 play a note and go or that one does it 01:23 sound good all that one sounds good and 01:25 you just start to memorize kind of 01:26 combinations I’m like seven or eight at 01:28 this point so we just I got really 01:30 encouraged by how easy I found to put 01:32 notes and inform chords these new things 01:35 called chords you know wow that’s cool 01:38 so I just kind of had this this 01:40 fascination with it really and then it 01:44 just started this kind of snowball 01:46 impact of getting involved in little 01:49 ensembles at school and performing in 01:51 theatre and doing other bits and pieces 01:53 yeah it remained at a very dormant hobby 01:56 until I was about 21 really until I 01:58 couldn’t do sport anymore that was 02:01 always my big fascination as well I was 02:03 quite the football team captain the 02:05 football team cricket athletics rugby 02:08 rounders loved rounders classics 02:12 oh yeah I’d love a good game of rounders 02:14 yeah and and that was always my 02:17 fascination but then I couldn’t I 02:18 couldn’t do that anymore 02:20 certainly contacts what’s I couldn’t do 02:21 in my early 20s so then I said well I 02:23 was can I do this is piano things still 02:26 with me and by this point I’ve been 02:28 doing a lot more songwriting and I’ve 02:30 done a bit of singing in theatre and 02:32 then started to take it a bit more 02:34 seriously and then study that University 02:35 and then realize what I wanted to do 02:37 afterwards but yeah it started with very 02:40 much family had a piano played a bit 02:43 found it quite easy and that was it 02:46 and then started a fascination with 02:48 songwriting and kind of a listen to lot 02:50 of Elton John and carpenters and 02:52 Commodores he’s pick on a 70’s 80’s 02:55 singer songwriting signs I did go back 02:59 to it in secondary school where I 03:00 started having keyboard skills I don’t 03:03 know why they call it human skills I’ve 03:04 always found that quite fascinating yeah 03:06 and yeah then it started semi seriously 03:10 again but yeah I did have lessons but 03:12 but fell out of love quite quite quickly 03:14 yeah yeah I found school music lessons 03:18 but awful so me and Lloyd went to the 03:20 same school and right did you find a 03:22 mortal as well yeah because it was a it 03:25 felt very unorganized it felt like the 03:27 music department in our school was like 03:28 oh they’re just yeah it’s just the music 03:30 department you know let’s let’s give him 03:31 a couple bongos one of those things that 03:33 goes one of those and then you know like 03:36 a frog yeah we had always felt a bit 03:39 like an afterthought didn’t it I’ve seen 03:40 in our school it was you know there was 03:43 there was very minimal budget for 03:45 anything if you were lucky you know if 03:47 when there was a concert we had a summer 03:49 concert a winter concert and I think 03:52 that was kind of it we might be lucky to 03:53 get another one in but they were really 03:55 big events because we were we had a 03:57 really a lot of my friends weren’t 03:59 particularly musical so I through music 04:02 I got involved with other circles of 04:04 friends in the same year who were music 04:06 one and they became good friends 04:07 afterwards but they weren’t my my 04:09 default circle it was all the jocks or 04:11 the sport guys right he went from being 04:12 a job to a nerd didn’t you very much I 04:15 mean we a guy Matt Davis another Matt 04:19 who who I’d podcast with which we’ll 04:20 talk about later yeah I was I was 04:23 telling him about how I’ve always been 04:25 I 04:25 became a hybrid so you know I’ve 04:28 literally only this morning I’ve just 04:29 come back from a good little football 04:31 session just just now so those that’s 04:33 what I know but then working with in 04:35 certainly in games you get to know real 04:37 nerds amazing person amazing people you 04:40 know really amazing people and I’ve 04:42 always found it really quite easy to to 04:45 float between both crowds as I’ve gotten 04:48 older I’m definitely more of a nerd than 04:50 I am 04:51 a jock I think I just really look like a 04:53 jock but um but I’ve definitely a nerd 04:55 on the inside the outer outer shell of a 04:59 jock and then the the inside yeah I’m 05:02 balancing this weird double life and 05:04 it’s it’s a challenge of time and Jekyll 05:06 and Hyde how did your interest in a 05:08 video game music starts so going on from 05:11 learning the piano and stuff and then 05:12 going into video games yeah I’ve always 05:16 been a gamer I’ve always played games 05:17 and that’s one one shared interest that 05:20 I did have with with my jock friends 05:22 yeah we always play games so Mega Drive 05:24 Nez snares game boys you know proper 05:28 old-school consoles and that was always 05:32 a fascination but it wasn’t in sort of 05:33 middle mid to late 90s where you know 05:36 sign ships were coming much more 05:37 sophisticated cd-quality and all the 05:39 rest of it yeah where you started to 05:40 have the inclusion of real recorded 05:42 orchestras and I start to take notice of 05:44 these things there were two games in 05:47 particular that really struck me as a 05:49 gamer this is you know this isn’t this 05:51 is way before I’m even thinking about 05:53 game audio or combining the two things 05:55 but certainly Final Fantasy 7 blew me 05:58 away that’s my one of my favorite games 06:00 of all time and that soundtrack 06:01 hoo-wee Matsu soundtrack is just 06:03 beautiful yeah I think there’s just 06:05 nothing wrong about that soundtrack it’s 06:07 so dark so beautiful so poetic and 06:10 that’s what kind of really drove me 06:12 towards character themes and I was 06:14 thinking I every character has a 06:15 specific sound here there’s there’s an 06:17 instrumentation surrounding that that 06:19 portrayal of that character and that 06:20 other that’s something I took notice of 06:22 and also the the inclusion of Ave Maria 06:26 in the Hitman series that was also 06:28 something that really struck me too 06:29 because those two things is such a kind 06:31 of clash yes such a contrast you’ve got 06:34 this kind of you know 06:36 man for money killing people in horrible 06:38 ways and you’ve got this beautiful 06:40 beautiful piece of music yeah but I 06:43 loved that that idea of the the kind of 06:45 the poetic nature of the perfect kill 06:48 and I think that’s what they were 06:50 probably sort of going for that’s what I 06:52 took from it anyway yeah so it was 06:54 roundabout at that point where I started 06:56 to take notice more of games not just 06:57 for the enjoyment of them but for the 07:00 for the the audio impact they could have 07:03 but again much later it wasn’t until I 07:05 was sandwiched between the second and 07:08 third year of University where I was 07:09 standing right here what I want to do 07:11 this music degree what you know everyone 07:13 was going into teaching it was a very 07:14 much a teacher’s degree but I was always 07:17 fascinated in composition and being 07:19 creative and doing those sorts of things 07:22 and I see well what are my interests now 07:25 I didn’t really play sport anymore so 07:28 it’s music and games as of right what if 07:30 I combine those two what I first start 07:32 doing a bit of research into that and I 07:34 was thinking well how how do you meet 07:35 people that make games I’d never met a 07:37 game developer before I didn’t know 07:39 where you had to kind of big dig up to 07:41 find one and you do her lucky go dig dig 07:46 but luckily for me I was studying 07:49 Plymouth Plymouth University there was 07:51 an arts college nearby they do I can’t 07:55 remember if it was a you know computer 07:57 science or game programming degree but 07:59 is there was certainly at least a module 08:00 in game design or something like that 08:02 and I met a guy called Johnny Vegas who 08:04 was wanting some audio for this kind of 08:08 demo that he was putting together all I 08:09 knew is I had a really beat-up computer 08:12 this is my Cubase 3 knife looking PC 08:14 yeah and I knew I could put some tracks 08:16 together so it was during those really 08:18 early formative years I learned about 08:20 looping and you know making sure things 08:22 were kind of just created properly so 08:25 that there wasn’t a great deal of ear 08:27 fatigue Ian I mean you had to kind of 08:29 create music differently in that respect 08:31 there isn’t a definitive start end and 08:34 this is you know this is unlike 23 at 08:37 this point so it’s quite late on but 08:40 yeah but the more the more I kind of 08:42 learnt about it and the more I played 08:44 games then and start to take even more 08:46 notice of of game audio I thinking 08:47 this is cool I like this and I was 08:50 enjoying it so then when it comes to 08:52 came to leaving University as I write 08:54 how do I find more develop how do I do 08:57 how do I develop a a portfolio of work 09:00 of projects that I can then you know 09:02 build a craft around and luckily for me 09:06 Ryan about at that time the the game 09:09 industry was going through a split so we 09:11 had the crash of 2008 right and so many 09:13 so many developers and studios were 09:16 closing down and people losing their 09:17 jobs and it was horrible but of course 09:20 it splintered away and and created this 09:22 this in the industry this sub industry 09:24 within the industry so you had lots more 09:26 in these smaller studios setting up more 09:28 innovative or developing more innovative 09:31 ideas and taking more risks and this was 09:35 all happening just as I had graduated so 09:37 I was that right okay there seems to be 09:39 a buzz about this I’m gonna get involved 09:40 and talk to people and go to some local 09:42 events and Bristol has has quite a it’s 09:45 quite a small dedicated game they’ve 09:47 seen but it’s very it’s exactly that 09:50 it’s dedicated and there’s a lot of work 09:52 going on there’s a lot of cool stuff 09:53 happening in Bristol it’s a very arty 09:55 city anyway I love Bristol 09:57 yeah Bristol’s a lovely place lovely 10:00 place so I kind of lucked out that this 10:04 was happening Ryan about the time that I 10:05 was looking for stuff but it wasn’t 10:07 until I started getting involved in 10:08 community radio that was probably the 10:11 first thing I did after moving back to 10:13 Bristol was get involved in community 10:14 radio did a video game vgm awesome a 10:17 video game music show and and we just 10:20 you know just fist about game music 10:22 soundtracks and we did quirky little 10:25 things we even ran a couple of game jams 10:27 ourselves and then I on the show we were 10:31 always looking for local devs to come on 10:33 and talk about stuff when we would start 10:34 talking to a guy called Thomas Rawlings 10:36 who at the time was setting up a studio 10:39 called red wasp design and Bristol he 10:41 came on and was talking about this 10:43 Cthulhu based game that he had produced 10:47 and got chatting to him and I still work 10:50 with him now and he now runs a studio 10:53 called Auroch Digital in Bristol which is 10:54 a fundamentally just a brilliant studio 10:58 and it’s really quite it’s grown quite a 11:00 bit in the last 11:01 five six years so yeah it was it was 11:05 confines of pure chance but I don’t 11:06 really believe in that I think you have 11:08 to make your own luck you put yourself 11:09 in a circle you know or in a scenario 11:11 where there’s things happening yeah and 11:13 you do develop your own ties John I mean 11:16 you have to kind of create those 11:17 opportunities for you and thus that’s 11:18 what happened do you think going to 11:20 university really helped you with a 11:21 networking no not at all no no 11:24 absolutely not no I mean I’ve thought 11:28 about this a lot and for me that the 11:30 only thing I really took from the 11:32 university was the ideas that I 11:35 developed around composition I did very 11:37 well at composition and that’s something 11:38 I surprised because I didn’t go there 11:40 with a specific idea surrounding 11:43 composition like that was never really 11:45 the draw I just wanted to learn more 11:47 about music because as I say up to that 11:48 point it was always just a hobby and I 11:52 was surrounded by people that were you 11:53 know gradate pianists viola players 11:56 amazing drummers guitarists and I felt 11:59 so intimidated I was just like this 12:01 little boy from Bristol who had a thing 12:04 for piano and and pop songs and I think 12:08 in our man I am I am so deep in this 12:10 right now yeah but you realize that 12:12 people aren’t quite as intimidating and 12:15 you get to know them and you start 12:16 working with them and start to kind of 12:18 learn a bit and you develop that 12:19 confidence um but you know sorry the 12:22 only thing I really took from from my 12:24 degree was the the ideas around 12:26 composition I kind of really grew 12:28 towards that I developed a lot of 12:30 confidence that I could create something 12:32 from nothing 12:33 and we had a 1-1 lecturer in particular 12:37 guy called Sam Richards who’s very much 12:39 into experimental music son Ron John 12:43 Cage Cornelius Cardew and all these kind 12:45 of people yeah and I remember one 12:48 lecture he brought in our man like 12:51 somewhere between 75 and 100 toys like 12:55 cheap kids toys yeah and he’s at right 12:58 we’re gonna create a musical piece using 13:00 only this as an ensemble and we just 13:02 kind of I was I was really up for it 13:03 because I was kind of a bit of a 13:05 outside-the-box way of think way of 13:08 thinking but all the you know more 13:10 regimented classical players were like 13:11 this is not music what are we doing 13:13 you know and I said no come on come on 13:15 let’s let’s have a go let’s try it and 13:18 yeah I mean it sounded almost terrible 13:20 but it is that it was the fact that it 13:22 forces you to be resourceful yeah and 13:24 you’ve you’ve got some very clear 13:27 boundaries and so that’s my point sorry 13:30 is that that was also something I took 13:31 away was the ability to be resourceful 13:33 and to work within limits because that’s 13:37 exactly what game audio is yeah it’s 13:39 just limitations after limitations and 13:41 you have to absolutely do your best to 13:44 max that out so yeah those were the 13:48 things that I’ve really took from that 13:49 degree everything else was kind of you 13:50 know grey that’s good for people to hear 13:55 as well because the thing you always 13:56 hear people say it’s like go to uni 13:58 because your network and you know you’ll 13:59 meet people but it’s as you said it’s 14:02 not necessarily the case the the you 14:05 know the learning is the thing that you 14:07 should get from University and the 14:09 networking comes second no it does and 14:11 learning continues even now you know I 14:13 mean I’m doing okay in my career now but 14:17 if my thirst for learning stops then 14:19 I’ve got a real problem on my hands 14:22 because developers are constantly 14:23 innovating constantly evolving the way 14:26 they do things and coming up with new 14:27 cooler bigger better ideas and if I 14:31 don’t keep pace with that they’re not 14:33 find someone else who will 14:34 yeah so it’s a necessary pressure that I 14:37 keep telling myself that keep learning 14:38 keep it keep you know expanding and 14:40 getting better absolutely and and at 14:44 some point you’re kind of look down or 14:45 look behind on on the past person that 14:47 you only think whoa I’ve actually learnt 14:48 quite a bit here and I’m working on some 14:50 cool stuff now and you know and you 14:52 think whoa where did that come from 14:54 but it just comes from showing a lot of 14:56 energy and perseverance and confidence 14:59 in yourself that you can be that person 15:02 that you want to be cool so you have got 15:06 a very broad portfolio to having look at 15:09 your website and got music designer 15:11 sound designer vocalist and film 15:13 composer and obviously a game audio how 15:16 do you balance all of that and also how 15:19 did you do you think it’s better to 15:21 focus on just one thing like someone 15:23 wants to become a sound designer they 15:24 should focus on that or should they 15:26 sort of take the real try everything I 15:29 think in this in this day and age I 15:31 don’t think there’s any real discipline 15:34 that is quite so one-dimensional as that 15:37 I think if you were just a composer you 15:39 know you have to diversify even just 15:41 within that discipline you know you look 15:43 at classical composers or film composers 15:45 they’re starting to kind of bleed into 15:46 games now yeah and that’s been going on 15:48 for quite some time because it’s another 15:49 it’s another workflow and it’s another 15:52 way of learning 15:52 it’s another network and it’s another 15:54 another form of income if you can kind 15:57 of manage that with film work so I’ve 16:00 always believed in in diversifying to a 16:04 point where I’m not thinly spread if I 16:06 fit as I’m doing too many things and I 16:08 can’t do any one of those things well 16:09 then I’m pushing it too far yeah you 16:12 know what’s that line then what film 16:14 it’s from and too much butter over not 16:16 enough but I think is from The Hobbit or 16:18 Lord of the Rings or something I think 16:19 Bilbo Baggins says oh yeah when he’s 16:21 been wearing the ring too long yeah you 16:23 feel so he’s thinly spread yeah and I 16:26 think that is the balance you have to 16:27 you have to kind of expand and and 16:30 create a stream of work working flow 16:35 that is attractive but it’s all 16:38 relatable so when I entered the games 16:40 industry I was just a composer didn’t 16:42 call myself a music designer 16:43 I didn’t even everybody know what that 16:45 was at the moment which by the way I’m 16:46 convinced I penned that title and now 16:49 everyone uses it I’m convinced I was the 16:51 first one to start saying that but yes 16:55 so it but it’s so relatable so you take 16:56 one project take one take dark future 16:59 which comes out next week it’s on 17:01 recording this comes out next week on 17:02 the 16th of May so just within that 17:04 project alone so I’ve been music 17:06 designer sound designer sound recordist 17:10 a co-presenter to the podcast linked to 17:12 that game within the studio – so you 17:15 have to kind of you know just build an 17:19 arsenal things you can do but again just 17:21 without spreading yourself too thin yeah 17:23 kind of pick the things that you’re the 17:24 strongest at yeah yeah that’s right I 17:30 think I would never introduce anything 17:34 onto my website that I didn’t think I 17:36 could fulfill so my websites actually 17:38 going through a redesign at the MoMA 17:40 I’ve had that design now for about three 17:42 years in his getting a bit old bit 17:43 tiresome to look at so that one of the 17:45 newer things there’s two brand-new 17:47 things that will be introduced and that 17:49 there’s the sound recordists so doing a 17:50 lot of boom work for films because I 17:52 started in film really okay alongside 17:54 community radio work I was doing a lot 17:56 of short films I knew more filmmakers 17:59 than I did game developers at a time so 18:01 I started just doing stuff like that and 18:03 then when I felt more comfortable as a 18:05 sound designer and as a sound recordist 18:06 doesn’t come right okay I think I can 18:08 start tapping into film work again and 18:10 doing sound recorded stuff and I’ve only 18:13 been doing that for about eighteen 18:15 months or two years but that’s been 18:17 really really cool and it’s been it’s 18:20 been quite interesting because it’s that 18:22 same feeling that I had when I start 18:24 playing the piano for the first time it 18:25 just took to it really well yeah it just 18:27 took to being able to know where best to 18:30 get a good mic position and how to 18:32 conduct yourself on a film set I’ve 18:34 really enjoyed it but also it’s nice to 18:36 get out of my house it’s nice to get out 18:39 of the studio yeah when you’re working 18:41 on a game or many projects you’re very 18:45 much dedicated to one place and sitting 18:47 in the same chair and that’s fine but 18:49 I’m going out into the field being 18:51 outside and just interacting with people 18:54 on a slightly larger scale all in one 18:57 place yeah that was a big draw and 18:59 that’s why I felt quite quite compelled 19:01 to sort of start tapping into that 19:03 really the the energy on the film sets 19:06 very good isn’t it I’ve worked on a 19:07 couple yes it’s not like I like how 19:10 regimented yet kind of well yeah as I 19:13 said it’s all team-based isn’t it’s 19:15 everyone’s in it to do one have one goal 19:18 and yeah yeah I really like that and you 19:20 got have nice strong arms to hold up 19:22 that boom you do and I’m not the biggest 19:25 guy as I say I think this is where we’re 19:27 with my jock background I’m quite a 19:29 physically fit person but I’m certainly 19:31 not a broad person I’m the sort of guy 19:34 that runs a marathon like that kind of 19:36 lean sort of build but yeah so that when 19:40 when there’s a take that might be I 19:41 don’t know longer than a couple of 19:42 minutes hopefully you won’t hear that 19:45 kind of this this sort sound tapping 19:48 into the mic way no because I’m shaking 19:50 the boom yeah yeah but again that’s 19:53 that’s just 19:53 Challenge that comes with being a boom 19:55 operator so that’s something I’m gonna 19:56 get better and get stronger and be able 19:59 to deal with you know cool and the music 20:02 designer saying you penned out can you 20:04 explain what music designer this I think 20:07 in in games there’s a lot there’s a 20:10 bigger idea around design right so you 20:13 know if you’re composing music you know 20:15 certainly if you’re implementing those 20:17 tracks as well and you’re doing sound as 20:19 an alongside it you’re thinking about 20:22 the composition is more of a design 20:25 experience for me so I think if you’re 20:28 if you’re doing a lot on the inside of a 20:30 game within an engine there’s more of a 20:32 design idea behind the music as opposed 20:34 to just composition so music design just 20:36 seems a more appropriate title for that 20:39 so yeah that’s my kind of idea I’m sure 20:43 I probably didn’t penned that but I 20:45 started pulling myself out thinking well 20:47 I’m not really I’m composing music but 20:49 it doesn’t feel like I’m a composer so 20:52 I’m gonna come up with this new title 20:54 and all of a sudden maybe six months 20:55 later I was going to network meets and 20:57 game dev meets and then everyone’s come 20:59 themself a music designer like what 21:00 should a pattern on that I want some 21:05 coin for that place yeah I’d like some 21:07 bitcoins are there any skills from all 21:11 of those that crossover and so that was 21:13 in reference mortar between film and 21:15 games so I think it was talking about 21:17 like music specifically but is there 21:20 anything yeah between films and games 21:22 that kind of crossover oh yeah I mean of 21:24 course it does I mean so you you can 21:25 still be just a straight compose and 21:27 work in work in the game industry it 21:29 just that would tend to be a case of if 21:33 you’re just a composer that’s fine you 21:35 can be a great composer but you’re only 21:36 going to get composition work but if 21:39 you’re sound design and your music 21:40 design and you’re implementing and sound 21:43 recording as well these are all things 21:45 that are definitely going to get used 21:46 within a within a game dev yeah and it’s 21:48 much easier for them to just come to one 21:50 place okay Oh awesome we’ve got 21:51 everything that we need yeah I think 21:53 Trust is a big a big thing you know when 21:55 especially when he gets a crunch and 21:58 you’re working maybe a development 22:00 studio lands a big IP with a big 22:02 publisher or something you know there’s 22:04 a lot of pressure that surrounds that of 22:05 course they want it to be their best 22:06 work 22:07 so if you’ve got a tried-and-tested 22:09 collaborator who they’ve worked with in 22:11 the past it kind of goes without saying 22:14 they’re going to go to that person 22:15 because they trust the workflow that 22:17 person understands how the studio works 22:19 in us and what their what their system 22:21 is and how it kind of goes about itself 22:24 Trust is a big deal and I think when 22:27 you’re starting out that’s that’s the 22:28 real challenge you know that you can 22:30 produce the audio and you know that you 22:32 can compose music but the developers 22:34 don’t know that so how do you convince 22:37 them that you’re good for it and then 22:39 they give you a give you a shout when 22:40 when they need some audio and that’s 22:43 where perseverance is key just work on 22:45 stuff and you you eventually build up 22:48 before a portfolio of things that you’ve 22:50 done and you will get that chance you 22:52 just need to persevere because the 22:54 people that don’t persevere they’ll just 22:56 sort of fade away and then you’re left 22:57 with the person who really really wants 22:59 it and that I think that when I started 23:02 out that’s the one thing I knew I had I 23:03 had a lot of dedication I was like well 23:05 if I’m gonna do this I’m just gonna the 23:07 first thing I know I’m gonna beat the 23:09 other competition off with is my 23:11 patience I’m just hanging around yeah 23:13 you know I would just wait and just talk 23:16 and build my own client base and not 23:18 think too much about composition sorry 23:21 competition yeah I think if you if you 23:24 compete and you try to if you kind of 23:26 think like well I need to get more work 23:29 than that person for me that’s never 23:32 been a proactive approach really I focus 23:35 purely on myself the only person I’m at 23:38 composition with is me I don’t think 23:40 about other other game developer sorry 23:42 egg game or do you people within Bristol 23:44 or anything like that I just focus on 23:45 what I’m good at I focus on my own black 23:47 book of clients and that is it because 23:51 it’s a much nicer way I prefer working 23:53 that way and the relationships feel you 23:57 feel feel nice and fuzzy and I like yeah 23:59 can you talk a bit about your approach 24:02 to composition so say somebody comes to 24:05 you with they say hey I want you to make 24:07 some music where where do you start with 24:10 that do they if it’s a game would you 24:13 ask for some like artwork or to see a 24:15 video or something or do you talk to the 24:17 developers just want to curl e they 24:20 bring you on in 24:21 game as well yeah I think the earlier 24:24 you can get on on side of a project the 24:26 better because you’ve just got more time 24:28 to digest all the other things and quite 24:30 often the cases certainly that I found 24:32 you’re you might enter a project and 24:34 there’s law and there’s backstory and 24:37 all the developers know everything 24:39 anything and everything about what 24:41 you’re about to produce but you’re 24:42 coming in slightly cold you can’t be a 24:45 specialist in everything so you have to 24:47 kind of learn these things quickly and 24:48 get to know what it means and the law 24:51 that surrounds it the law is really cool 24:53 so this is one in fact that Nazis were 24:55 interested in the occult and they were 24:56 conducting experiments and all these 24:58 kind of things to produce you know super 25:00 soldiers or something and the idea 25:02 around this game is that well what if 25:04 that was what if that were true what if 25:06 they did harness something and then they 25:08 use that as a weapon against the Allied 25:10 nations ja I mean yeah so it’s set 25:13 within this kind of secret war and it’s 25:15 based on a tabletop game by MIDI fierce 25:16 acting Cthulhu so with that you know I’d 25:21 never worked on a Cthulhu based property 25:24 before so I had to get to know the enemy 25:26 types and the idea around this secret 25:28 war that was going on but the most 25:31 important thing is to have that dialogue 25:33 to have that conversation just to kind 25:35 of get an idea for the flavors that the 25:39 developers are thinking about so that 25:42 game in particular was it’s a world war 25:44 two strategy game so the first thing I 25:46 thought was like Medal of Honor I’d love 25:48 that Medal of Honor silent Michael 25:50 Giacchino’s soundtrack to our frontline 25:51 Medal of Honor for my one of my 25:52 favorites Oh operation Market Garden Wow 25:56 beautiful piece of music cool and so I 26:01 was thinking about that I need that 26:03 sound but you’ve got like horrible 26:07 disgusting enemies this kind of ethereal 26:10 uneasy ambience to it so had to be very 26:13 mysterious and dark and you know so I 26:17 had to kind of splice those two things 26:18 together and create something that felt 26:20 right and we came for something that was 26:22 really cool and and it and it seemed to 26:23 work well with with what we’ve produced 26:26 so coming back to the composition the 26:28 actual composition for me it will start 26:31 anywhere once I’ve once I’ve established 26:33 the idea 26:35 so again take Acton Cthulhu for example 26:37 I knew the two things I had to combine 26:39 and then it’s at that point well then do 26:42 nothing I just literally I wouldn’t even 26:45 try to write anything because it would 26:46 just come out wrong because I haven’t I 26:48 haven’t digested it yet you know I knew 26:50 I’ve grown more in confidence to just 26:53 allow ideas to cook away in the back of 26:55 my brain and just let them simmer and 26:57 eventually something comes through and 27:00 and that comes when I’m doing the most 27:03 boring of tasks and so I might be 27:05 washing up I might be you know in the 27:07 shower 27:07 you know when I’m when I’m at a point 27:09 where I’m not thinking about work yeah 27:11 is always when the ideas come through 27:14 it’s happened time and time and time 27:16 again and I’ve really grown to develop 27:20 that muscle yeah and that confidence in 27:22 it so with Acton Cthulhu the first thing 27:25 that I did was I think it was just it 27:28 was it was a baseline by by like cellos 27:32 or bases and that became the basis for 27:35 the shag off battle theme so I’m a piano 27:40 player so I’m always thinking about the 27:42 body of a piece not necessarily melody 27:44 but I’ll always think about the overall 27:45 body of what it is because it’s a broad 27:48 instrument that’s how I would always 27:49 kind of approach it so I ended up just 27:52 with this really cool kind of and then 27:57 and then that becomes a piece of music 27:59 very quickly because you’ve got 28:00 something that’s driving it becomes the 28:02 backbone yeah yeah and then from that 28:04 one piece of music you’re like oh right 28:06 okay so now I’ve got a piece of music 28:08 set within this universe and then you 28:11 start to pick out ideas that then bleed 28:13 into other cues so I needed I needed 28:15 something for a menu and you the title 28:17 theme need like a game over all these 28:18 kind of things and you just start to 28:20 pick ideas that seem to work but that 28:23 that all sounds quite systematic and 28:25 quite regimented but in the next project 28:28 it’ll be utterly different I just I 28:31 won’t necessarily start there because 28:32 every project just presents a whole new 28:34 different again a different law a 28:37 different a different idea when the idea 28:41 does come do you do you put it straight 28:44 into the door or do you write it out in 28:46 notation first because I know 28:48 quite a few composers like to do it in 28:50 Sibelius and then they get their ideas 28:52 kind of visual yeah yeah yeah firstly 28:55 I’m I’m not fluent with with notation I 28:57 was as a child but it’s been so many 29:00 years why haven’t done it I can 29:01 understand notation but I don’t read it 29:02 fluently anymore yeah it takes me a 29:05 while to kind of really wrap my brain so 29:06 I my thinking is that well that’s gonna 29:08 take that’s time for me to do that yes 29:11 and that’s not really my practice 29:12 anymore but I’ve got a bit of a test so 29:15 if again if I might doing very normal 29:16 things if I if I have an idea 29:19 and again it might be a baseline I might 29:21 be and melody might be an idea around 29:22 percussion or something I just record 29:24 that and there’s two things that I do if 29:27 that still you know gives gives me 29:30 goosebumps the next day and I think yeah 29:32 that’s an idea then then I’ll start to 29:33 develop it so it always has a 24 hour 29:35 test the some of some of the best ideas 29:38 that I’ve ever had and this is true for 29:40 dark future as well if if I’m feeling 29:44 confident I won’t record it I always 29:47 have a little micro kit with me I’ve 29:49 always got a field recorder on me or or 29:50 even on my phone or something but I if I 29:53 if I’m feeling confident it feels 29:55 slightly fruity I won’t bother to record 29:57 it because then the next day if it’s 29:59 still there and I can and I can hum it I 30:01 and I can sing it to myself then I know 30:03 it’s a good one yeah because it’s it’s 30:05 it’s become an earworm already and I’m 30:07 thinking right yet that’s something 30:09 worth developing and and again that’s 30:11 something that I’ve done time and time 30:12 again and some of my better ideas have 30:14 come from that way of working I’m not 30:17 saying that is the best approach for 30:18 every music design or composer because 30:20 everyone has their own ways of doing 30:22 things but that’s something that’s 30:23 worked for me and it’s something I still 30:25 do now yeah me too 30:28 how do you visualize do you visualize 30:30 your songs in your head I said you said 30:32 that you’re not familiar with notation 30:34 do you do you see yourself playing the 30:36 instrument and where those notes where 30:38 your hands would be on your piano for 30:40 accent for example yeah yeah I think you 30:43 I’m quite a visual person any any music 30:46 I produce 30:47 outside of a project always almost 30:49 always tends to be more experimental 30:54 science cape bass because it’s a way of 30:57 expression right so I’m a very visual 31:01 sort of thing 31:02 and I will always kind of look at a 31:03 piece and think well where the colors 31:05 where are the colors in this piece you 31:07 know what’s what’s dancing around my 31:10 piano what needs emphasis at any given 31:11 point yeah and then it becomes a case of 31:15 it largely becomes a case of stripping 31:17 away all the stuff that I’ve thrown at 31:19 the sequencer because it’s always too 31:21 much and you have to kind of get better 31:23 at just the arrangement it’s very easy 31:28 to throw ideas down I think art needs 31:30 more and he’s more of this needs more of 31:31 that but much like mixing it’s like if 31:35 it’s about stripping away the 31:37 frequencies instead of adding stuff all 31:39 the time because then it becomes really 31:40 muddy and the idea the really good idea 31:42 that you might have heard is covered up 31:44 by all these other things that you’re 31:45 trying to make work sometimes simplicity 31:49 is complexity and that’s something I 31:52 stick by quite a lot you know simple 31:54 ideas will inevitably become complex so 31:57 don’t make them complex because complex 31:59 on top of complex is really complex and 32:02 that’s really difficult to work with 32:03 yeah it’s too much complex so keep it 32:07 simple keep really simple and just allow 32:10 those things to grow because your brain 32:11 will inevitably want to make them 32:14 articulate and decorate it and fancy 32:17 anyway so start simple I’m not sure what 32:20 the question was at the start yeah I 32:26 mean we can joke about that but that’s 32:29 certainly in the last certainly be since 32:31 becoming a father that’s a big deal for 32:34 me because everything’s very very 32:36 different nice so my my music is 32:37 different and my workflow is different 32:39 because my days are are managed with a 32:42 young child too so my way of thinking is 32:47 very kind of meditative and very kind of 32:50 tranquil or at least it tries to be 32:52 because I have to kind of maintain my 32:54 mindset to get any really good work done 32:56 in the limited hours that I have during 32:58 the working day because I don’t I do my 33:00 absolute best to not work into the 33:02 evenings and certainly not on weekends 33:03 so you guys are really lucky that I’m 33:05 doing this for you on a Saturday 33:08 you’re okay okay so yes III do my best 33:12 to keep to a you know to a sort of half 33:14 eight six pm sort of working day I think 33:19 that yeah I think it’s good actually 33:20 because it leads on to the question of 33:21 how do you structure your working day 33:23 like yeah from beginning to end Monday 33:26 to Friday how are you working are you 33:28 kind of very relaxed with it you said 33:30 you don’t like you kind of you let your 33:32 brain do the work while you’re doing 33:33 other stuff or do you not I mean what do 33:36 you have at that time where you’re right 33:37 this 12 o clock I’m gonna sit down got 33:39 two hours and go write something at I 33:41 have a plan of course in composition you 33:44 can’t always say run I’ve got four hours 33:45 I’m gonna compose a piece of music for 33:47 us because it doesn’t often work like 33:49 that it’s a very abstract thing 33:50 sometimes you could spend six hours 33:52 doing something and it’s absolute 33:54 rubbish 33:54 yeah you might spend 20 minutes doing 33:56 something and it’s the best thing since 33:58 cathedral cheese is you know you know 34:01 how that works right it’s a very hit and 34:03 miss kind of kind of experience 34:05 absolutely in terms of my working day 34:07 and with the way things are nice so our 34:10 little boy will always wake up around 34:12 about 6:00 6:15 I’m training for a 34:15 marathon at the moment so I go out and 34:16 hit the road for a couple of miles at 7 34:19 a.m. we’ll do a little run and that 34:20 becomes my little my little meditation 34:22 thing in the morning yeah got a run a 34:24 comeback do you listen to anything when 34:26 you’re on the run no I don’t actually 34:28 and that’s with good reason because I’ve 34:31 tried that if I go for a run and listen 34:33 to music 34:34 your your your musical brain is 34:36 analyzing stuff yeah and you’re thinking 34:38 about work and that’s not the point 34:40 for me so I choose I absolutely choose 34:43 to run cold with nothing in my in my 34:46 head and I lie on myself to just kind of 34:48 focus and think about the things I need 34:50 to think about without being interrupted 34:51 it feels like my music was just kind of 34:53 weird as a music professional yeah but 34:56 that’s just the way it seems to work for 34:58 me so yeah so the first kind of hour and 35:02 a half two hours of the day normally 35:04 just set with admin tasks though I might 35:07 have an update for my website I might do 35:09 a blog post I’ll do some social media 35:11 stuff emails messages so I’ll do all 35:14 that kind of stuff first and then 35:17 that’ll be it until the end of the day 35:18 and then 10 o’clock I tend to stop 35:19 project work 35:21 I try my best not to work on two 35:23 separate projects during the same day 35:25 because you have changing mindsets and I 35:27 prefer to just be like right this day 35:29 Tuesday I’m doing that and just all day 35:32 I can be in that hat do you know what I 35:35 mean yeah and that works really really 35:37 well for me 35:38 just because I can see the colors that I 35:40 have to work with that day and that 35:42 would just go on until about five 35:44 o’clock Hoppus 5 where I start to kind 35:46 of pizza off around about 4 and it 35:48 becomes a bit of a slugfest after that 35:50 but then ya run about 5:00 5:30 I then 35:53 do email so I book end my day with 35:55 emails I do not answer emails during the 35:58 day I do my best not to because again it 36:00 just takes you out of that mindset of 36:02 trying to be focused and then that’s it 36:06 in 6 o’clock is bath time for my little 36:07 boy so then it becomes an evening of 36:09 being a dad and being a family man and 36:13 this this is a relatively new thing you 36:14 again you’re lucky this is the first 36:16 time I’m really talking about it to be 36:17 honest because he’s only 8 months old so 36:20 I’ve gotten so very used to doing things 36:22 and having almost all the hours and on 36:25 the earth to do stuff yeah when you 36:27 become a dad those things become quite 36:29 limited and going back to Thomas 36:32 Rawlings I asked him when we realized we 36:34 were pregnant that how do you manage 36:36 because he’s got some small children I 36:38 said how do you manage your time with 36:40 little people and he just like well it’s 36:42 just moderation you just have to be 36:44 really really organized and I was like 36:47 thanks Tom that is good advice like you 36:49 just need to hear it yeah yeah and you 36:53 just need to buy the hour just be like 36:55 right this is what I’m doing 36:56 I’ll always prep the coming weeks work 36:59 on the weekend so that’s kind of the 37:01 only bit of work I really do on the 37:03 weekends so Sunday night I just look at 37:04 my diary and go right what’s do you 37:06 watch what’s priority what do I want to 37:09 do and that process kind of copy pastes 37:12 from Monday to Thursday Friday is a 37:14 little bit more chilled because it’s a 37:17 Friday so the morning I tend to be a bit 37:20 more kind of chilled out I probably do 37:21 more social media stuff because I quite 37:23 enjoy that I quite enjoy trying to 37:25 create content and sharing things and 37:27 talking about stuff that you’re doing 37:29 this is exciting yeah 37:31 and then if I need to work on a project 37:34 because 37:34 Deadline or something then I will but I 37:36 Friday I tried to work on side projects 37:39 so I’m I’ve got an album I was saying 37:42 album at an EP it’s a two-part album 37:44 into two EPS that are coming out soon 37:47 called wormhole which is quite a cool 37:48 idea and I’ve been doing that every 37:51 Friday for the last say four or five 37:53 weeks which has been a lot of fun 37:55 because again it’s it’s a nice relief 37:57 from from project work you know you get 38:01 very used to to working on these things 38:03 and it’s very good it’s very healthy I 38:05 find to have those side projects to 38:09 experiment and to apply what you’ve 38:11 learned on the professional projects and 38:13 then to do something kind of maybe 38:15 outrageous within a side project it’s 38:17 really it’s a really good way of 38:18 expressing yourself yeah and it’s not 38:20 for you exactly yeah exactly right and 38:23 because there’s no brief there’s no 38:25 brief there’s no deadline which is a 38:28 good thing but it’s also bad things you 38:30 should put a deadline on for things 38:31 other words never get finished 38:32 you have to because I’ve we’ve all been 38:34 there you think you’ve got this great 38:35 idea and you think well I’m not gonna 38:38 put a timeframe on it but I find it’s 38:40 good to do that even if you give 38:42 yourself six months at least you know 38:43 that right in six months this is gonna 38:45 be out and it’s gonna be on Spotify or 38:47 iTunes or whatever you know then you can 38:49 move on to the next thing because if you 38:51 don’t it’ll just become really thin and 38:54 it becomes for me it might become a 38:56 chore and that’s again not a good place 38:58 to be working if you feel like something 39:00 is is work no you know if it becomes a 39:03 drag like that then you need to change 39:05 your approach because that’s an 39:07 enjoyable and life is not to be not 39:10 enjoyed you know we should all be doing 39:12 things we enjoy doing yeah 39:14 well that’s one of the other questions 39:15 are going to ask is how do you know when 39:16 when a piece is finished is it you’ve 39:19 given yourself this timeframe whether 39:20 it’s something you’re doing yourself or 39:22 whether it’s for a and game but how do 39:25 you know when this piece is finished 39:27 because always feel like I could just do 39:29 a little bit more or I could just add 39:30 something there tweak that bit I guess 39:32 the answer is you never really know and 39:34 it’s never finished our is our ever 39:36 finished I think that’s the question 39:38 that’s been asked time and time again 39:41 certainly on a project is finished when 39:43 the deadline is is there and you have to 39:45 deliver that’s when it’s finished 39:47 but on side projects yeah that’s a bit 39:49 more of a challenge because you do have 39:51 the option to go back to it and go back 39:53 to again but my my take is I try to 39:56 release four pieces of work side project 39:59 work a year so one a quarter so in the 40:02 first quarter of this year released an 40:04 album called drones for coders which is 40:05 quite cool soundtrack or our science 40:08 scape rather and that was very much a 40:10 love letter to game development so the 40:13 idea is that someone walks into the 40:14 office they log in headphones go on and 40:16 then they get they enter this world 40:18 where they’re coding and they enter this 40:21 world of colors and vibrant things and 40:23 at the end of it the headphones come off 40:24 and he leaves the office and it’s 40:26 bookended by those two exact things and 40:29 that was like my love letter to all the 40:31 the game devs that I’ve worked in worked 40:34 with sorry of the lasts or ten years 40:37 side-projects wise yeah you just you 40:39 just have to give yourself something and 40:41 then and if you want to if you want to 40:43 go back then you go back and do a remix 40:44 or something but just give yourself a 40:46 deadline otherwise I just never come out 40:48 yeah that’s what I find you just so one 40:51 a quarter seems to work for me yeah 40:53 that’s good 40:54 I am absolutely a victim of 40:55 procrastination in this day and age is 40:59 so difficult to remain focus I think 41:01 that’s why things like mindfulness have 41:03 become really popular yeah because we’re 41:06 bombarded with information and even if 41:08 you’re not trying there’s a new there’s 41:10 a Twitter feed there’s something’s 41:11 trending there’s you know all these 41:13 algorithms and things just chucking 41:15 stuff at you because you watched that 41:16 last video yeah you interact with it as 41:20 well so a lot of yeah and the algorithm 41:22 gives you quite an stuff that you might 41:25 not actually like but that you have 41:26 really angry about that maybe because 41:29 they just want you to interact and then 41:30 you end up interacting and then yeah and 41:32 that’s that al-ghani but no but I’ve 41:34 I’ve done exactly and the spiral goes on 41:36 and on you get caught in this trap so 41:38 you know we’re all there and I think 41:40 social media and YouTube and sharing all 41:43 the rest of it it’s a relatively new 41:44 beast but I think ten or so years on 41:48 from where these things first came about 41:52 new ways and practices are being put in 41:54 place to kind of counter that I love it 41:56 not not to kind of completely eliminate 41:58 and eradicate it but just to 42:00 be more managed with it yeah so so going 42:03 back to my own fantasy that that’s a big 42:05 deal for me I’ve really enjoyed doing 42:06 things like that because it allows me to 42:08 kind of keep Zen and focus on what I 42:11 need to do and just just ignore all the 42:15 fluff that comes from logging into my 42:17 Twitter account 42:18 do you use any mindfulness app things 42:20 that question about yes I have done I 42:24 have done but um I’ve been I’ve been an 42:28 active practicing agent of of 42:31 mindfulness for about two years now and 42:34 the apps don’t really work for me being 42:36 completely honest they’re really really 42:38 good nothing against them I think 42:39 they’re really really good and they’ll 42:41 work for other people but I I don’t sit 42:44 down every morning and and and meditate 42:47 like you’d stereotypically think it to 42:49 go about so like for example I go for a 42:51 run that is my time to be mindful 42:53 entertain just kind of to get Zen lots 42:57 of people say that they use their runs 42:58 as their meditation time yeah yeah I 43:01 think it’s the the great thing about it 43:03 the reason it’s really really useful and 43:05 very popular is because it can be used 43:07 anywhere I’m John I mean it is yeah 43:10 you of course don’t do it when you’re on 43:11 the motorway again since I wasn’t it 43:12 might be really bad but you know it’s 43:20 something that can be applied to any 43:22 part of your day and it’s free it’s just 43:24 about stopping and doing things a little 43:26 bit slower and not allowing social media 43:29 and that kind of drive to kick you in 43:32 the ass and say you need to do this and 43:34 are those comment on that or what do you 43:36 thing about this just even thinking 43:38 about it gets me slightly riled up to 43:40 slow it down just be your own person 43:43 think about what you want to do and 43:44 ignore all of that Jasmine it’s just not 43:48 necessary and all the time I mean I 43:51 deleted facebook from my phone for that 43:53 exact reason yeah just don’t shut up 43:57 everyone 43:59 yeah I think you know these are great 44:02 tools social media accounts and Twitter 44:04 and all these things that they’re all 44:06 wonderful things and they should be used 44:08 because they’re very effective I’ve I’ve 44:10 browsed loads of work just from creating 44:12 a Twitter dialogue with someone yeah you 44:16 know so they’re you cannot you cannot 44:18 ignore how powerful they can be but you 44:21 need to take control of them not the 44:23 other way around otherwise it’s just you 44:25 might as well just you know punch 44:27 yourself in the face all day because 44:28 that’s what it is yeah all these things 44:30 is like hashtag hashtag hashtag hasn’t 44:32 just oh gosh just no just ignore it and 44:35 just focus on what you need to do yeah I 44:37 mean I’ve got a bloodied nose just from 44:39 punching myself 44:41 one of the most mindful things I’ve 44:44 tried was a float tank oh wow if you 44:48 attract one of those no no that was very 44:52 interesting because it’s just you 44:54 there’s no sound there’s no there’s 44:56 nothing at all 44:57 so the water’s meant to be the same 44:58 temperature of your body so you don’t 45:00 feel the water it’s feels so and so 45:02 you’re just floating there pitchblack 45:04 and yeah you have about an hour session 45:06 in there and your brain just goes off 45:10 you can’t tell if you’re awake if you’re 45:11 asleep so the actual when you’re in 45:13 there is very weird and I think there’s 45:14 some sort of weird hallucinations and 45:16 you know lights flying around that was 45:18 your fault though you took LSD but it 45:22 was more when I came out of it it was 45:25 the most relaxed I’ve been in like 10 45:27 years it was crazy I just I took a 45:29 little video of myself just trying to 45:30 talk because I was so just oh nothing 45:33 nothing matters it’s just it’s just now 45:35 that’s it 45:36 and that was it’s true i I think I 45:39 didn’t expect this this interview to 45:41 become quite so philosophical you know I 45:45 done it but but it’s I mean again we 45:48 joke on it but it’s really important and 45:49 the reason I find a real draw with that 45:51 is because it’s it helped me to work it 45:54 helps me to be more approachable I’m 45:57 quite a likable guy anyway but like it 45:59 it just allows me to develop a way of 46:01 thinking that is effective allows me to 46:04 think clearer clearer and I will 46:07 continue probably to do it for the rest 46:09 of my life now because it’s just 46:11 just take a step back ignore all the 46:13 fluff you know and you can see clearer 46:16 you can see the clarity in things when 46:18 you’re not being bombarded with 46:19 unnecessary fluff yeah 46:21 and I think going on in the future 46:22 there’s only going to be more 46:23 bombardment it’s gonna be more 46:24 advertising more notifications on your 46:26 phone and then it’s it’s a matter of 46:28 time until social media apps are 46:33 augmented into our bodies it’s like I’ve 46:36 talked with friends and and syndicating 46:38 they love talking those kind of stuff my 46:40 family and friends aren’t on necessarily 46:43 creative in certainly a musical sense 46:46 and they don’t necessarily think the way 46:48 that I think but I’ve been asked quite a 46:49 few times like what what’s next where is 46:52 it gonna go you know where is gonna go 46:53 and I’m convinced this human 46:55 augmentation Deus Ex that’s gonna happen 46:57 it’s gonna happen like you look at 46:59 Bionic arms and things like that now 47:00 Google glass yeah it’s hot it’s 47:02 happening fast forward 50 years can you 47:05 imagine what things are gonna be like 47:07 and that’s gonna happen in our lifetime 47:09 yeah it’s gonna be amazing I mean we’re 47:10 so we’re gonna see some incredible 47:12 things I think we’re both massive VR 47:14 enthusiasts and right right that being 47:17 in that world the first time I stepped 47:19 in that world was like oh my god this is 47:21 it yeah this is what I’ve been wanting 47:22 my whole and then it’s just it’s just 47:25 progressing and regressing like the new 47:26 the new oculus quest is wireless you can 47:29 take that wherever you want and become 47:31 inside a virtual world wherever you are 47:33 and that’s only gonna get more 47:35 complicated and more immersive and the 47:39 more time goes on so yeah we’re gonna 47:40 we’re gonna start ignoring the real 47:42 world I think well that is a great 47:44 there’s a great scene III unfortunate 47:46 didn’t think too much of the film ain’t 47:48 really enjoyed the book but ready player 47:50 one is an incredible book and when I saw 47:52 the film I thought its kind of fun it’s 47:54 kind of cool but it wasn’t as as kind of 47:58 what’s the word well philosophical I 48:01 guess it didn’t really hit me with too 48:02 many messages I tried to I think it it 48:06 try to towards the end but kind of it 48:07 was a bit loose but there’s a great 48:09 panning shot where I don’t know that the 48:11 characters might be in a van and they’re 48:12 driving along this road and it’s this is 48:14 in the real world and they just drive 48:15 past loads of people and they’ve all got 48:18 their headsets on and they just it’s 48:19 like a zombie epidemic almost they just 48:21 they’re staring up at this this oasis 48:24 this 48:25 world and even in its in its infancy 48:28 that is happening now like you go to you 48:30 within the street you won’t pass a bus 48:32 stop everyone’s just mindlessly looking 48:34 at their phones like not interacting 48:36 just swiping their thumbs yeah and when 48:38 I see that I’m like guys look up it’s a 48:42 beautiful day like there’s so much stuff 48:44 going on but then I get to do that in 48:46 contrast to that do you think you know 48:48 you take away those phones do you think 48:49 those people are going to interact with 48:51 each other well that’s the argument you 48:53 know I maybe maybe that that’s that’s 48:55 something I’m fantasizing about but I do 48:58 my best I I genuinely do my best if I 49:01 might I might with friends at a bar 49:02 restaurant or anything like that and 49:05 someone serves me I make an effort to 49:07 get like learn their name yeah or just 49:09 you know instead of being like yes 49:11 thanks 49:12 yes it’s like no thanks for that it’s 49:14 really cool you having a good night 49:15 what’s going on just just some people 49:17 might be like on what a weirdo why is he 49:19 asking but but I think that’s a thing 49:21 we’re becoming so numb to kind of human 49:23 interaction and each generation is gonna 49:26 become even number yeah you know they’re 49:28 not gonna kind of quite grasp it as 49:30 maybe we did and growing up in the 80s 49:32 or something 49:33 it’s it’s a it’s a skill that is getting 49:37 thinner and thinner with each generation 49:38 I find they’re not you know I’m just 49:40 gonna do my bit just to certainly teach 49:42 my son that but you know he’s he’s never 49:45 gonna be denied technology because it’s 49:49 a way of life knife we don’t introduce 49:51 that to him then he’ll surely fall 49:53 behind the other kids around his age or 49:55 his peers will introduce it to him 49:56 anyway yeah exactly and then and then 49:58 you lose the power I want to be able to 50:00 introduce it to him on our grounds yeah 50:03 yeah so you know I bought but I also 50:06 want him to be social you know and to 50:08 understand the delicate delicacies that 50:10 come with talking to people and saying 50:13 thank you showing gratitude and just 50:16 being a nice guy yeah so who are some of 50:19 the composers or artists or anyone in 50:24 the industry at all but who has been in 50:26 the eventual for you yeah I’ve got a few 50:28 and I have made a list here um so we 50:30 spoke briefly about it nobody might sue 50:32 yeah oh man I would love to me that guy 50:34 and just shake his hand and say thank 50:36 you I think there’s a lot of people 50:38 yeah yeah I think actually he’s poorly 50:41 the last I heard he was poorly and I 50:43 think he’s in his you know mid-60s or 50:45 something early mid sixties forgive me 50:48 if I’m wrong but yeah I think it’s 50:49 probably so get well soon yeah but yeah 50:52 he’s sooo themes in particular in Final 50:54 Fantasy 7 Aires and Sephiroth’s theme 1 50:58 winged angel like it’s it’s a creative 51:00 powerhouse that piece you know it’s 51:07 rageous and I especially love the I 51:12 think his band was called the Black 51:13 Mage’s 51:14 and they performed it as part of the 51:15 distant worlds concert where there’s 51:17 like a like a heavy metal section if you 51:20 haven’t heard this it’s one winged angel 51:22 live but with the black mages and you’ve 51:24 got doing Matsu playing on organ as well 51:26 and I’ll have to link you guys to if 51:28 you’re not seen already but there’s 51:29 there’s a section in between normally 51:32 whether ii orchestral kind of swell and 51:34 but they kind of ignore that and just 51:35 throw in this really that’s really cool 51:39 and you know my gosh what a contrast and 51:42 then it goes back to that bit well guys 51:44 a little it alerted that and it goes 51:48 back into that and you know what about 51:50 come from it’s insane yeah but yeah that 51:52 piece of particular is just a creative 51:54 powerhouse and a but we’re mat-su son 51:55 thank you you are a gent another one is 51:59 Tommy Tallarico 52:00 who is I really love his ability to 52:04 adapt and grow into other disciplines so 52:08 when I was at university I did my 52:10 dissertation on the emotional impact and 52:12 how emotion is used as a vehicle to 52:14 connect player and game sorry a player 52:16 and gaming experience so and I got to 52:18 know him and his work quite a bit during 52:20 that research and of course he he was he 52:24 was quite quite fundamentally important 52:28 in the sort of early to mid 90s he works 52:30 on Earthworm Jim global gladiators and 52:34 Terminator vs. Robocop titles something 52:37 like that I think I can’t remember now 52:39 but his yeah he was very very good with 52:41 innovating during those early years and 52:45 of course since then he he now runs and 52:47 performs in the video games live concert 52:49 yeah 52:50 which is I think the longest-running 52:53 videogames concert ever 52:55 and it’s amazing finds been 2005 I think 52:57 and is still going strong now 52:59 and yeah he’s I love his energy he’s 53:02 he’s really addictive to kind of listen 53:04 to and just watch I’ve seen video games 53:07 live twice and just didn’t disappoint 53:09 it’s a great concert so much fun yeah 53:11 mentioned out in John I grew up 53:13 listening a lot to Elton John so even 53:16 before I got massively interested in 53:19 music I was very influenced by those 53:22 early early songs they’re one things 53:23 about and John for his flamboyant seen 53:25 these kind of outrageous like Crocodile 53:27 Rock and things like that and I’m still 53:29 standing I see Elton John is Rocket Man 53:31 and your song and all okay good 53:34 yeah yeah I mean from 1969 to 1973 you 53:38 will hear some of the best country pop 53:40 rock straight rock ballads theatrical 53:43 pieces well even yeah he’s he’s again a 53:47 creative powerhouse I’ve been so 53:49 innovative to my wife and I are gonna go 53:52 and see his farewell tour next year 53:54 which I’m really excited about are you 53:56 gonna go see the biopic yes yes actually 53:59 we have we were talking about there’s 54:01 only last night we have once a month we 54:02 have our date night right about the 21st 54:05 which was the anniversary of our wedding 54:06 the 25 was really about that time we try 54:12 to have a date night so yeah I love 54:16 where we babysat and I’m gonna go and 54:17 see rocky man which I’m really excited 54:18 about I’m excited to see how they’ve 54:20 they’ve made it a fantasy so it’s kind 54:22 of like a bow with it but but but with a 54:24 bit more of an edge yeah it’s a musical 54:26 fantasy they describe it as so I’m 54:28 excited to see it but yeah just some 54:30 inevitably I couldn’t ignore all those 54:34 early songs and even things like come 54:36 down in time which is really unheard of 54:38 Elton John song on the tumbleweed 54:40 connection album I think and it’s just 54:41 beautiful oh I don’t think yeah listen 54:45 to come down in time is a wonderful 54:47 piece of music yeah so yeah he’s a huge 54:50 influence the comet is – copy – sorry 54:52 very much for the same reason the 54:54 songwriting prowess of Richard Carpenter 54:55 is just amazing like he’s so so good and 54:57 the vocal of Karen Carbon say is just 54:59 galaxy chocolates to my ears like it’s 55:02 so beautiful yeah 55:04 Philip Glass I’m a big fan of minimalism 55:06 yeah and I’m a fan of his 55:09 Vangelis Vangelis not how could you not 55:13 like Vangelis my favorite film of all 55:16 time is ghostbusters 55:17 don’t judge it’s a great film my 55:19 favorite soundtrack is Blade Runner yeah 55:22 just that that sign scape that mood that 55:25 it creates yeah absolutely 55:27 ah it’s just to die for it’s so good 55:31 Daft Punk I’m a big fan of them as well 55:33 for the production and the pure 55:34 enjoyment of the tracks they produce in 55:37 terms of videogames stuff 55:39 Michael McCann I’m a huge fan of his for 55:41 his deus ex scores and also his work on 55:44 the reimagining of it of the XCOM games 55:46 yeah and he did the score too enemy 55:48 Unknown either the first one it was kind 55:50 of rebranded remade and quite often 55:53 you’ll hear me sneak in that kind of 55:55 synth arpeggio that he’s famous for in 55:57 his Splinter Cell 55:59 I think it’s double agent he that the 56:01 soundtracks say that’s really really 56:02 good Kevin ripple I’m not too familiar 56:05 actually with it with his with his 56:08 portfolio his backlog of work but his 56:11 Gears of War score really something by 56:12 surprise I thought Gears of War was just 56:15 gonna be this kind of mindless shooter 56:17 which it is kind of you got a chainsaw 56:19 on your on your Lancer it’s a bit 56:21 mindless but the soundtrack to me by 56:23 surprise it was really dark and moody 56:25 and beautiful in places and bombastic 56:28 and wore frumpy like it was really 56:30 really good and that’s one of my 56:32 favorite scores and then of course 56:34 Michael Giacchino we mentioned a Medal 56:37 of Honor he started his career largely 56:40 in games before transitioning to film 56:43 he’s almost like the heir to the throne 56:44 for John Williams really he’s now doing 56:46 all you know many some Star Wars films 56:48 and doing anything that is attached with 56:49 JJ Abrams okay 56:51 he’s he’s a powerhouse in film score now 56:55 and his that one particular score 56:58 frontline Medal of Honor was just really 57:00 really delicate and really really good 57:01 and I love that yeah and so I could talk 57:04 for hours but he those are probably the 57:06 key the key influences but the next 57:10 question was just gonna be other any 57:11 projects that you’re like most proud I 57:14 know you’ve talked about some already 57:15 either its projects that 57:17 you worked on lighting games or if it’s 57:19 projects you’ve done yourself is there 57:20 anything that you’re really proud of me 57:22 super happy with yeah yeah I could talk 57:26 about a few firstly dark future 57:28 blood-red states this is a game or up 57:31 digital the studio behind it our great 57:33 studio I’ve worked with them a lot and I 57:35 cannot sing their praises enough they’re 57:38 just a really welcoming warm studio that 57:41 gave me a chance and I’m forever forever 57:44 indebted to them they gave me a chance 57:46 to work and and that relationship is 57:49 still continuing to this day so props to 57:52 those guys and Thomas Rawlings is the 57:54 head of it all and he’s an absolute gent 57:56 and deserves all the praise he could 57:58 possibly get but dr. featured blood-red 58:00 states is a it’s a real-time strategy 58:03 game but it’s not a driving game and the 58:06 reason I emphasize that I’ll have to 58:08 link you to the trailers because it’s 58:10 it’s the reimagining of a doorman Games 58:13 Workshop IP from the 80s line 1988 I 58:16 think it came out and it’s kind of in a 58:19 nutshell it’s like the world of Mad Max 58:21 with kind of Kip bashed cars the world 58:24 has just gone really really badly global 58:28 warming 58:29 you know just the world is in crisis 58:31 almost but people are still trying to 58:33 live lives so you have to 58:35 it’s about being a road warrior and 58:37 feeling like a badass on the road taking 58:39 out cars but you it’s got this really 58:41 cool time-dilation mechanic where you 58:43 can slow time down to accrual it’s not 58:46 pausing it but it’s just really really 58:48 slow almost like bullet time and that’s 58:50 where the strategy part kicks in so it’s 58:52 an action game but strategy too so you 58:55 could be surrounded by like four cars 58:57 who are all just trying to take you out 58:58 and you’re like right boom spacebar 59:00 let’s think about this and it’s crawling 59:04 along and you’re like okay there’s a car 59:05 over there he’s got that much arm but 59:07 it’s weak on this side so I use my laser 59:09 cannons to take that out on that there’s 59:11 a car in front I use my machine guns to 59:13 take out his rear armor then I’m gonna 59:14 slam the brakes on take out the guy 59:16 behind me whilst then applying some road 59:18 spike or something to take all these 59:20 cars and then you can either you can 59:22 action those commands during the 59:24 time-dilation and watch them all play 59:25 out or remove yourself from command mode 59:28 which is the the time-dilation and then 59:30 just watch it all play out 59:31 real-time and it’s it’s it’s described 59:34 as being when you played the original 59:35 game back in the 80s course it’s a slow 59:38 it’s much slower experience but the the 59:41 team are at digital describing it as 59:42 being what plays out in your head during 59:45 a board game playthrough so all that 59:48 kind of drama suspense and action and 59:51 kind of outrageous things that are 59:52 happening in and around you that’s what 59:55 plays out during the video game 59:57 adaptation of it because it is so kind 60:00 of why it’s just outrageous some of the 60:02 things that happen it’s really really 60:03 fun you can be you could blow a car into 60:05 the into the air and then go into 60:08 command mode slow down time and then 60:10 fire back up at it with a laser with the 60:12 combat laser sling blow it on to the 60:14 other car wast there’s a collision 60:16 behind you and in a car ends up 60:17 piggybacking you 60:18 it’s just carnage is utter utter carnage 60:22 but that’s I’m really proud of that 60:24 because taking adapting a board game 60:27 into a video game format is is a real 60:30 challenge because you know things 60:31 mechanically change quite a lot and you 60:33 have to kind of create something new and 60:36 then you end up kind of splitting but 60:39 you know you could split a fanbase 60:41 you’ve got these dedicated fans who want 60:43 an adaptation of the or they want a real 60:46 truthful reimagining of what they loved 60:48 on the board but then you have to kind 60:50 of modernize it and of course it has to 60:52 sell has to make money and it has to 60:54 kind of attract a new audience so what 60:57 they’ve what they’ve done with this is 60:58 really cool cause I can’t go into loads 61:01 too much detail about it but it’s just 61:03 really really satisfying to play and 61:06 it’s a lot of fun lot of fun and that’s 61:09 a Games Workshop IP and that comes out 61:10 on May 16th this is available for wish 61:13 listing on Steam and it’s a really cool 61:16 game but I’m I’m really really fond and 61:19 proud of that for just the work that’s 61:20 gone on certainly in end in indie 61:23 development you know we don’t have the 61:26 budgets that Rockstar have and all this 61:28 kind of stuff you know yeah so this game 61:31 is spent about three years in 61:32 development that’s quite a long time for 61:35 the studio to be working on it you know 61:38 other Studios might have said you know 61:39 what it’s not working we’re gonna have 61:40 to shelve it right but they stuck with 61:43 it they saw the potential with 61:44 because there really isn’t anything else 61:46 quite like it so they stuck with it and 61:48 and it’s gone through a slight 61:50 reimagining within itself and and it’s 61:52 been worth the wait and the man-hours to 61:54 get it to the state that does that now 61:55 it’s really really good really really 61:57 really good there is one particular 61:59 truck I’d love to play from dark future 62:02 which which has featured on one of the 62:03 Auroch digital podcasts already that’s a 62:06 track called stomping ground the reason 62:08 I really I really like it is because I 62:09 always try to work actual audio into 62:12 intimate composition compositions these 62:15 days instead of relying too much on 62:16 sample libraries that’s fine but you can 62:19 only really go so far with you need to 62:20 be more creative so there’s a there’s an 62:22 environment in dark future quit stomping 62:25 ground and I was looking at that 62:27 thinking well what do I do with this 62:30 what does this place sound like and it’s 62:32 called stomping grounds am i right okay 62:34 in his sound aggressive and I started 62:36 thinking about like a trash man likes 62:37 tactual stomping so I I’ve got a 62:41 challenge hello which if you were a 62:44 professional cello player you probably 62:46 slapped me for the amount of awful 62:48 things I’ve done to it but I took that 62:51 and recorded it and just grind it up the 62:54 strings I hit it with the bow you know 62:56 really kind of really expressed myself 62:59 on the cello but I used that in this 63:03 recording and it sounds really cool for 63:05 it 63:06 it sounds aggressive and it’s dirty and 63:08 it’s big and it’s got a lot to say for 63:11 itself it’s like I compared it to like 63:14 the Jack Russell of industrial tracks or 63:17 something it’s it it’s a small track 63:19 with things it’s bigger than it is it’s 63:22 got a big personality and also that 63:24 synth that michael mccann synth arpeggio 63:27 makes it into there as well so the two 63:28 things combined is just I’ve really 63:29 enjoyed putting that together that’s a 63:31 lot of fun to listen to 63:32 [Music] 63:43 [Music] 64:01 [Music] 64:18 [Music] 64:47 [Music] 65:15 [Music] 66:12 [Music] 67:22 [Music] 67:39 [Music] 67:47 [Music] 68:05 [Music] 68:10 so other games another game which was 68:12 one of my first ones that I was on was a 68:14 game called mech mania which 68:15 unfortunately didn’t that one did get 68:17 shelved and it didn’t didn’t see release 68:19 but the soundtrack was a real 68:21 interesting one I repack AGID it and 68:23 call it synth wave mech pulse pop and 68:26 that that is a genre that I am 68:28 definitely propelling listen so it’s 68:30 almost fortify and bang camp and it’s 68:33 essentially synth wave versus chip tune 68:36 and it’s just it’s just mad like there 68:39 isn’t anything I don’t think there’s 68:41 anything original about it it’s just a 68:44 really really hectic listen there’s only 68:47 five tracks by extended the tracks to 68:49 make something more musical of them and 68:52 they weren’t ever fully mixed because 68:53 the game the queues were but then it 68:56 went on quite a while before the queues 68:58 came back to me and by that point the 69:00 project files were just I don’t know 69:01 where they’ve gone yeah so I just did a 69:03 bit of a rehash and a slight mix of 69:05 these straight cues whilst trying to 69:07 extend them with within a new session 69:10 anyway I’m really proud of that because 69:12 it was the side project and it allowed 69:13 me to express myself and there was no 69:16 kind of glitch plugins or anything 69:17 involved although all the craziness that 69:19 exists is is handcrafted its sequenced 69:22 note by note by me and it was a real 69:24 kind of labor of love for about six 69:25 months I loved it and another one is a 69:28 game called lazy disco defenders which I 69:31 worked with the out-of-bounds games and 69:35 the developer behind that is a guy 69:37 called Alexander Burke who works on 69:40 11/11 memories retold which you might 69:43 have heard of this it’s doing quite well 69:45 for nominations and awards the moment it 69:47 had Olivia de Riviera yes name is the 69:50 guy yeah he’s a real he’s a real big big 69:53 name at the moment he did the score for 69:54 it so Alexander Burke is a really really 69:57 interesting guy and laserdisc good 69:59 offenders is this kind of twin-stick 70:01 bullet hell shooter whereby hey if you 70:04 imagine the power rangers but the so the 70:10 world has had its music stolen all music 70:13 as we know it has 70:14 in stolen yeah and it’s been stolen by 70:16 this guy called Lord monotone it’s it 70:19 doesn’t it’s not a game that places 70:21 itself too much in reality so but the 70:25 the world calls on these guys the laser 70:27 disco defenders to get the steel back 70:30 the music and give it back to the world 70:31 but they do this while shooting lasers 70:34 from their fingertips and they’re all 70:35 kind of caked in disco attire with 70:38 flares and platforms and aliens and 70:41 stuff afros yeah and it’s a really 70:43 really fun very rkv very rkd game but 70:47 it’s incredibly addictive and the the 70:49 difficulty is a challenge I think one of 70:51 the early things said about it when it 70:53 came out was that it was probably too 70:54 hard but it’s got that draw because it 70:56 is hard you know you just want to go 70:58 back to it and just beat your score from 70:59 the last time and the next time and next 71:01 time so that’s available on Steam I 71:03 think it might still be on ps4 I’m not 71:04 entirely sure and it was on PS Vita as 71:06 well but the real story the real reason 71:09 I love that game is because at the time 71:11 I was engaged and everything I learnt 71:14 from that game paid for the engagement 71:16 ring that I then gave to to my wife so 71:19 she can never complain that games never 71:21 did anything for it because they they 71:23 bought her engagement ring and also as a 71:26 as another thing I had the artist who 71:29 provided the art on the game to produce 71:32 a piece of artwork of myself and my wife 71:34 and I gave that to her as well and it 71:37 was it’s kind of almost set within the 71:38 universe of laserdisc it Afeni sotius 71:40 that is this little bubble that I kind 71:43 of created but it’s got a real 71:45 sentimentality surrounding it now so 71:47 those three projects in particular are 71:48 really really important to me where 71:52 where do you want to take your career in 71:54 the future there’s anything that you’d 71:55 really love to work on any styles of 71:58 stuff you really want to work on I mean 72:02 the ultimate goal for me I would love to 72:03 get to a point where I could call myself 72:05 an audio director and and be managing 72:09 perhaps a small team or even if I’m 72:12 still doing the creative work myself I 72:13 would love to kind of work towards that 72:15 there’s a lot more to learn I’ve only 72:17 really just started implementing myself 72:19 and working more in it in engine so you 72:21 know that’s the some way off but that 72:23 would be a really great place to get 72:24 towards but having said that I’m 72:27 I’m really quite happy working as a 72:28 creative designer at the moment in music 72:31 and sign and I’m enjoying all my sound 72:33 recordist work so I’m in a really really 72:35 happy place in terms of good question I 72:39 mean if if moviemax had called me up I 72:41 said learn Mac we’ve got this idea and 72:44 we want to work with you on it I’d be 72:46 like let me check my diary let me cry 72:49 everything out in it let me just remove 72:52 everything yes I will be there tomorrow 72:55 Japan yeah exactly 72:59 so yeah if someone called me up and like 73:03 of that caliber I would absolutely love 73:04 to work with one of my heroes like that 73:06 having said that though and to link back 73:09 to Auroch Digital I was really amazed and 73:12 have found it somewhat of a challenge to 73:14 be in the presence of dr. Thomas 73:17 Rawlings the design director orab 73:19 digital because only my not being in 73:21 last year over the year before so 2017 I 73:24 find out that he was lead designer or at 73:26 least one of the designers on the Great 73:28 Escape which was a ps2 game and that was 73:31 one my favorite games on the ps2 and I 73:33 had no idea that he was part of that dev 73:35 team so when I found that out I was like 73:37 oh like you’re a completely different 73:41 person to me and I this is this is this 73:43 is kind of mad and when I said that to 73:45 him he just kind of shook it off his for 73:46 a while which is another game and I was 73:49 like no that’s pretty much it was a big 73:52 deal to me a huge deal so yeah I guess 73:54 yeah that that’s I’m kind of working 73:56 with all my hair is already awesome do 73:59 you think it’s harder to work with 74:00 someone when you kind of elevate them to 74:01 a deity I think so especially I mean if 74:06 you ever meet one of your heroes of 74:08 course we were very good at then 74:09 building of a picture what you think 74:10 they’re gonna be like or sound like or 74:12 how they’re going to conduct themselves 74:13 and if they’re none of those things it’s 74:15 almost inevitable that they’re gonna 74:18 disappoint you you know yeah I was quite 74:23 surprised actually I met Graham Norton 74:24 once okay and and he’s everything you’d 74:28 expect him to be yes just the same guy 74:30 so when I met him I was like aha 74:32 cool you’re not just a character that’s 74:34 I’m cheers man like he you’ve renewed my 74:37 faith in all that is television yeah 74:40 so yeah I think if if you’re working 74:43 with them though that’s different I 74:45 think because of course especially if 74:46 money’s involved in time and pressures 74:48 you know that can bring out the best and 74:50 worse in people and and if if it proves 74:54 itself to be a challenge everything that 74:56 you know could be crushed or it could be 74:58 made even stronger who knows and so you 75:00 get there you you just never know I 75:02 think if you have a relationship with 75:03 someone where you’re working with them 75:05 it changes that relationship as well 75:06 like if I just met one of my heroes I’m 75:09 quite insignificant to them 75:11 whereas if I’m working with them then 75:13 they have a reason to know who I am and 75:16 talk to me and yeah that’s almost you 75:18 have a voice then don’t exactly yeah 75:20 yeah you have a voice and you have an 75:21 opinion but if you just bump into them 75:23 it’s almost like I am not worthy and 75:25 absolutely that’s who I turn into 75:27 whenever I meet anyone I really like I 75:29 turn into I embarrass myself quite a lot 75:37 yeah yeah with it within making music 75:41 what would you say you would say okay I 75:43 could never ever work without that one 75:46 thing it’s very easy for us to say are 75:49 my favorite library is this so I used 75:51 this piano I use this interface or 75:53 whatever we kind of geek out and talk 75:54 about tech stuff and that’s fine but my 75:57 most valuable tool is silence patience 76:00 and just time away from work because 76:03 again I don’t we’ve we’ve we’ve played 76:05 the philosophical card already I’m not 76:07 going to go there and I’m gonna go at 76:08 five times yeah I’m not gonna go there 76:10 but my point is without that I don’t 76:13 think I’d be at the stage that I might 76:14 know I’ve really really don’t on 76:16 absolutely believed that so those things 76:19 I will always apply that before the 76:21 start of a new project and then of 76:22 course the right production as well I’ll 76:24 always manage my mindset and make sure 76:26 that I’m in the best possible state to 76:29 produce good work I mean it might just 76:32 be you know smoke and mirrors some 76:34 people can just bash it out and just go 76:35 right boom here’s a great track and it’s 76:37 much more kind of work focused yeah but 76:41 for me it’s not you know this is a job 76:43 that I’ve worked really hard to kind of 76:46 get to so I’m very protective of it and 76:48 I don’t want it to ever feel like it’s 76:50 work because it just shouldn’t be you 76:53 know something like I’ve run enjoy and 76:54 want to I don’t want to tamper with that 76:56 if it ever feels like work then I need 76:59 to change my practice and change my 77:01 approach 77:01 so anyways sorry those those things are 77:04 really important those are my actual 77:05 tools if you want to talk specifically 77:07 about music then and work stuff I’m a 77:10 big fan of Native Instruments libraries 77:12 I’m I think there’s probably more 77:16 credible string and brass samples out 77:18 there but I’ve always really enjoyed 77:19 working with Native Instruments 77:21 libraries I love that a fact that the 77:23 fact with them is it’s all very much in 77:25 one place you get native out native 77:27 accesses everything’s kind of library 77:29 diet for you it’s really easy to install 77:30 real easy to work with and I love that 77:32 the less time I can spend installing 77:34 stuff the longer I can spend on a 77:36 project hmm I’m not a fan of kind of 77:39 working in and out and and you know 77:41 changing thing changing technical things 77:43 I just want to get stuck in well I mean 77:45 what I’m in the right place and I’m 77:47 ready to start producing music and audio 77:48 I just want to get in there and know 77:50 that I’ve got some trusted libraries to 77:52 work with and some other ones though are 77:54 I forget who actually produces these but 77:57 they’re called crushed dirt freak and 77:59 bite they’re really really cool 78:01 distortion and bit crush and plugins 78:03 we’ve used them quite a lot on the 78:04 podcast that we do and they’ve just 78:07 really fun to work with mmm 78:08 I’ve used this quite a lot cause I’m a 78:11 piano player so my piano samples that I 78:13 use are the grandeur but more favorable 78:16 to me as the UNA Corda which is a naked 78:18 piano you ever heard of this No so naked 78:22 piano is exactly that it’s a piano 78:23 without any of the casing okay so it 78:25 there’s there’s no body to it it’s just 78:27 all the guts okay and it’s kind of it 78:31 was innovated and produced or at least 78:33 affiliated with Neil’s from who’s the I 78:35 think it’s a German or Belgian composer 78:37 piano player I think he’s German forgive 78:39 me if I’ve got that wrong but he 78:42 produced this this this new piano signed 78:44 and it’s just got this so textured and 78:46 you can change everything from the felt 78:48 that’s used you use silk to use cloth or 78:51 felt you can change everything about the 78:52 ambience of course how much of the 78:54 sustains strings do you hear the pedal 78:57 the keys it’s so customizable that’s 78:59 something I really really enjoy geeking 79:01 out about 79:01 is the base sample alone is really 79:04 really good 79:04 so not bases in base notes that you know 79:07 that the base default setting let’s call 79:09 it yeah it’s really really good and you 79:11 can just jump straight in start using 79:12 that but there’s just a lot of scope to 79:14 kind of flesh that out and customize 79:16 this piano which is just like it’s kind 79:19 of saying here’s all the body parts you 79:22 arrange them how you want do you put the 79:23 lungs there or the heart over here what 79:25 about the the intestines you want to put 79:27 that over there you know you can really 79:28 kind of spread it out and play around 79:30 with all the textures that it creates 79:31 and I’ve used that a lot and it’s really 79:33 really fun it’s the spore of pianos you 79:38 can even like the percussion sound of 79:40 someone hitting the keys and the actual 79:43 sound of the pedals and stuff yeah yes 79:45 so so of course when you if you’re 79:47 playing a live piano when you apply the 79:50 sustain pedal that that’s gonna make a 79:52 resonance within the bodies so you can 79:55 you can play with that they’ve miked 79:56 everything up separately and they 79:57 sampled it separately and you can kind 79:59 of really really really use it and think 80:01 about where that’s placed in your piano 80:03 mix and the same it is really cool and 80:06 the same is true for when you hit the 80:07 keys as well because of course something 80:09 physical is happening there is a hammer 80:11 hitting a string yes gonna make a sign 80:13 that kind of clunk yeah I always find 80:16 you I don’t tend to overindulge too much 80:19 so I love the subtleties to it so you’ll 80:21 be playing a piece of piece of piano 80:23 music and you can hear these very subtle 80:25 it just adds such texture have you ever 80:29 listened to FX twin there’s an FX twin 80:32 song on his drugs album wet and I think 80:34 he put the microphone literally on the 80:36 strings and you can really hear the 80:38 percussion of every string and it’s kind 80:39 of yeah part of the song it’s no I I 80:42 will check that out I’m not too familiar 80:43 with them but I will certainly check 80:45 that out yes anything piano bass when a 80:47 piano is used more than just the piano 80:50 that instantly draws me in yes I want to 80:53 know how people are using it in more 80:55 kind of avant-garde ways yeah because 80:59 it’s such a bulky thing to look at but 81:01 it’s got so much personality and you can 81:03 do so much with it mm-hm and it takes 81:05 composers like Nils Frahm to kind of 81:06 think about and go right I’m gonna make 81:08 this available to the masses and yeah 81:11 that the eunuch order especially the 81:12 naked pianos great name 81:14 as well yeah is really really good to 81:17 use and that gets good run out on most 81:18 of my project when when a piano is 81:20 needed awesome I know what I’m gonna be 81:23 getting next I’m in the market for a 81:25 piano like but I don’t have any piano at 81:28 all apart from one that came with the 81:29 East West Orchestra stuff yeah it sounds 81:33 nice but it’s got one mic that’s it and 81:35 you can’t really do anything with it the 81:37 other one that’s that’s always the 81:38 challenges especially with strings like 81:40 you want to when you’re working with 81:43 digital music of course we want it to 81:45 sound real we want it to sound like I’ve 81:46 got an orchestra in my in my studio 81:48 maybe we don’t all have that we do 81:50 simply did have the budget to Commission 81:51 something like that yeah 81:53 so when sample libraries like that come 81:56 out like the eunich order and many of 81:58 the high-end string packages now you 82:00 know there’s a lot of flexibility and 82:01 creativity around how how you use them 82:04 and also just the quality of how it’s 82:05 recorded yeah you know it puts an 82:08 orchestra at you in your fingertips and 82:10 these things are worth investing in I 82:12 think the eunich order alone from there 82:15 I’ve had off a couple of years now it 82:16 wasn’t – it didn’t cripple me 82:19 financially let’s say that it was it’s 82:21 very affordable and they it’s something 82:23 if you’re a piano player and having more 82:25 of a textured sound to your sound is 82:28 important then absolutely you should 82:29 invest in it because it’s really really 82:31 good it comes highly recommended by 82:34 Matthew Walker of SebAudio without shadow 82:37 I think the final question we had was 82:40 are there any any real tips on breaking 82:44 into the video game industry yeah I 82:47 think I think we’ve loosely touched on 82:51 this before already but again it’s very 82:55 easy to say our good go to networking 82:57 events do this you know do these kind of 82:58 things I found or rather I find now the 83:03 best way to network is to not network if 83:05 you go in well being a bit of a salesman 83:08 people see through that yeah I mean 83:10 certainly in the games industry you have 83:11 to develop professional friendships it’s 83:13 more of a friendship based experience 83:16 and that’s where that dialogue comes 83:17 from because it’s full of geeks we will 83:19 just we love talking about board games 83:20 and novels and film and other games yeah 83:24 we all 83:24 talking about that kind of stuff so you 83:25 develop friendships very quickly but of 83:27 course you’re working on projects and 83:29 money is involved and budgets and time 83:31 and and lives is that serious you know 83:34 so you you have to develop these 83:36 professional friendships the best way to 83:39 do that firstly is just be yourself like 83:41 don’t try to don’t try to be anything 83:44 other than that because that is the one 83:46 thing that is unique to you if you go in 83:50 there trying to sort of be I’m going to 83:52 be a hard sell and say look you need to 83:54 work with me you just got some people 83:56 off there’s some people off and you’ll 83:57 very quickly find that you have zero 83:59 work with that approach so yet don’t do 84:03 that but perseverance is key this is 84:07 really really important I think when 84:08 you’re starting out it doesn’t happen 84:10 overnight there’s there’s no 84:11 sugarcoating that like if you want to if 84:13 you want to develop a full time job 84:14 within the games industry yeah you could 84:17 go and apply for one if you’re trained 84:18 and you have a game science or 84:21 programming or game audio degree now 84:23 there’s even in Bristol there’s a game 84:25 audio degree course these things weren’t 84:28 available to me when I was studying so 84:30 that’s that wasn’t my story I had to get 84:32 out then get my hands dirty and just do 84:35 that and be an indie so I had to kind of 84:37 freelance so if you’re good on that 84:40 route fine you might just walk straight 84:42 into a job that’s cool but if you’re 84:44 looking to be freelance being flexible 84:47 so we took we talked about you know 84:49 diversifying your discipline a bit 84:51 that’s really important but just don’t 84:53 spread yourself thin II never say that 84:54 you can do something you can’t do it 84:56 there is an element of like if you’re on 84:59 a project and there is always an element 85:01 of like saying yes and then figuring it 85:04 out afterwards there’s always a little 85:05 bit of that yeah but don’t lay it don’t 85:07 allow it to become a detriment to the 85:09 project because you’re only going to 85:10 make yourself like a fool and you will 85:12 not likely work with that developer ever 85:14 again so you know be confident in your 85:17 abilities and be confident in your 85:19 abilities to learn things so flexible 85:23 perseverance is really really key I’m 85:26 just looking at my notes yeah so again 85:31 much on the diversifying thing if you’re 85:33 if you’re looking to get into game music 85:36 that’s cool there’s a lot of work out 85:38 there for you but that’s that’s quite a 85:40 one-dimensional approach so they’re 85:43 sitting gonna get you so far if you are 85:44 just a music person cuz I’m I’m by by 85:47 trade I’m not audio person and there was 85:50 audio stuff at university but I went 85:52 into university as a musician and played 85:55 in bands and function bands here’s a bit 85:57 of trivia for you I was I was once part 85:59 once the lead vocalist of Europe’s 86:01 largest scissor sisters tribute band 86:04 called while scissor sisters but with a 86:07 Zed at the end it was ours innovative 86:09 man scissor brothers scissor brothers I 86:14 don’t think people were ready for that 86:16 but we actually supported McFly oh why 86:19 are we yeah we support McFly they were 86:21 doing the Cheltenham Christmas light 86:22 switch on and we supported them for a 86:24 gig yes you know I’ve got so many fun 86:25 stories to talk about that was and that 86:27 was a really that was my job through 86:29 university I did that for three years 86:30 and didn’t have to work in a bar or 86:32 anything that was my job for three years 86:33 almost every weekend gigging 86:35 all over the country it was amazing so I 86:38 you know I went to universities musician 86:41 and whatnot but um I knew very quickly 86:45 as as my as my dialog with developers 86:49 was developing kind of things with too 86:52 many developing words there as I became 86:55 aware of this you you have to become a 86:57 bit more of a department because again 86:59 if you if you look at it if you’re a if 87:01 your song with a budget in your heart 87:02 you have a game keeping things 87:04 controlled becomes really important 87:06 dialogue and that conversation is really 87:08 important to manage if you have too many 87:10 things spread out that’s just more work 87:12 to make sure that you’re checking in 87:13 with that person’s in your the sound 87:15 design that person is doing a podcast 87:17 for us that person’s doing the music 87:18 already there’s three audio jobs that 87:21 one person could do yeah so yeah so you 87:25 you want to diversify but without 87:26 spreading self to thing like we keep 87:28 talking about that but I’m I can’t hit 87:31 that home enough it’s just really really 87:32 important so going in with just music 87:34 that’s only gonna get you so far and 87:36 also in terms of tech much of it 87:39 translates anyway so we’re you know 87:41 using a door 87:42 plugins libraries and whatnot all these 87:45 things transfer to just audio work 87:47 anyway so it’s actually quite an easy 87:49 transition I find to make so those are 87:53 my real points that’s all I can really 87:56 say about it really 87:57 from my experience just being patient 88:00 and the biggest thing I guess I could 88:03 say is listening listening is a real 88:05 skill if you go into a meeting and and 88:09 you’re thinking in the sense there that 88:11 I must say what I think they want me to 88:13 say mmm that’s not a good approach 88:16 just listen be part of the dialogue and 88:18 and and just be part of that that aura 88:23 again it comes back to self not kidding 88:26 yourself and being something that you’re 88:27 not just be truthful and that’s the sort 88:31 of person that people want to work with 88:32 honesty is key truth is key be a good 88:37 guy I don’t work out for you this is a 88:39 little bit of a tangent but do you ever 88:40 feel like you have impostor syndrome all 88:44 the time yeah yeah I think I think when 88:50 you’re it kind of goes with the 88:52 territory a little bit when you’re if 88:54 you’re a creative thinker 88:56 our brains are slightly different that 88:58 they fire slightly differently and you 89:02 know it’s very easy to kind of slip into 89:04 a mindset where into a negative mindset 89:07 especially and you have to kind of work 89:09 hard to sort of know what your worth is 89:12 and know where you’re good and that’s 89:13 where again being mindful and just 89:16 taking time out can be a really good 89:18 investment in yourself even during a 89:21 project too because you might be 89:23 thinking well you know the pressures on 89:24 the deadlines are I need to get get work 89:26 done but a better strategy strategy 89:29 sometimes is just to take a step back 89:31 and go alright if I work it’s not gonna 89:32 be good work I’m also take an hour or 89:34 two out yeah and then go back fully 89:37 charged with a better way of thinking 89:39 sorry that didn’t really answer the 89:40 imposter syndrome thing too much but um 89:42 it’s already all related it’s all very 89:44 important yeah absolutely 89:46 is there any other projects that you 89:48 would like to mention on the podcast um 89:50 yeah so again with Auroch digital we we 89:53 talk exclusively about all the projects 89:55 we work on within 89:56 Podcast that is relatively new it’s on 89:58 its third season though and this third 90:01 season has been dark feature specific 90:03 and dedicated we’ve even got hopefully a 90:07 very very interesting and show-stopping 90:09 interview coming up with with a with a 90:12 good name so it’s it’s all things are at 90:15 digital and we cover all projects and 90:17 it’s called how to make a game with 90:19 Auroch Digital and it’s available on via 90:21 pod bean on iTunes and all the rest of 90:24 it there’s so many platforms for 90:25 podcasters so many miss too many almost 90:28 too many but it’s um if you want to 90:30 learn anything about what we’re doing 90:31 within the Games Workshop IPE that we’re 90:34 working on and also how are these to go 90:37 about making a game it’s it’s that kind 90:39 of podcast where it’s an opportunity to 90:41 get within the wires of it all you know 90:45 it’s not just face value and it’s not us 90:47 just trying to sell stuff it’s like no 90:48 this is how we work this is these are 90:51 the people that put these things 90:53 together this is what this is what 90:55 drives us is what influences us these 90:57 these are the people within these 90:58 departments get to know them and it’s 91:00 it’s really really fun there’s a lot of 91:02 banter matt davis the host is is a great 91:05 a great banter banter man and he’ll 91:09 probably hate me for he’s always on the 91:10 hustle that’s his thing he’s always 91:12 hustling that’s his kind of catchphrase 91:14 but i yeah he runs it and produces it 91:17 and i record my co press for him but 91:20 yeah check that it’s a really really 91:21 cool podcast and i we’re having a lot of 91:22 fun producing it awesome well I’ll be 91:25 sure to listen I listen to so many 91:26 podcasts I try my best to but again 91:30 there’s just it’s much like Netflix as 91:32 well it’s really difficult to kind of 91:34 get into something I find these because 91:36 there is so much choice you kind of had 91:38 to rely on word of mouth really now yeah 91:40 yeah it takes for someone who got I have 91:43 you seen this know Oh check it out and 91:45 then it becomes another thing you add to 91:47 your wish list yeah yeah you feel like 91:49 you’re disappointing people if you 91:50 haven’t listened to it next time you say 91:52 like hey did you did you check that 91:53 thing out oh yeah it’s the same thing 91:57 you know when you were saying about if 91:58 someone doesn’t agree with your opinion 91:59 on the best film Evan awesome yeah when 92:02 they say oh have you watched this you 92:03 say no and they go oh my god you haven’t 92:05 dislike you sorry this time to apologize 92:12 to everyone I’ve ever interacted with 92:15 well I like podcast though because you 92:17 can listen to them while you’re doing 92:19 something else Netflix you have to take 92:21 time out of your day and think right I’m 92:23 going to sit down for now yeah and 92:24 invest in this thing well I listened to 92:25 nine hours of podcast a day while I’m 92:27 doing my job 92:28 so gosh yeah podcast things yeah it’s 92:32 really flexible and it’s kind of a 92:33 non-intrusive way of listening and 92:36 learning stuff yeah yeah is it slots 92:40 into anyone’s lifestyle much easier than 92:43 anything that Netflix good and I hope 92:45 that we can slot into your life listener 92:48 with our informative podcast history 92:52 true story cool well and thanks very 92:54 much Matt for coming on to our podcast 92:56 welcome and I hope you’ve enjoyed it 93:00 well I’ll have my people talk to your 93:02 people 93:03 and we’ll be sending some very very 93:06 surety emails back to your to your HR 93:09 department that’s fine that goes 93:10 straight through to William I can ignore 93:12 those no it’s been a blast I’m really 93:15 flattered that you guys invited me on 93:16 and I hope that what I’ve said is you 93:20 know adds some kind of nugget of clarity 93:23 to anyone who’s trying to break into 93:25 into the game industry I mean I’ve still 93:27 got a long way to go you know I’m I’m 93:30 I’m a little bit further ahead than a 93:32 newbie might be but you know I’ve got 93:35 things that I want to do and places that 93:37 I want to sort of aim towards but I’m 93:41 still I’m still writing my own book 93:43 really yes I don’t want to end on a 93:45 philosophic or no because you have to 93:47 assume the pages my fountain pen is full 93:52 yeah and it’s now getting low on ink my 93:54 god no it’s been a pleasure it’s been 93:57 real pleasure awesome I’ve really 93:58 enjoyed it as well man well that was 94:00 nice 94:01 it was enjoyed it it was a good episode 94:04 lots a lots of information in there yeah 94:07 you know lots of research to do lots of 94:10 documents to have a little looking at 94:12 lots of links ticular Keithley yeah 94:13 we’ll put all the stuff in the show 94:15 notes put all the links to Matthew in 94:16 there so you can check out his work and 94:18 see the games that he’s doing at the 94:19 moment make sure you follow him on 94:20 Twitter make sure you follow us on 94:22 Twitter now show you follow strings of 94:23 cards what you still need to get on 94:26 Twitter I do personally yeah well you’ve 94:30 got the composer class one you can go on 94:31 there yeah I can don’t but only I just 94:34 get a lot of flack for impersonating 94:36 chance badly that was via you did two 94:38 weeks in a row of mention that now I 94:40 didn’t take it to heart did oh no not 94:41 not at all yeah thanks for listening 94:44 this far if you’re not subscribed what a 94:47 subscribe your bloody idea and just 94:50 we’ve got a patreon and we’ve got an 94:53 iTunes and we’ve got a Spotify anywhere 94:57 else you you can possibly listen or just 94:59 listen on the website I think actually 95:00 looking at it am the most popular place 95:02 for people to listen is chrome is chrome 95:05 it well actually think it’s just been 95:06 surpassed by Cass box Oh 95:08 so most people listen on there and then 95:09 the next one is chrome nice so listen 95:12 listen everywhere wherever you listen do 95:14 it do a listen listen nice and we’ve got 95:18 a few more interviews lined up at me so 95:19 there’ll be more podcast like this 95:21 there’ll be more podcast with me 95:22 waffling on about VR because I am 95:25 obsessed with it and William will be 95:29 I’ll be here as badly 95:32 [Music] [/expand]
On this episode of the podcast, we talk to the wonderful video game music designer Matthew Walker. His work as a music designer, sound designer, and professional vocalist has been recognised worldwide whilst the clients he works with are some of the biggest in indie game development, with shipped titles across PS4, PSVita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC platforms.
Check out Dark Future on Steam
Listen to the Auroch Digital podcast
Watch the Dark Future trailer
Check out the the Una Corda piano
Watch the Black Mages play One Winged Angel
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