After taking us to a strange train station in the wonderful Off-Peak, Cosmo D will invite us to visit a surreal hotel next week in The Norwood Suite [official site]. He has again composed the soundtrack himself, and again it sounds grand. Here’s the main theme:
Lovely stuff. Cosmo has the full soundtrack on Bandcamp, where you can stream free or buy it for $5. I’m keen to hear how tunes fit into The Norwood Suite when it launches on Monday, October 2nd.
Top Score is a podcast that interviews and highlights the work of videogames’ best composers. The show is produced by Minnesota Public Radio and since 2011 has featured musicians from Skyrim, Grim Fandango, Luftrausers and Legend of Grimrock 2, among dozens of others. It’s designed to be accessible to an audience who maybe know music better than they know games, but the result is a series of entertaining interviews with insight into a part of the game production process that often goes overlooked. What’s the news here? There isn’t any – it’s simply excellent and I only discovered it this weekend.
For those of you that skip to the last paragraph of The Sunday Papers for a music recommendation, this whole post is nothing but a route into the aural delights of game music. The music this time isn’t Jim’s brand of 2001’s Monolith’s sneezes, nor is it my mashup nonsense. Nope, it’s the Indie Game Music Bundle 2‘s collection of soundtracks gathered together in another pay what you want bundle. For as little as a dollar, you could get some gorgeous music.
The headline doesn’t refer to an extravagant orchestral rendition that you’d have to pay money to see, but rather a short video containing two of Bastion’s most glorious audio treats. I’ll never find these songs as powerful as I did when they first drifted in, just as the structure of the world and the melancholy of the situation slotted into place around my gun-toting kid, but I still get shivers up my spine when that vocal starts. An intimate performance by audio director Darren Korb and vocalist Ashley Barrett, this is a lovely way to start a Friday, or any other day. Pretty good way to end one too. Listen down yonder.
I’m reviewing Thrillville: Off The Rails for the lovely PC Gamer UK at the moment. Should you wish to know whether this theme park management jobbie’s worth the price of admission, you’ll have to read their next issue, for I am sworn (or at least politely asked) to silence until then. However, I stumbled across this happy surprise in one of its many crazed mini-games:
Yes, yes, enough about the terrifying giant robot kitten head – d’you recognise the music? If not, the answer lurks in the following invisi-text: It’s Monkey Island, you uneducated dolt. Now get out of my sight.
Oh, how it sings to my haggard soul. You can keep your bloody Still Alive. The reason for its shock appearance (completely at odds with the rest of the game’s soundtrack, which includes Lilly Allen, Avril Lavigne, Blur and a lot of pounding trance music) is that the game’s published by Lucasarts. Whether it’s a knowing nod to gaming heritage or was just lying around unclaimed in the Lucasian archives, I don’t know. Anyone from Lucasarts or developer Frontier reading this who can illuminate us? And that reminds me – we should probably do a shamelessly Digg-friendly ‘Best Game Theme Tunes Ever!’ feature at some point…