Posts Tagged ‘music’

Clickuorice Allsorts: The Norwood Suite’s soundtrack

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.

Music to my ears: live improvised soundtracks

Abzu

Game music that responds to your actions can be a magical thing. I’m talking about sneaking through enemy lines accompanied by an eerie string quartet, or cresting a hill while the scenery and music swell around you. Joost van Dongen, the man behind Proun and Cello Fortress, recently did an experiment with live soundtrack improvisation that makes for interesting reading.

Dongen and his fellow improviser Rene Derks set up shop at the Abunai convention in the Netherlands and invited people to come in and play any of 40 games. After turning in-game soundtracks off, Dongen with his cello and Derks on a djembe drum improvised their own music in response to whatever was happening on-screen.

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No Man’s Sky Soundtrack Details And Taster Track

We don’t often cover game music news on RPS, because there’s always the terrifying risk that it opens the door to more people sending us press releases about their chiptune albums inspired by Zelda. But I’m flexing the informal rule today, partly because No Man’s Sky remains so much of an unknown quantity even just two and half months from release, and partly because I really like what I’m hearing of 65daysofstatic‘s OST so far.

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Que Sera Sera: Free Dragon Age Pub Songs & Sheet Music

AAAAAAAAAAARGH I'd almost forgotten the horror

In all honesty, I’m not especially on fire with passion at the news of free Dragon Age Inquisition song downloads, but I don’t often get to use the phrase “sheet music” in this line of work, so carpe diem.
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Dreamers Of Dreams: A Diary Of Whispered Truths

A Diary of Whispered Truths is a tool for creating images like the one above, which would be all very well and groovy, but as you paint, it sings. Well, in my case it coughs out rugged reams of chorduroy, unfashionable and about as smooth as sandpaper bog roll. It can make quite a racket. A Diary is controlled with mouse and keyboard, with the former ‘conducting’ the on-screen activity and the latter providing percussive punctuations. I did not conduct the images and sounds below. My compositions are much more erratic, experimental and ahead of their time.

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Dreamers Of Dreams: Sentris Early Access

Do you remember a time when msuic games were so rugged and wild that they required the use of a tiny plastic guitar peripheral? I certainly do. Some people formed bands during their university years and frittered away precious hours creating melancholy joy, entertaining the tune-hungry populace of bee-soaked university bars. Other people – people like me – perfected I Wanna Be Sedated on Guitar Hero while jumping up and down on a bed with a cig in my mouth. Health and safety be damned, this was rock ‘n’ roll and I liked it.

Rhythm games have moved on since then and Sentris, launched into Early Access seconds ago, looks and sounds absolutely delicious. And you can play it while sitting comfortably at your desk.

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Clubbing With Nick Cave: No Wave

The pill is disintegrating, lodged in my throat like a swollen seed, sprouting dry and ticklish as it reaches back toward tongue and lips. I need a drink, to sluice it out, wash it down and carry myself away. The lights pulse like a migraine and the music is a song I recognise. Stumbling toward the stage, I grab at the singer, trying to tell him that I know the lyrics and how important it is that I know the lyrics, trying to drink him dry. And then it hits me – I just invaded Nick Cave’s personal space.

No Wave is short, free and noisy.

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Behind the sounds: Hotline Miami and FTL

Music man David Valjalo follows-up his exploration of the big-budget orchestral soundtracks in the mainstream games industry with a look at the other end of the scale – the super-low-budget, ultra-catchy, sometimes kitschy scores of indie darlings. He rounds up the men behind Hotline Miami, Sweden-based Dennis Wedin and Jonatan Soderstrom, two of the soundtrack artists they hand-picked, US artists M.O.O.N. and Scattle, and FTL composer Ben Prunty, to get the scoop on making music for small games and, quite often, small change.

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Behind The Sounds: Game Music’s Orchestral Revolution

Like a human q-tip David Valjalo embarks on a fantastical voyage into the realm of videogame music. Rounding up three of the most high-profile composers working today, let’s call them The Three J’s: Jason Graves (Dead Space, Tomb Raider), Jesper Kyd (Freedom Fighters, Assassin’s Creed) and Jack Wall (Splinter Cell, Black Ops 2), he gets the inside story on a revolution in game music budgets, practices and thinking that has changed our game soundscapes forever.

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A Multitude Of Synths: Acid Defender

This should be a noise instead of a picture.

BLOPPITY, BUMP, TSSSHHH, BEEE BLOOP. I used to be in a band, but looking back I don’t think my instrument was ever plugged in. My job was to stand on a stage and look moody. Perhaps my lack of ability goes some way toward explaining why I’m so excited whenever I find a game or toy that lets me make music just by clicking a button or two. Acid Defender is a brilliant browser-based music-making experiment and I haven’t listened to anything else this morning. BEEP, BLOOP, BEEPITY, TSSSHHH. Play it here. Via @jennatar.

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If Music Be The Food Of Love, Play Plink

At this point my speakers were emitting a sound that I can only describe as 'the cry of the Heavens as they fold in on themselves in the final cataclysm that marks the end of man's brief waking life.'

This is a thing to be treasured. Plink teams you up with strangers from an internet and demands that you make sweet music together. You can make discordant, ear-troubling ditties as well, that’s your choice, but the results tend toward the funky, perhaps even verging on groovy at times. It’s cheered me up no end this morning, moving a cursor up and down, clicking a button, even bopping my head in time to the beat at one point. If you find yourself playing with a plinker who seems hellbent on recreating the best of The Human League, you may well be sharing the decks with my good self. Chrome only, it seems.

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Review: One Life Left: Music To Play Games By

Let's play videogames, indeed.

As I mentioned before, I was at the One Life Left Christmas party last week. Which was quite the thing, as arriving into a room full of drunk people four hours into a session tends to be stressful. So I caught up. I also got into the other reason why they were having a party – launching their first CD, Music To Play Games By. It’s available to buy for seven quid, but you’ll find a review of it and what it’s like beneath the cut. And since this is a games blog, I’m going to keep tight reign on my usual bag of music-critic tricks. That is, I’m going to write-it-not-as-a-wanker. Well, as much not-as-a-wanker as I ever manage.
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The State Of Game Audio


This piece on the state of contemporary game audio was first published in Edge magazine, earlier this year. In it I talk to Marty “Halo” O’Donnell, CryTek’s Florian Füsslin, Introversion’s Chris Delay and the ledgendary George Sanger.

Game design lecturer Tom Betts is feeling pretty downbeat about the attitude of his students towards videogame audio. “I do a few lectures on this topic and unfortunately it often comes down to the fact that while you can play a game with the sound off, you can’t play a game with the screen off.” If you’re studying the things that make a videogame work, sound comes way down the list. Why should Betts’ students worry about what he has to say on the subject of audio when there are so many other things to worry about, like visual design, level design, or the nature of puzzles? “It’s been an underdog for years,” says Betts.
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Music Catch: A Game of Music And Catching

Sexy Music and Catching!
Today is somewhat stressful. My one source of relief, bar relaxing bouts of onanism, has been the webgame which the ever-lovin’ Simon Parkin linked to me first thing this morning. It’s Music Catch. Shapes are thrown up from a line, arcing in the air before falling back to whence they came. You have to pick ’em up. The yellow ones increase your multiplier. The red ones decrease it. The purple ones are a splendid super-weapon. The aim: Get as high a score as possible before the music stops. About the only thing I don’t like about is the over-pumped-and-excited words that flash up, breaking the contemplative little-book-of-calm mood. ” I heartily approve of Purple Power,” adds John Walker, before beating my best score effortlessly because I’m using a touchpad and he has a proper mouse.