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Thread: Interview with Gary Schyman (composer)

  1. #1
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: The Doldrums

    Interview with Gary Schyman (composer)

    Music 4 Games has a fascinating interview with Gary Schyman, the composer for the game. Thanks to Freddo for the link.
    I think I came up with something pretty unique for this score by combining various styles of composition. Styles like aleatoric (orchestral players asked to improvise very eerie and scary sounds on their instruments within very defined specs), 12-tone like melodies on solo instruments such as violin and cello, and tonal melodic ideas that included moody and sad melodies and chords or melodies within styles of music from the period. I also used musique concrete, which use sounds from the real world mixed in as musical elements. Sometimes all of these were combined together, and at other times just one or two of them. A few cues are completely unique unto themselves like solo a piano work in the style of late Rachmaninoff (as composed by a fictional character in the game) or cues in the style of Shostakovich. We really were going for the early 20th century classical sound and that worked very well for the score. By combining eerie ambiances over it, I got something very unusual.

  2. #2
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    That was a great interview. I noticed some of the music in some trailers, so it's great to read his perspective and put a name to those lush sounds.

    I liked his comment about Ayn Rand sitting beside him sometimes, whispering in his ear, "You can do better than that; you're an artist".
    Last edited by demagogue; 17th Jul 2007 at 14:25.

  3. #3
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    If the game can match that for creepiness it'll be great.

  4. #4
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    I'll need to hear some more of the music if I'm to fork out extra for the CE with the soundtrack. I wonder if any of our Irrational devs can help out in that regard? Any possibility of getting some samples of ingame music?

  5. #5
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Ebbw vale, wales
    Scots heres some more samples of his work,

    The samples under "Intensely Eerie and aleatoric"
    are particularly fucked up and very "rapture" sounding(from what we've heard) has some interesting music

    "Oboe and orch" being my favorite

  6. #6
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    Cheers, I'll give them a listen!

  7. #7
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I also used musique concrete
    I love early 20th century orchestral music. I listened to some of the samples from Schyman's website; I'd say Bioshock is in good hands.

  8. #8
    Registered: Mar 2003
    what happened to the guy that did ss2 soundtrack..his work is awesome...i woulda got the guy that did the res evil 4 soundtrack..that was NIIICCCEEE

  9. #9
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    As someone else pointed out to me, almost every modern film soundtrack is a total ripoff of some early 20th century niche composer. That said, I'm impressed with his listed influences for the Bioshock score and look forward to hearing it.

    Edit: Oddly, I don't really like anything on his myspace page, but I'm impressed with most of the clips on his actual website. Not particularly original, but definitely good.

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