Show and Tell with Composer Rich Douglas! (Hint: new music!)
First, Happy Thanksgiving to all our backers here in the US of A and Happy Thursday to our friends around the world! Today, we are very thankful that you have showed your support in soooo many ways and humbly ask that you continue! Please continue to tell others about Shadowgate as well as consider our Add-Ons as well as other tiers! We plan on putting up our Paypal store (it's ready to go!) as soon as we hit our goal with hopes of hitting our stretch goals (More rooms!)
Okay, here is an interview with composer Rich Douglas who has not only answered our questions but graciously provided us some new Shadowgate music to listen to. No doubt you have heard his handiwork all over this campaign but today he gives us three new pieces he's been working on and I reposted a few of my favorites as well. You can find these after the interview.
We love Rich and need this campaign to be successful so he can dive right into making music and sound design for the game! Remember, if you like this music, a full digital loss-less soundtrack is available at the $30 tier or you can add it to your pledge for $15!
Hiroyuki Masuno’s soundtrack was really one of the best on the NES system, but updating music from limited hardware can still be challenging. How do you approach arranging the pieces from the original Shadowgate?
Rich Douglas: I totally agree, there’s some really strong thematic material in the score despite the limited instrument range Masuno had to work with! I usually start by learning the note progressions of the piece I’m tackling by ear and simply doing a direct interpretation of the chiptune piece with modern orchestral sample libraries. Even though the piece sounds pretty cool at this point.. there’s still so much more that can be done to jazz it up. So from here I start adding in additional instrumentation to beef up the arrangement and add in my own reversals and hooks to keep things interesting.
What equipment are you using on Shadowgate?
RD: A better question is what sample libraries am I not using on this project (Laughs). I’m mainly using Cinebrass by cinesamples, Albion by spitfire, a slew of percussion from 8dio, Symphony of Voices by spectrasonics, Symphonic Choir by east west, and some unique samples from the talented chaps over at embertone. Of course I’ve only done a handful of cues so far, and there’s a chance we may bring on a female soloist for a couple of the pieces. For sequencing I use Cakewalk Sonar 8 and for mastering I use Adobe Audition 3 with a slew of third party plug ins.
Apart from the original NES soundtrack, have you drawn any inspiration from elsewhere, be it videogames or movies?
RD: Game music wise I’ve been mainly listening to, drum roll please, the original Shadowgate chiptunes. Out of my film score collection I’ve been listening to a lot of Conan The Barbarian and Breakdown by Basil Poledouris as well as The Edge and The 13th Warrior by Jerry Goldsmith. Both Goldsmith and Poledouris are two of my favorite composers and have written some amazing adventure / fantasy scores. They will definitely be a point of inspiration for me over the next year!
We’ve heard your fantastic rendition of a few of the tracks in the game, but given that the game will feature some new puzzles and rooms, will there be any new original compositions by you as well?
RD: Absolutely! I do plan on doing my fair share of original material for the game. However, since Kemco has given us the rights to the original NES score I will definitely be working those themes in when I can. I know this is a popular score and am not going to let fans of the original chiptunes down. There will be direct interpretations of some of the themes as well as some new themes composed for this version. Bits and pieces of the familiar themes will be peppered throughout the score as well as directly interpreted. Some of the tunes - like the title - will definitely be epic while others used in the environments may be more subtle - something similar to the version that can be heard in the pitch video when Karl and Dave are talking. We've also chatted about having an adaptive music system implemented which would up in intensity as more intense rooms are explored (i.e. more instruments / tracks fade in to the same piece of music)... this also means that not every room would have its own piece of music and one piece of music would most likely carry over from room to room in some situations.
Anything else you want to say?
RD: Only that I am a huge Shadowgate fan and I guarantee you that I will put my heart and soul into this project!
Okay, here are some new tunes Rich has been working on as well as a few ones you may not have heard if you are new to the campaign. The Kickstarter update UI drops all of the audio at the end so here is the track listing for the tunes that follow:
- Shadowgate Theme
- Main Menu
- Coffin Room (A new composition built upon the NES music from the coffin room)
- Responsibility of Power (A new original composition)
- The Staff (A new original composition)
- The Castle Halls (This is what is playing behind our talking heads in the promo video)