Monthly Archives: April 2007

Tom Salta won an MTV Music Award for his score to the game G.R.A.W. I happen to like Tom’s music, he has a solo techno album under the name Atlas Plug, and music for the game Red Steel on iTunes (here’s a IGN review). Red Steel has a style that mixes Hollywood scoring, techno, and taiko (call it “taikno”, perhaps?).

Anyway, Tom’s doing a seminar in Boston this weekend about scoring video games. A big part of it is dealing with how your music needs to change with the action.

Here’s a mini preview, from a video of him on FragDolls:

“(in video games) the music has to adapt to what is going on…it could shorten, it could lengthen, it could go here, here, here…there’s a lot of technical considerations.”

Tom’s seminar “The Art, Craft, and Business of Scoring Video Games” is Saturday the 28th in Boston, you can register online.

Posted 9 years ago by John Piscitello

Sometimes Google products are useful in ways you don’t expect, and they can help you accomplish musical research in clever ways.
I’ve been doing research based on recommendations of a composer whose talk I attended a few weeks ago. One happened to be to listen to the composer Elgar.

Elgar’s most famous for “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1” (played at US high school graduations). OK, fine. But I wanted to know – what are his most distinctive works in the literature?

I tried Wikipedia and the Elgar society’s web site. But these sources both provided only comprehensive, chronological catalogs of his works.
It’d be nice if someone had a database of the past programs of all the major symphonies in the world. I’d check the data on what’s performed most often. No luck there.

So by accident I discovered that the auto-suggest in the Google search box in Firefox gave me these suggestions:
elgar cello concerto
elgar electronics
elgar enigma variations
elgar society


elgar nimrod
elgar violin concerto
elgar pomp and circumstance

It turns out Nimrod is one of the Enigma Variations. And there’s an electronics company called Elgar. They make power sources.

After a little more research, I decided the Cello concerto and Enigma variations it is!

Posted 9 years ago by John Piscitello

TV Squad has a nice summary of a new Lost video podcast where Michael Giacchino gives a tour of the soundstage and the process for scoring Lost:

Lost video podcast recap

Of note is the orchestra instrumentation – 4 trombone players, strings, percussion, harp, piano. No woodwinds or higher brass. The choice of instrumentation can give a show its unique sound.

Also note that Giacchino composes for each scene before even watching the next one. This apparently is to give more of a “What the hell?” feeling to the music – he doesn’t know where things are going, so the music can give the audience even more of a feel of being jerked around.

Annoyingly, the video is not embeddable – not even directly linkable but you can find it here if you click “video”, then scroll over to LOST: Podcast: Michael Giacchino.

Posted 9 years ago by John Piscitello