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From the Archive: Ode to Joysticks - Episode two

Nothing Concrete text
1 Dec 2021
65 min listen

From 2018 we present the second of our three-part series Ode to Joysticks. Sit back as we move from 8-bit to 64-bit and find ourselves in worlds old and new, searching for mystical treasure, solving puzzles, joining ancient societies, driving fast cars or at the most fundamental level just trying to survive that new very scary looking new monster coming toward us.

We learn how some of the top games composers, conductor and orchestral arrangers challenge themselves with each project to create something new: imagination and determination are needed in equal measure, and within the region of 100 years of experience between them there is plenty to talk about.

We speak to composer Winifred Philips who alongside scoring some incredible games has encouraged others into her world with her book A Composer’s Guide to Game Music.

Composer Nitin Sawhney, who was awarded the Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement award, but for him it was an invitation from actor and director Andy Serkis that began for a five year adventure scoring two stunningly successful games - soundtracking gamers' moments of frustrating and exhilaration.

Composer Austin Wintory who was nominated for a Grammy for his score to Journey, has built a career through a sense of exploration and curiosity.

Irish composer and conductor Eímear Noone, the world’s current premier conductor of video game scores. As a composer, Eimear is part of the team writing the music for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Dreanor, and conducted of The Zelda Symphony, a full four-movement symphony created from the themes from the iconic video game.

Film composer Inon Zur who started off writing music as in-house composer on the Power Rangers TV series, but ended up writing video games scores to be played by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Danish composer Jesper Kyd, a self-taught musician who used the Commodore 64 and Amiga as his initial tool for composing - as the computer systems grew and expanded so did his ambition.

And Bulgarian composer Penka Kouneva who has worked with the likes of Steve Jablonsky on orchestration the games score for some big franchise game such as Transformers and Gear of War.

Finally we speak to professor of psychology Lauren Stewart from Goldsmiths University about how the beep beep 8-bit phenomenon of the earworm has become a common malady for the serious or even casual gamer.


From the Archive sees us dig into our extensive contemporary and classical music and cinema podcast archive as we rediscover interviews and discussions with artists, with our long-standing producer and presenter, Ben Eshmade. 

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