Composing music for video games poses very interesting aesthetic and technical challenges. For example, game music composers can write variations on a theme, and organize the music so that certain variations may or may not be played depending on the specific actions in the game.
But it gets even more interesting.
Game composers can do something that concert music composers and film composers can’t: They can create musical variations that the listener can randomly (or purposefully) “move through” at will. The first measure of music might be variation 1, but the 2nd measure could be from variation 28 if the game player, say, pulls out his flask of magic potion at that point. Modern game consoles are designed to handle this sort of conditional sound-play very easily. And so the opportunity for musically creative goodness is huge!
I’ll be presenting this idea with Moldover, showing how Beethoven actually composed that way.
Come check it out at GameSoundCon San Francisco on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. It’s not too late to register!