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St. Paul, Minn. —
This year has been tirelessly dubbed as the Year of the Role-Playing Game (RPG). And anyone who so much as casually peruses gaming news knows that the upcoming release of Mass Effect 3 contributes heavily to that title.
The music of Mass Effect has always taken an important role during the development of the game. Casey Hudson, Project Director for the first game, said this of the Mass Effect OST:
"It would need the thundering power and emotional range of a live orchestra. At the same time, that classic sound would be woven into themes reminiscent of 80s electronica, with synthetic instruments providing complex layers and an ambient, futuristic atmosphere."
Think "Blade Runner" and you're nearly there.
Contributing heavily to the first game's score, Sam Hulick has remained with the franchise and has now written a great deal of music for all three games.
In fact, Hulick wrote the music that accompanies one of my favorite video game scenes of my entire life.
Composer duo Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan joined the team for Mass Effect 2. Their music for the Arrival downloadable content (DLC) as well as Kasumi - Stolen Memory DLC gives excellent context of what to expect from the two during Mass Effect 3.
Top Score's initial plan was to sit down with Cris, Sascha & Sam before the game's March 6th release, but due to burdensome (but understandable) non-disclosure agreements, we wouldn't have been able to discuss how the music works with any key plot points.
You can, however, look forward to this conversation happening shortly after Mass Effect 3 hits the shelves! Listen to the Mass Effect Preview Show on Top Score & catch up on past episodes here at ClassicalMPR.org or on iTunes.
INTRO: Mass Effect - Theme (Sam Hulick, Jack Wall)
Read Nico Muhly's epic analysis of the new Beyonce album
Though Muhly is one of the world's most acclaimed young composers, his essay on Beyoncé is more emotional and impressionistic than technical. Still, he calls out multiple "missed opportunities" where he would like to have heard real instruments rather than synths and samples.