Lennie Moore and Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm on Top Score

by Emily Reese, Minnesota Public Radio
May 10, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — There are plenty of games on the market simulating droves of different military wars. Each of those games has a soundtrack, too.

Many of those soundtracks focus on the intensity of war, as well as the idiosyncratic sounds of war-time music. Sounds such as military drums (lots of snare drums), heavy brass and even electric guitar at times.

Composer Lennie Moore eschewed those choices for his new music to Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm, encouraged by developer Tripwire to explore the styles of American composers Aaron Copland and Charles Ives.

Specifically, Lennie studied Copland's A Lincoln Portrait (1942) and Ives's The Unanswered Question (1906, pub. 1940).

The result is unbelievably pleasing to the ear. Just about the only "expected" nuance is a trumpet solo. But rather than hire a trumpet player with a polished orchestral sound, Lennie called up friend Tim Larkin for a little bit grittier of a tone.

The first game Lennie ever scored was Outcast. The Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Chorus recorded that score, one of the first game soundtracks to use a live orchestra.

Hear Lennie talk about Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm and Outcast on the new episode of Top Score, also available on iTunes.

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