Tom Salta and Halo: Spartan Assault on Top Score

by Emily Reese, Minnesota Public Radio
July 18, 2013
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ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Halo soundtracks are packed with some of the most iconic and recognizable sounds in the game industry.

Twelve years and seven games after the original Halo: Combat Evolved, there's a new game, called Halo: Spartan Assault.

Tom Salta decided to get into game composition after playing the first Halo game in 2001. Tom's score is an excellent blend of inspiration and invention.

This was the first time I had to create an original score based on the established signature sound that millions and millions and millions of people around the world already know.
- Tom Salta, composer

Composers of the original series, Marty O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, created a score full of men chanting, tribal drums and electronics.

But Tom didn't want to reinvent the sound of Halo.

"This was the first time I had to create an original score based on the established signature sound that millions and millions and millions of people around the world already know," he said.

In fact, the Halo games have sold more than 50 millions copies around the world, and made more than 3 billion dollars.

Halo: Spartan Assault is for moblie devices. As a result, it doesn't have a lot of cinematic scenes to score like bigger games.

Men's choir is a trademark sound for Halo, but Tom added women and a boy's choir to enhance the original sound. The extra voices add great texture to the score, performed by the New York Film Chorale.

Hear my conversation with Tom Salta on the new episode of Top Score from Classical MPR. Also available on iTunes.

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