Ari Pulkkinen and Angry Birds on Top Score

by Emily Reese, Minnesota Public Radio
February 20, 2014

St. Paul, Minn. — Composer Ari Pulkkinen started writing music with computers when he was 12 years old. He quickly got involved with what's called the "demoscene" — a subculture of technology-minded individuals who gather to show off their skills in blending visual demonstrations with music. It's non-commercial, and has a good-hearted "look-what-we-can-do" spirit.

Pulkkinen ended up getting hired by Frozenbite in 2003, where he helped make Shadowgrounds.

Since that time, Pulkkinen has written music for games like the Trine series, Outland, Dead Nation, Super Stardust HD and Resogun.

If you're unfamiliar with any of those games, that's a bummer because they're all superb titles. However, you might recognize the title of one other game Pulkkinen scored: Angry Birds.

Angry Birds was the first game released for the iPhone in 2009, and it was a smashing success.

Pulkkinen had worked with the developer of Angry Birds, Rovio, on a couple other titles in the past. Since its release, Angry Birds has enjoyed more than 12 million downloads.

Pulkkinen's music is varied across genres, and he dislikes being categorized. My favorite soundtrack is a toss-up between Trine 2 and Outland.

Here's the theme from Trine 2:

And here's Outland:

But Resogun is amazing, too. Pulkkinen definitely has a knack for writing great melodies that keep you wanting more.

Pulkkinen assured me he has new projects coming up, saying, "You'll hear a lot from me in the future."

That's good news for all!

Ari Pulkkinen music demo reel:

You can subscribe to episodes of Top Score on iTunes.

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