About the Program
Host Emily Reese takes an in-depth listen to video game music and talks with the people who make it. Read more about Emily and the story behind Top Score.
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Recent Episodes and Stories
- Jeff Ball: from commercial fisherman to composer
The California-based composer and violinist has spent significant time living and working in Alaska. He still draws inspiration from the beauty and solitude of the North. Jeff is Emily Reese's guest on this week's Top Score.March 19, 2015
- Top Score: Composer Billy Martin
Composer Billy Martin is known for writing soundtracks with comedic and with jazz elements. This week on Top Score, Emily Reese talks to Martin about his work, and we hear samples of two very different soundtracks.March 12, 2015
- Top Score: Peter McConnell and the music for 'Hearthstone'
Composer Peter McConnell felt pressure to write great music for the game 'Hearthstone', which was projected to be a big seller. McConnell is Emily Reese's guest on this week's Top Score.March 5, 2015
- Top Score: Jason Graves and 'The Order: 1886'
To compose the music for 'The Order: 1886', Jason Graves removed instruments that don't carry a heavy sound. Violins and high woodwinds were thrown out, and violas and cellos doubled up. Learn more about it on this week's episode of Top Score.February 26, 2015
- Top Score: Composer Winifred Phillips
A highly versatile composer, Winifred Phillips has created music for the ever-adorable 'LittleBigPlanet 3' and for the brutal 'Assassin's Creed III: Liberation'. She recently pulled off a five-minute fugue for 'The Ziggurat', voicing 12 vocal parts herself. Phillips is Emily Reese's guest on this week's Top Score.February 19, 2015
- Top Score: Jason Graves and the 'Evolve' soundtrack
To create a reactive soundtrack for the five simultaneous players of 'Evolve', composer Jason Graves created hundreds of short pieces of music. And he used some creative instrumentation to get the desired results. Jason Graves is Emily Reese's guest on this week's Top Score.February 12, 2015
- Top Score: Composer Peter McConnell, 'Grim Fandango'
When composer Peter McConnell finished scoring the video game 'Grim Fandango' 1998, he asked people living in his neighborhood to be the instrumentalists. For this year's 'Grim Fandango' re-release, McConnell recruited the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Composer Peter McConnell is the guest on this week's Top Score.February 5, 2015
- Top Score: Jukio 'Kozilek' Kallio and 'LUFTRAUSERS'
Written by Finnish electronic dance music (EDM) composer Jukio 'Kozilek' Kallio, the thumping score to the new game 'Luftrausers' contains both club and cinematic influences.January 29, 2015
- Top Score: Composer Ben Prunty and Faster Than Light
For composer Ben Prunty, the glamour of scoring video games did not come without effort. While working alternately as a janitor, Google diagnostician and volunteer coordinator, he received a call from the developers of the new game, Faster Than Light (FTL). They asked for a score, and Ben's life changed forever. Ben is Emily Reese's guest on this week's Top Score.January 22, 2015
- Top Score: Jesper Kyd and 'Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel'
For the latest 'Borderlands' release, the game's developers wanted a new sound. Their instruction to composer Jesper Kyd was simple: Bring back the '80s. Kyd is Emily Reese's guest on this week's Top Score.January 15, 2015