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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- Mass Effect Preview Show on Top Score
Mass Effect 3 comes out on March 6th, and Top Score has a preview of two new tracks, and a review of the music from the Mass Effect universe.February 23, 2012
- Jesper Kyd at Minnesota Public Radio Headquarters
Composer Jesper Kyd visited MPR headquarters in November for Top Score's first live event. Check out the audio and video from the night!January 31, 2012
- 8- and 16-Bit Music on Top Score
Host of The Legacy Music Hour podcast, Brent Weinbach, joins Top Score to talk about his passion for the 8- and 16-bit era of video game music.January 17, 2012
- Inon Zur talks about Lord of the Rings: War in the North on Top Score
Inon Zur returns to Top Score from Classical MPR to talk about his new score to Lord of the Rings: War in the North. Enter the drawing for a chance to win the Xbox version of Lord of the Rings -- War of the North, plus the original game soundtrack by Inon Zur.December 19, 2011
- Jesper Kyd Talks Assassin's Creed on Top Score
Composer Jesper Kyd has written music for all four games in the Assassin's Creed series. Hear him talk about the experience in the new episode of Top Score from Classical MPR.December 7, 2011
- Top Score Event with Jesper Kyd
Top Score welcomed composer Jesper Kyd to talk about his latest game release at the UBS Forum at Minnesota Public Radio. Stay tuned for the full episode recorded live at the event.November 18, 2011
- Greg Edmonson and Uncharted 3 on Top Score
Greg Edmonson talks about his music for the Uncharted trilogy on Top Score from Classical Minnesota Public Radio.November 17, 2011
- Brian Tyler Talks Modern Warfare 3 on Top Score
Brian Tyler talks about his score for one of the most anticipated games of the year: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on the new episode of Top Score from Classical Minnesota Public Radio.November 3, 2011
- Bear McCreary on Top Score
Composer Bear McCreary is our guest on Top Score this week from Classical MPR. I first became interested in his music through my adoration of the relaunched "Battlestar Galactica" series on SyFy. Lucky for me, Bear also scored two video games. Capcom's "Dark Void" from 2010, and Sony's "SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs."October 19, 2011
- Tom Salta on Top Score
Composer Tom Salta applied a multifaceted musical background to create an immersive and highly interactive soundtrack for Eric Chahi's new game, "From Dust."October 5, 2011
Top Score blog on Tumblr
Host Emily Reese blogs about what's going on in the video game world at topscorepodcast.tumblr.com. Here are the most recent entries:
Composer Lennie Moore on Top Score from Classical MPR
Composer Lennie Moore on Top Score from Classical MPR
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.
The new episode of Top Score from Classical Minnesota Public...
The new episode of Top Score from Classical Minnesota Public Radio features an interview with BioShock Infinite composer Garry Schyman.
BioShock Infinite takes place in 1912, in an American city in the sky.
Yes, in the sky.
Quite a change from the previous two BioShock games, which were in the underwater city named “Rapture.” The city of Columbia, however, has sunshine. And clearly, the sky.
Composer Garry Schyman and Creative Director of Irrational Games, Ken Levine, knew the score needed to sound different.
Garry accomplished the changes by using a much smaller ensemble — basically, a small string section and some percussion.
The year 1912 was an interesting time in American classical music, most notably because there wasn’t much yet. Many American composers of the time still sounded quite European, although Charles Ives certainly stood out.
Garry considered Ives’s influence, but rather turned to other American icons in Stephen Foster (think “Camptown Races” or “Oh Susanna!” or “Swanee River”), and American folk music in general.
He asked the string players to keep a “fiddle” sound in mind (fiddlers tend to play with less vibrato than traditional classical violinists), and to occasionally play aggressively.
There are so many great tracks on the album, but definitely check out Elizabeth’s Theme, AD (which Garry thinks of as Booker’s theme)….
Or just buy the soundtrack. I encourage it!!