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.
Subscribe to the Podcast: iTunes or XML
- 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
- Boris Salchow's Music for Resistance 3 on Top Score
The latest installment of Top Score features an interview with Boris Salchow, who composed the score for the recently released sci-fi shooter "Resistance 3."September 20, 2011
- Top Score Launches Season 2 with Halo Composer Martin O'Donnell
Veteran video game composer Martin O'Donnell talks about writing scores for ten years of Halo on the first episode of season 2 from Top Score on Classical Minnesota Public Radio.September 6, 2011
- Top Score: Season 2 Challenge
Top Score, our podcast exploring video game music is announcing its second season. But in true game fashion, there's a challenge for you to figure out.August 19, 2011
- Top Score: Laura Karpman
What does 20th-century American composer Milton Babbitt (1916-2011) have to do with video game music? A lot, as it turns out.August 3, 2011
- Heavy Rain on Top Score
The game Heavy Rain was released in 2010 by Quantic Dream. Composer Normand Corbeil wrote the music and is the guest on Top Score from Classical Minnesota Public Radio.July 14, 2011
- Red Dead Redemption on Top Score
Rockstar Games turned to Bill Elm and Woody Jackson to create the music for "Red Dead Redemption." On this episode of Top Score from Classical MPR, Elm discusses he and Jackson's background in the alt-country scene, his admiration for Italian film composer Ennio Morricone and more.June 23, 2011
- Sean Murray, composer for Call of Duty: Black Ops on Top Score
Composer Sean Murray talks about his music for Call of Duty: Black Ops, game 7 in one of the most successful franchises in gaming history. Hear him on Top Score from Classical Minnesota Public Radio.June 9, 2011
- BioShock Composer Garry Schyman on Top Score
Composer Garry Schyman talks to Top Score about his music for BioShock, BioShock 2 and Dante's Inferno.May 24, 2011
- Dead Space Composer Jason Graves on Top Score
Composer Jason Graves created a gorgeous but terrifying score for Dead Space and Dead Space 2. Hear an interview with Jason on Episode 3 of Top Score from Classical MPR.May 10, 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!!