With the recent release of Michael Bross’s Edge of Nowhere soundtrack we decided to get an inside look at what goes into scoring a video game and more specifically Michael’s process for scoring the hit Insomniac title, which www.vrheads.com just called, “One of most incredible Oculus Rift games you can buy today.”
How would you describe your musical style?
My music traverses the serene to the haunted. The quietly ponderous to the epic. I love both electronic and classical so there are a lot of those influences there, but I don’t hesitate to blend in other elements when it needs it.
You have scored music for several different types of video games. Do you find that the companies hiring you have a very specific musical style in mind or do they leave that up to you?
Each project is different. Some developers are not sure what they want and so I come up with concepts that will work for their game. Others will have a clearer idea of direction, but there’s always still a great amount of creative freedom for me within that.
Your Edge of Nowhere soundtrack was just released. About how much total music did you produce for the game?
By the time I completed all the work, there was approximately 2.5 hours of finished music, but I actually created more music than that if including conceptual pieces and experimentations.
How would you describe your score for Edge of Nowhere?
It captures a deep sense of mystery and tragedy, which is counterbalanced with horror. Musically, it’s a blend of orchestral elements and designed atmospherics. I tried some really creative things on it. For example, I recorded 2 – 3 hours of guitar feedback, which I would then slow way down and then weave in fragments of that. That would create this otherworldly sound when combined with a string section.
Is there a scene of Edge of Nowhere that you particularly enjoyed scoring most?
Scoring around the main character’s story was fascinating. As he makes his way through the Antarctic environment, which is both beautiful and brutal, he is mentally unraveling and the music developed in relation to that.
What has been your favorite project to work on so far and why?
I’ve gotten to work on some many cool projects, it’s hard to say. Edge of Nowhere, Ratchet & Clank, Oddworld, Counter-Strike and many others. I’ve created several electronic music releases and am currently working on a blend of electronic / classical styles for some upcoming music of my own, which I’m excited about, too. I’m very thankful for all the work I get to do and it’s too difficult to choose favorites.
You have scored a few of the Ratchet & Clank video games, do you think you will score any more of those titles?
I’ve scored the last four Ratchet & Clank titles. Sure, I’d love to continue to do that.
You are going to be scoring the upcoming Em-8er video game. Can you tell us anything about that?
It’s being styled as a massive planetary war game. This game is still in the early stages of development but has been gaining a lot of interest and attention. I’m just starting to think about my musical approach to it, so stay tuned!