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 Listen to the Halo 4 Soundtrack Right Now 

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PostSubject: Listen to the Halo 4 Soundtrack Right Now   Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:44 pm

Ever since Bungie relinquished development duties on the Halo
franchise, we’ve all wondered what the future would hold for the Xbox’s
biggest brand. A big part of that is the legendary Halo soundtrack.
Bungie composer Marty O’Donnell’s chanting monks are as iconic as Master
Chief himself, and new developer 343 Industries chose not to try and
emulate or replicated O’Donnell’s work. Instead, they opted to go in a
very different direction, bringing in famed Massive Attack producer Neil
Davidge to bring a completely different flavor to the sounds of the
Reclaimer Trilogy.

I spoke with Davidge about his Halo 4
aural adventures, and even better, I brought the first-ever clips from
the soundtrack back for you to listen to, each with an accompanying
remix track. Yep, in addition to the Halo 4 Original Soundtrack dropping
on October 22, the Special Edition Remix Album hits on the same day and
features reinterpretations of the score by artists like DJ Skee,
Apocalyptica, Sander Van Doorn, and more. Dig the original soundtrack
(OST) clips -- and some remix counterparts -- and the chat with Davidge

On what he did to prepare for work on Halo 4:

“I went back and played the games. It felt important to listen to
them in context. I did scan some of the soundtrack albums that Marty had
produced. I didn’t really feel like it was going to help me reinvent or
evolve the score for Halo. What felt more important for me was to get
more involved in the characters of Master Chief and Cortana. So I went
back and I replayed the first three games and was just kind of soaking
up the music and working out what felt good energy-wise and emotionally.
I was trying not to focus too heavily on what Marty was doing.”

On whether he’s spoken to O’Donnell at any point during the process:

“We did drop each other a little note on Twitter – just a quick ‘hi’.
He congratulated me on getting the gig. [But] we haven’t met. It would
be an honor to actually meet up with him. I think he’s pretty much
single-handedly turned game score on its head and turned it into
professional art. And there are a lot of composers out there who owe him
a beer.”

On the importance of the music in Halo:

“One of the main characters in the games has been the soundtrack
itself. That was a pretty daunting thing for me – coming onto a game
where the music had such a central role. It put a lot of pressure on

On how he came to get involved in the project:

“I’d been looking to branch out from producing…and 343 already had
quite a big list of industry heavyweights that they were considering.
They were looking for something newer, something fresher, something that
could be as iconic as the previous scores that Marty had written. So
they didn’t necessarily want to go with a seasoned Hollywood composer.
They then got in contact with my management after my name had been put

On whether they went in a completely new direction out of respect to O’Donnell’s work or to fit the new trilogy’s story:

“It’s very much because it’s a new trilogy. Everyone has the utmost
respect for what Marty has done. The phrase that kept going around was
‘evolution not revolution’ of the score. [They wanted a] more
electronic, slightly more beat-driven direction, which is one reason why
they came to me. They wanted to flesh out, sonically, a new universe.
One that they could expand on in subsequent sequels.”

On whether or not he thinks the classic Halo soundtrack even needs to evolve:

“In my opinion just as a fan of the game, yes I think it did need to
evolve. It’s healthy to keep things changing. Each Massive Attack album
I’ve worked on was significantly different than the previous album.
There’s a whole new world of fans out there who listen to a whole
different kind of music than what was out there 10 years ago [when Halo
first released].”

On whether it’s going to be completely different than the previous Halo music:

“There are connections with Marty’s previous scores within this.
There is a continuation, thematically, without being too direct about
it. Everything’s been updated on this game.”

On his process for creating the Halo 4 soundtrack:

“I didn’t go into this with a concept and a game plan. I know there
were concepts floating around – organic and digital coming together to
mesh. [But] I came at this with heart, with love, with passion, and felt
my way through the project. Each piece of music I composed, I wanted it
to touch me. If it doesn’t mean anything to me, how can it mean
anything to anyone else?”

On how he would describe the tone of the soundtrack:

“There is this combination of organic/orchestral/choir-driven stuff
underpinned by this very strong, very muscular, digital, programmed,
distorted, electronic backbone. It’s still romantic. There’s still a
romantic aspect to the melodic work.”

On his creative process:

“I tried a number of different approaches [laughs]. Each approach in
its own way at certain points was successful. I did try to compose to
the video captures of someone playing the game. I found that to be
intensely frustrating. It’s one thing to be behind the controller, but
to be a passenger just watching and trying to compose music as a
soundtrack to that was a real struggle for me. I would say it only
worked once.

“For the most part I’d have to prepare myself much like I’d imagine a
method actor would. I’d immerse myself in the characters, in whichever
theme I was composing, the environment, the various imagery that the
guys at 343 had created. I found the still images to be the most
powerful writing tools to get me in the right frame of mind. But at
times I’d also listened to some of the dialogue that had been recorded
for some of the characters, so I’d get the tone of the characters of the
voice in my head. I’d get the gravity of that particular character
right. Often I’d just try and amass all this stuff in my head, get my
heart in the right place, and go from there and not tie myself to the
visual side of things. [Then] I’d present on average two maybe three
approaches to each mission to the guys at 343 and they would then make a

On his timeline:

“I went to see the guys at 343 in December 2010 and I wasn’t due to
start composing until February 2011, but I was so inspired that I came
back to Bristol [UK] and literally as soon as I could get myself into
the studio I was composing for the game. I already had a load of ideas I
wanted to explore. By the time I was actually due to start composing
I’d already written 27 pieces, [even though] all I had was the memory of
the experience of being in Seattle for three days and meeting everyone
involved. I composed purely on feel.”

On his favorite Halo moment so far:

“The first game itself to me was a key experience. The one that keeps
coming to mind, funny enough, is when I was working on the Massive
Attack album 100th Window, my assistant programmer and I used to play
‘Hang ‘em High’ all the time.”

On his motivation for the remix album?

“A lot of these people are actually fans of the game themselves. The
guys at Apocalyptica have been playing halo since the beginning…In a way
it’s kind of allowing a bit more of the community to get involved, even
if it’s just the music community.

“If we’re going to go to the trouble of making a soundtrack album,
let’s make it a great listen. So therefore let’s get some great remixes
as well.”

On how he feels about the finished product:

“The first time I know whether it works will is when I actually buy the game and sit down and play it myself! [laughs]”

End Transmission ....
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PostSubject: Re: Listen to the Halo 4 Soundtrack Right Now   Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:47 pm

Can I make one request lol. May I have it in writing lmao
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PostSubject: Re: Listen to the Halo 4 Soundtrack Right Now   Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:03 am

This is now officially my favorite mother truckin' forum post. Period.
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