It’s truly humbling to me that I receive e-mails from around the world from fans of the video games for which I’ve created the music scores. I’ve been able to touch a lot of people’s lives with music and they, in turn, have reached out to me to say thanks. Thank you to all of you!
The most talked about music score that I’ve done for a video game has been “Rise Of Nations” (RON). It covered musical styles from five continents and presented players with a wide palette of emotions from very different cultures. RON was released in 2003 and went on to garner many awards, including several for PC Game Of The Year.
It’s interesting that world music has also changed my mind-set and my career. Until I composed and produced the score for RON, I was firmly entrenched in a very narrow genre. The “MechWarrior” series was my initial foot in the door to the video game industry and I was expected to expand on what was done before I came along. Following in someone else’s footsteps has never been my forte. Although I was able to create an emotional landscape that fit the style, I always wanted to create a score for a new series that would resonate with a broader audience.
RON was that opportunity. It opened my eyes and ears to so many different sounds and styles. It made me look and listen to the entire world. I researched a lot of cultures, as well as the musical instruments used in those cultures. I listened to everything from Irish whistle, to Russian balalaika, to Tuvan throat singers. But when it came down to the bottom line, I was still a composer using music to impart emotion in an interactive storyline. That is always the common bond.
Since that experience, I have learned that composing music for the local, regional or national audience is not enough. You must reach out to a worldwide audience because the world grows smaller by the minute. This is essential to a composer and everyone else on this planet.
I continue to use that experience to this day and my work at IGT is constant proof of that. I have scored slot games that are localized to many different cultures, in South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. In turn, I have learned to appreciate that although we are all different, we are all still connected. And that music still resonates within all of us.
Most of the world is connected via the Internet. And no matter our background, our heritage, our religion, or our culture, most of us desire and aspire to make a positive difference in our world. No matter what you do, think about how you can affect our world. What we all have in common is greater than our differences. And there’s some pretty exciting world music waiting for you to discover!