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Meena Shamaly is a singer, an instrumentalist, a composer, a radio host and a performance poet. While not a definitive list of his artistic talents, it's a list relevant to our conversation we had at the end of July. So, we talk about how he sang, played oud and served as an Arabic music and language consultant for Christopher Tin on Old World.We d…
 
Composer Will Savino talks about his music for Souldiers, a metroidvania platform puzzler with RPG elements, pixel art and a retro-ish soundtrack. So much music in this game! It was fun to talk about it with Will!Also, Will composes loads of music for tabletop gaming, a topic I haven't explored very much, and was delighted to discuss.You can find a…
 
A few things about my conversation with George Sanger. It's the longest single-interview episode in my 11 years as a podcaster, and the interview itself flew by. I felt like each question could've been its own episode. I kept wanting to turn the page and discover more. Alas, we barely scrape the surface of this game audio legend. We talk about his …
 
Joel Schoch's music for the Far series of games is truly wonderful (Far: Changing Tides from 2022 and Far: Lone Sails from 2018). I can't recommend it highly enough. Joel does a laudable job scoring the open, watery worlds in both games. An abundance of live instruments but with respect for the, well, "simplicity" that the games present. You can fi…
 
There are 14,000 sound effects (aka "Foley") in the game Unpacking. That's a handful. And what a charming game, no dialog, just art and sound. You learn the story as you unpack the belongings of a young girl as she grows up, goes to college, moves in with friends, then experiences different relationships in adult life. Jeff and Angela van Dyck are …
 
Imp of the Sun is a gorgeous 2D platformer from Sunwolf Entertainment, a company co-created by the game's composer, Jose Varon. The game was inspired by the landscape, history, culture, art and music of Peru, where the developers live. Jose got the chance to record instruments in a museum, some of which were 6,000 years old. And he highlights other…
 
The music for Loot River was composed by two brothers in Vienna, Austria - Markus and David Zahradnicek. Markus and David, who go by Wobblersound, are a full-service audio package, so for Loot River, they supplied not only the music, but the sound design and implementation. You can find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon. Join us on…
 
Chase Bethea talks about his music for Questlike: Pocket, a mobile monster-hunter RPG with a rhythmic component to battle. Chase wrote four battle tracks for the game, all in the same time signature of 5/4, and all at 60 beats per minute to match battle tempo throughout the game. In addition to the four battle tracks, Chase also wrote the main them…
 
Composer Ben Nichols talks about three soundtracks: OMNO, a gorgeous adventure game (for which he received an Ivor Novello nomination); Before We Leave, a colorful world-builder; and The Falconeer, a dogfighting aerial combat fighter. So different from each other and delightful to discuss each one! You'll find a YouTube video on our channel (someti…
 
Join us on Discord to discuss the episode! This is music by John Robert Matz for Ambition: A Minuet in Power, an adventure game/interactive visual novel with all sorts of romance options, set during the ramp-up of the French Revolution in the 1780s. John Robert’s music is also set in the 1780s, the height of the Classical era in music, and composer…
 
Composer Carlos Eiene began his career at age 14, uploading video game music covers to YouTube from his living room on piano and saxophone. He posted a video at the beginning of 2022 stating he would no longer be uploading game covers, but that he would be focusing on original composition. Carlos and I talk about some of his new music, and some of …
 
Video game music remix artist Lacey Johnson is a content machine! You can find dozens of remix videos of Lacey’s on YouTube, she’s got a Persona 4 album on Bandcamp and several more album projects planned (including Persona 3!) with dozens more YouTube videos scheduled.I got to meet Lacey in April at VGM Con here in Minneapolis. We were on a panel …
 
A song by composer Robert Wolf is nominated for Best Original Song in the upcoming Game Audio Network Guild Awards on May 25, 2022. He composed "Immutable" for the game Arknights, a mobile tower defense/ tactical RPG from Hypergryph. Robert is a composer for Hexany Audio, a company that provides music and sound for many different game projects arou…
 
Mark Schimmelbusch - known as "Mahn" in the VGM world - talks about his album called The Old Blood: A Bloodborne Concept Album. This album was recently awarded best remix album at the 2022 VGM Con Remix Awards in Minneapolis. Mahn has remixed many other favorites from game music, and we enjoyed talking together about his musical adventures! You can…
 
Composer Mason Lieberman works for Tencent Games, and writes music for all types of games and projects, like PUBG Mobile and Teamfight Tactics. He's composed for tons of different anime projects too, like RWBY and Beyblade Burst Evolution. Mason has a keen ear for composing J-rock, and other J-styles and C-styles, and was exposed to these styles st…
 
Drummer Dom Palombi talks about his new album Game Night! with game music covers and three original tracks. The album features several seasoned video game, anime and all the J-styles performers like Patrick Bartley (J-Music Ensemble), Carlos Eiene (insaneintherainmusic), the Super Soul Bros., Charlie Rosen (8-Bit Big Band) and more. Dom and the Gam…
 
Andrew Hulshult's music for the Quake-like retro first person shooter called Dusk is fabulous. Dusk, from New Blood Interactive, originally came out in 2018. Andrew’s music for the original Dusk is symphonic metal - a lot of electric guitars and epic orchestral music. And that’s all wonderful and amazing and you’ll hear a bunch of it.EVEN MORE AMAZ…
 
This is a panel from VGM Con with composer Andrew Benon for Chex Quest, a game that came out in boxes of Chex cereal from General Mills in 1996. Andrew, at the time, worked for a company in Minneapolis called Digital Cafe. General Mills also is located in Minneapolis (well, a suburb called Golden Valley, to be more precise). In any event, Andrew wi…
 
Composer Lee Jackson's legacy in the world of game music includes the theme song for Duke Nukem 3Dcalled “Grabbag”. Lee talks about writing music for Duke Nukem 3D and other Duke projects, as well as how quickly he wrote music for Rise of the Triad, and how he made sounds for Balls of Steel (all games from Apogee Software / 3D Realms). Lee also tak…
 
You’ve probably heard DB Cooper's voice at some point in your gaming life. I first heard her in BioShock 2 as the voice of the PA system. Most recently, she cast and directed the voices in Lake (in my intro to the episode, I mention she voiced characters in Lake, which is incorrect). And she is one of only two who voice ALL of the characters and so…
 
One of my favorite soundtracks from 2021 came from Neil Bones (a.k.a. Corey Jones) for Twelve Minutes, a creepy time-loop game from Annapurna Interactive. Corey’s music caught my attention for its simplicity and beauty. Find it on Bandcamp and all the places! You can find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon.…
 
Maclaine Diemer talks about his music for the newest expansion for Guild Wars 2 called End of Dragons. The music is inspired by traditional Korean music and instruments, a much needed educational dive into a rich tradition! Emily and Maclaine talk at great length about the special instruments he chose to use and the beautiful music for GW2: End of …
 
Ego Plum talks about his music for The Cuphead Show, a new animated TV series on Netflix based on the 2017 game Cuphead. The music Ego composed for the TV series is inspired by the early jazz that accompanied cartoons in and around the 1930s, and that you heard in the original score for the game itself (props to composer Kris Maddigan and here is h…
 
We’ve talked with composer Chase Bethea in the past about his music for the game Aground, but this soundtrack release is different, so we talked again. The Aground Deluxe Edition includes nine more tracks, and piano sheet music for three of the tracks. This interview took place on December 30th in 2020. You can support Level with Emily on Patreon.…
 
Hear a conversation with Inon Zur about his music for Syberia: The World Before. The game comes out in February 2022, but the soundtrack came out late last year. That gave me the chance to speak with Inon about all of the music, and the music in this game is special for several reasons. One of the main characters is a concert pianist and part of th…
 
Erik Desiderio is composing music for Last Epoch, an action RPG from Eleventh Hour games. Erik just released a music video with the performers from Last Epoch's Main Theme and you can view it here! Last Epoch has been in early access for quite a while, and Erik is busy filling in the music - 4+ hours of music, to be exact. He used the Scandinavian …
 
Mike Raznick composed music for AWAY: The Survival Series. In this game, you control a sugar glider as he is trying to make his way to safety in a new world. The game is narrated, like a nature documentary. And the music is absolutely gorgeous.If you buy the AWAY soundtrack on Bandcamp, Mike is giving all proceeds to the Audubon Society, dedicated …
 
In June 2018, we began interviewing five of the people responsible for audio in Half-Life: Alyx from Valve Corporation. The Audio in Half-Life: Alyx introduces you to each person involved in the creation of sounds in the game, and highlights their individual roles for bringing the game to life. Mike Morasky wrote the music for Half-Life: Alyx. Rola…
 
Peter McConnell is such a master of cinematic music. He recently scored Psychonauts 2, a game released by Double Fine Productions. At the time I interviewed Peter, I had only gotten a few hours into the game and the soundtrack wasn’t out yet, so I hadn’t even heard all of the music. I finished the game, and now that I’ve heard all of the music in P…
 
Joel Corelitz composed more than 70 tracks for the game Eastward, scheduled for release later in 2021. The music, like the game, pays tribute to the 8-bit and 16-bit era of games, with Joel's musical voice and a modern twist at times. It's colorful, nostalgic, creative and enjoyable. Here's a link to the soundtrack! You can support Level with Emily…
 
We love getting caught up with Jason Graves to hear what he's composed lately! He's been working on The Dark Pictures Anthology, composing for the first chapter, "Man of Medan" and now for "Little Hope." It was fun to speak with him about the stark differences in those 2 soundtracks, and how he created the spooky soundtrack for "Little Hope." Suppo…
 
Oleksa Lozowchuk composed music for Horizon Forbidden West. The game isn’t out yet, nor is the soundtrack, but Sony Classical - the label for the soundtrack - released a 4-track EP of music from Forbidden West, including one of Oleksa’s tracks, “Eyes Open.” So Oleksa and I had a chance to talk about that. But also, Sony released a State of Play vid…
 
The Soundlings, a composition duo of Sonny Rey and Matt Naylor, just did the music for Knockout City, which is, at its essence, multiplayer dodgeball, just out at the end of May. The music is energetic and colorful, with a lot of great live musicians and the three of us had a great time talking about their music! You can support Level with Emily on…
 
League of Legends is an institution! And there are so many avenues within the League universe for music and fun. I spoke with Kole Hicks, Brendon Williams and Jason Walsh, all of whom write music for League or one of its many offshoots. It was a pleasure to speak with them! Find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon.…
 
I stumbled across Kyle Athayde and his band in a unique way. I first discovered Kyle as a jazz vibraphonist while listening to one of my current favorite jazz pianists, a guy named Sullivan Fortner. Sullivan’s newest album is a duo album with Kyle on vibes (called Tea For Two). I hadn’t heard of Kyle, so I went to YouTube and typed in Kyle Athayde.…
 
Tom Salta is a composer I’ve interviewed many times for Level about his music for the Halo series, our first interview was for a game called From Dust, we’ve talked about PUBG before, and we’ve been together on panels and such. Rather than talk about his music today, we’ll talk about a series of classes he has online about writing music for games. …
 
This episode features a chat with Jack Wall about his music for Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War. The score features live orchestra and live choir, which posed quite a challenge during the pandemic, but you wouldn’t know it because it all sounds great. The score is a bit of a family affair for Jack, with lyrics written by his wife, Cindy Shapiro, an…
 
Tim Wright -- aka CoLD SToRAGE -- composed music for the game Pacer, which is an anti-gravity racing game with elements of combat. It’s a spiritual successor to the Wipeout series which started in the mid-90s, and Tim wrote the music for 3 of the Wipeout games. It was a pleasure to speak with Tim! He has an extensive catalog available on Bandcamp t…
 
Hear composer Jesse Harlin talk about his music for Mafia: Definitive Edition. The game is a remake of the first Mafia game, which came out in 2002, but with completely new music written by Jesse. We’ve had Jesse on the show twice before; once was for Yoku’s Island Express in 2018 and in 2016, Jesse was on Level to talk about his work on Mafia 3. T…
 
I love the Spiritfarer soundtrack. It was a pleasure to talk with Max LL about his music for Spiritfarer. We also talk about Jøtun and Sundered. All three are made by Thunder Lotus Games in Montreal in Quebec in Canada. It's worth repeating: I love this soundtrack. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Please consider supporting Level with Emily on …
 
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