Game Music

A Boy And His Blob Audio Retrospective With Daniel Sadowski

November 24, 2009 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook A Boy And His Blob Audio Retrospective With Daniel Sadowskion Twitter

As promised in our A Boy And His Blob soundtrack review last week, we’re back with a second interview with composer Daniel Sadowski, following up on some of our pre-release interview several months back. He has a lot to say about his work on the project and some of the individual tracks from the game. You might get a kick out of the fact that he says Blaster Master was a musical inspiration for him.

The biggest news of all, however? There will be an iTunes release for the game’s soundtrack. We don’t know when that will be, but we’ll be sure to let you know when. In the meantime, check out our interview with Daniel Sadowski and visit his Facebook page for more up to date information on the upcoming soundtrack release.

Hit the jump for our interview with Daniel Sadowski.

OSV: Hello Daniel. It’s been awhile since we talked to you about A Boy and His Blob, and now the game’s out there for all the world to enjoy. Let’s start by asking what your thoughts have been regarding the reception of the game and its music since it was released?

Sadowski: The reception has been amazing. Fans and new comers to the game seem to appreciate all of the hard work and effort that went into the title. The music has been praised by numerous reviews, so I can’t be happier. It was an awesome experience composing for such a classic title, and I know it’s a project that everyone who was involved, will look back and be very proud of.

OSV: When we talked to you before the game was released, you said you were pretty far along with the game’s music. Do you have any stories for us about how you wrapped things up and how everything came together? Were you satisfied with how it turned out?

Sadowski: When we last spoke I believe I had finished the majority of the score. The entire process was very smooth. My creative thoughts were perfectly in line with Wayforward’s and Sean Velasco. Sean was awesome at communicating his feelings on the music, and at the same time letting me have the freedom to create what I felt was right. At the very end of the process, Sean did come back to me for a couple of extra clips. When I finished the music, we only had one “Boss Defeat” theme. Sean felt that we needed 2 more, one for the Emperor on Blobolonia, and another for the final boss fight. These clips turned out awesome, and they definitely made the ending boss victories more powerful.

OSV: There are a number of things we need to talk to you about, the first of which is the amazing cave track, “Subterra,” from the second world. It’s a really subdued ambient track, and seems to be a fan favorite as well as one of your favorites. Take us through the creation of this piece. Was it one of the first or last songs you wrote, and why do you think fans are enjoying it so much?

Sadowski: Yes, the caves theme was very personal to me. It really is a combination of a bunch of elements. The music that I loved growing up from games like the old 8-bit Blaster Master and those types of adventure games were an inspiration. Also I put a lot of Major 7th chords and some jazz element into the piece. Because the caves piece would come about half way in the game, I wanted music at this point at the game to be adventurous, dreamy, and very ambient so that it could pull the player in. At this point in the game, players have started this awesome adventure and experienced the amazing world of ABAHB, now I wanted to engross them into a ambient, dreamy place, right before they are about to go into the later heavier darker levels like the citadel. So in that respect, this clip was like the transition clip to help with that aspect of the game play, and making the player feel like the are “traveling” through an adventure.

OSV: I also really enjoyed the track that plays in the home base in the Fortress area. It’s kind of a clock tower-ish piece with clicks and whirs of machines and is rather minimalistic in terms of musicality. Tell us a bit about this track.

Sadowski: Yes, I used minimal winds and strings along with sound effects of clocks and such. Also if you listen to that piece, it sort of has slight tension and a feeling of “we are close to the end” and “what darkness lurks around the corner.” I put a small hint of what’s to come in this piece, though very subtly. So again, its little elements like these that not only can help tell the story or establish the environment, but can help foreshadow things to come as well as help give the game an emotional and progressive arc.

OSV: We of course have to discuss the vocal theme that took us by surprise at the end of the game. The credits list you as the composer, Director Sean Velasco as the lyricist, and Bethany Mosley as the singer. This seems to be a special piece for you, so tell us about the work that went into creating it.

Sadowski: Yes this piece was very important to the game and also in rewarding the player. I think it was a great piece of music to have play, once the game was beat. This was the sort of music, where I knew the basic style and vibe that we were going for. I just came into my studio, sat down, cleared my mind, and played it on the piano. This piece really did write itself. I did have a few revisions on it, and there were some issues with getting the lyrics to go with the music right, but from the start, this piece really did write itself. I also wanted to have an “end credits” “conclusion” sort of feeling. So gamers would feel like they just watched a film, and now the ending was finally here, but we wanted to end on a sentimental note, and I think the music achieved that. Sean came up with wonderful lyrics. This piece was very dear to Wayforward, so I always made sure to be super sensitive to their feelings about the direction. Bethany Mosley who is an amazing vocalist provided the vocals. Everything just happened naturally, and that shows in this piece.

OSV: We also noticed you snuck in the classic theme from the A Boy and His Blob on the NES. It appears in a few stages throughout the game, and is a lot of fun with its upbeat melody and retro-style simplicity. Was it determined early on that you’d work this theme into the game, and did you have fun arranging it?

Sadowski: Yes, this clip was always in the game music document. It was great fun revisiting this theme which is from the classic game. I used orchestral instruments instead of beeps and squeaks J of course. Yeah, it was just a lot of fun to redo that piece. As you know the original game only really had like 1 or 2 pieces of music, so to include this piece was definitely for the fans of the old game. I think it was a great way to bring back some of the nostalgia.

OSV: Fans who complete all of the challenge stages in the third world are treated to a music player that plays most of the game’s soundtrack. Did you have any hand in getting this implemented into the game?

Sadowski: I believe I was always bugging Sean trying to get as much musical things into the game. I think Sean or someone at Wayforward came up with the idea of the music player. Honestly I didn’t know that they were going to do it the way that they did (throwing jellybeans to the different blobs) until I beat that part of the game. So it was a great surprise and joy for me to see how they decided to implement that player.

OSV: Although there is the music player in the game, is there any chance we’ll see the game’s soundtrack released in any physical or digital form in the future? It’s definitely deserving of a release, and hope it gets out there somehow.

Sadowski: Yes! It’s actually going to happen. As we speak the wheels are turning. You should see it on iTunes or Amazon, or who knows where. But it is going to happen. Hopefully we can get the message out there to the people that bought the game, that it is going to be out, so please check on my website or Facebook page as well as the ABAHB Facebook page in the days to come. I have to say, that even though people played the game and heard the music, a lot of times there is so much going on in the game as far as on screen action, or sfx, and sometimes I’m sure people will really not hear the entire score the way that it was made to be heard. So I really recommend giving the score a chance as a separate entity from the game. I think people will enjoy it.

OSV: Any final comments about A Boy and His Blob and what the game has meant to you and will mean to you moving forward? Do you feel you’ve changed as a composer as a result of working on this project?

Sadowski: The game has been a wonderful experience. Its one of those projects that I am so happy to have worked on. Everyone involved with the game seemed to be on the same page, and like Sean Velasco said, “the stars really seemed to align for this one.” I’m sure people will continue to play this game and search for it long after the Wii is gone. In that respect, it will become a sort of underground hit like the other ones before it. A far as having changed as a composer thought the process, I would have to say that on every project that I work on, I change a little, learn a little, grow a little, it really is a life long process, being a composer.

OSV: Do you know at this time what you’ll be working on next? I’m looking forward to hearing more of your music in games.

Sadowski: I’m glad that you like hearing my stuff J I actually just finished a game called Disciples 3. It is a sequel to the fantasy/strategy titles that were pretty big hits around the globe, and especially in Europe. It’s coming out in Europe first, then it will come out in the US. For that score, it is a dark, orchestral, percussive score that is completely opposite of Blob. It’s been in production for like 3 years or something! They just came to me a little while ago to complete the score, which is the final process of the game being finished. I would ask people to please visit my website and facebook page where I have info about the projects that I am working on. In addition to that I have a couple more things brewing, including a possible remake of another NES classic so please stay tuned.

OSV: Thank you for your time, and congratulations on completing an amazing score for A Boy and His Blob.

Sadowski: Thank you, it was a pleasure speaking with you guys.

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