Game Music

An Honor to Serve: Ramin Djawadi Talks Medal of Honor Reboot

December 7, 2010 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook An Honor to Serve: Ramin Djawadi Talks Medal of Honor Rebooton Twitter

While Ramin Djawadi has been making a name for himself in the film industry, his entrance into the videogame industry this year was also quite explosive. In what I see as one of the biggest surprises of the year, Djawadi gave the traditionally orchestral Medal of Honor soundtrack an impressive reboot along with the series, updating the sound into something more modern, and we were eager to find out his thoughts on the score and how he came to work on the project.

I recommend heading over and reading Gideon’s review of the soundtrack, then digging into our interview with Ramin Djawadi after the jump!

OSV: Hello, and thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Can you start by telling us how you came to work on this project? Were you familiar with the Medal of Honor franchise before being asked to score this title?

Djawadi: The initial start was that I ran into a EA music executive at a party and we started talking that it would be fun to work together.

We met at EA shortly after and discussed that the new Medal of Honor game would be a good fit. I was a huge fan of the franchise and was very excited that this would be my first game score.

OSV: The Medal of Honor series has been a long-running franchise, featuring mainly orchestral musical from composers Michael Giacchino and Christopher Lennertz. Your score is very different. What directions were you given in terms of how the game should sound, and were the scores of Giachino or Lennertz mentioned at all or referenced during your work on the title?

Djawadi: First of all I would like to mention that I’m a big fan of both of their previous scores for the franchise and at first thought I would write a traditional orchestral score. But it was then presented to me that the game was getting a complete reboot and that it was set in modern day. So we approached the score in a very different way as well. The location also played a big role. However, we tried to still stay true to the franchise by creating an emotional score.

OSV: What tools did you use to create the score? Were you able to record a live orchestra? Were there particular pieces of hardware or software that really gave your Medal of Honor score a distinct sound?

Djawadi: I used a lot of ethnic solo instruments, lots of percussion and a small string section. I do a lot of sound processing on my computer, most of it is done in Logic or Pro Tools.

OSV: We listened to and enjoyed the soundtrack released on iTunes. What can you tell us about this soundtrack as a complete listening experience, and was all of the music from the game included in the release?

Djawadi: The exciting thing about this Medal of Honor game was that there was a wide range of different pieces to write. I think the album is a nice representation of the score. You can find gritty action pieces and then very emotional string pieces. I hope it takes you on the Medal of Honor journey even without playing the game.

OSV: What makes scoring for a game more rewarding than scoring for film? What makes scoring a game less rewarding?

Djawadi: It is always rewarding to complete any project. There is a lot of music in the game and we worked hard on keeping it interesting and enjoyable for the player.

OSV: Would you consider yourself a gamer? Do you have favorite game scores either past or present?

Djawadi: Absolutely. Scoring this game brought this back to life. I used to play a lot more when I was younger. I’m trying to get back into it.

OSV: While you’ve had a career writing music in the film industry, this is your first game to our knowledge. Can you tell us about the experience, and what it has meant to your career? Can we expect to see you working in games again in the future?

Djawadi: It has been a wonderful experience working with the entire team at EA. I’m glad I had the opportunity to work on a game score. I’m definitely interested in doing this again.

OSV: Are you able at this time to tell us what you’ll be working on next, whether in film of videogames?

Djawadi: I can’t at this time until it is official.

OSV: Thanks again for your time, and we’re looking forward to hearing your music more in videogames in the future!

Djawadi: Thank you.

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