Game Music

GDC 2009: Worlds Collide With Gerard Marino and Carmen Rizzo

April 1, 2009 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook GDC 2009: Worlds Collide With Gerard Marino and Carmen Rizzoon Twitter

What happens when you combine God of War composer Gerard Marino with Carmen Rizzo, one of the top guys in global electronic music?  Amazing things, apparently, as was demonstrated by the duo’s GDC panel titled “The Dynamic Composing Duo: An Orctronica Case Study.” The two are currently working on an MMO that I’ve been told not to mention, but if you do a little digging around the Internet, it’s pretty easy to find out what it is.

The much-too-brief 20-minute session was packed with music clips from the title, all of which sounded amazing. Even more, we were able to get a look into what the two originally submitted as their demo for the project as well as hear both Gerard and Carmen’s contributions separately and together, which was a cool experience. I’ll say right now that I’m really excited about the music for this game!

Hit the jump to find out why.

The session started with Gerard explaining that film composers are traditionally taught to be jackknives of all trades while the gaming industry often requires composers to specialize. He acknowledged that composer duos are nothing new in tackling this challenge, and Rizzo followed by describing his “specialty” as remixing, electronic music, and world music. The two apparently met on the set of Swordfish where Gerard was doing some electronic programming for the film’s orchestral music and Carmen was working with Paul Oakenfold on the electronic tracks. Gerard and Carmen became friends, stayed in touch over the years, and then decided they’d try getting some projects together, and it wasn’t long before they landed their first gig.

The project they’re working on is a modern day MMO, and there were originally three different sounds that the team was looking for including a “Bourne series-like” style, heavy metal, and smooth contemporary electronic music. They proceeded to play clips from their demo submission for each category, and while “Mission to Algiers” (their smooth contemporary electronic submission) was pretty damn cool, the Gerard and Carmen were surprised to learn that they were selected to do the heavy metal music.

While they were still recovering from the shock, the developer decided to switch things up and requested a more 70s police drama sound ala Dirty Harry instead. Gerard explained that, “[They] didn’t want it to sound like porn,” so they decided to compose modern music using sounds and instruments from the 70s, including Rhodes, Wurlitzer, analog synthesizers, overdriven guitars, and bass. When a clip was played to demonstrate this sound, they added electronic percussion and evolving atmospheres had a cool sort of Metroid-esque sound.

The rest of the session focused on the separate parts written by the two, who apparently worked in their respective studios and only collaborated on music in person on one occasion. Gerard’s portion featured tense string swells and some killer flanged guitar, while Rizzo’s portion started with metallic atmospheres before busting out some buzzy synths and industrial percussion. The two portions were then played together, and yes, it sounded amazing, especially considering the non-specific instructions they were given for the music. Unfortunately visuals were unavailable, and the duo was asked to write “2 minutes of stealth music taking place in Eastern Europe.” Not very descriptive, but it looks like they’ve figured it out, and I can’t wait to hear more.

Are you a fan of either Carmen Rizzo or Gerard Marino’s work? Are you looking forward to hearing the result of their collaboration?

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

« Next Post

Previous Post »

More like this Post