Game Music

Preview: Red Faction Guerilla’s Sophisticated Side ~ Orchestral Music From Timothy Wynn

June 2, 2009 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook Preview: Red Faction Guerilla’s Sophisticated Side ~ Orchestral Music From Timothy Wynnon Twitter

Ever since I found out that our good friend Jake “virt” Kaufman was working on Red Faction Guerilla (like, a month ago), I’ve been looking forward to the game. I downloaded the demo on XBLA, and was immediately impressed by the opening theme that greeted me, saying to myself, “Wow, Jake has really adapted himself well to the Hollywood orchestral sound.” Well, it turned out this wasn’t his music, but I was still impressed nonetheless.

When I met Timothy Wynn at the Golden State Pops Orchestra’s “Videogame Soundtracks” concert a few weeks ago, I found out that he was actually the man responsible for this theme. Now it all made sense. I loved hearing the theme live at the GSPO performance, and I also enjoyed Wynn’s work with Christopher Lennertz on Warhawk and The Simpsons, so I was hungry to hear more of what Wynn had prepared for Red Faction Guerilla.

What exactly was Timothy Wynn responsible for on Red Faction Guerilla, and what do we think of his music? Find out after the jump.

As it turns out, Jake Kaufman and other audio team members at Volition handled the in-game music while Timothy Wynn scored a little over 13 minutes of music for the game’s main theme and cutscenes. While I’ll admit this doesn’t stray too far from the traditional Hollywood film score, I really like the dark approach that Wynn took with his portion of the score.

Starting with “Defiance,” which was the track I heard on the demo title screen and at the GSPO performance, I was immediately impressed with the atmosphere that Wynn was able to create with the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra. It opens with a distant bassdrum and some soft electronic elements before a foreboding and repetitive string section goes back and forth between the same two notes in the background. The orchestra then explodes with some string stabs and long, drawn out brass notes, building the tension before an interlude offers a glimmer of hope. The string stabs quickly return, and build layer upon layer until the piece climaxes.

The coolest thing is that pieces of this theme are featured elsewhere on the album, which is a common trick that allows all of the tracks to come together to represent a unified theme. “Uprising” features only brief glimpses of the main theme, taking the approach of a more cinematic action cue this time around, while “End of the Beginning” is a powerful piece with heavy string stabs that made me think Lord Vader was right around the corner.

“Hearts and Minds” relies heavily upon the main theme, relying more heavily upon the brass to offer a more regal sound. “Children of the Stars” works in harp and woodwinds to finally lighten things up a bit with its airy take on the main theme. “Genesis” opens in a similar note, but quickly shifts gears, picking up tempo with staccato string notes that sound like a freight train chugging along on a mission.

The final Wynn offering is “Prelude,” which immediately caught my attention with its traditional orchestral opening, complete with beautiful string sections and brass accents before filtered electronic percussion enters to add a modern touch to the score. I definitely enjoyed this track ,but wish it could have been a bit longer at only a minute in length.

While short, Timothy Wynn’s music from Red Faction Guerilla certainly has me excited about the game. I think it’s some of his most memorable work, and it definitely has me looking forward to hearing the in-game music from Jake Kaufman and the other team members at Volition. Hopefully all of the game’s music makes its way to iTunes, and we’ll keep you posted on any developments in this regard. In the meantime, check out the game demo and pick up the game when it’s released this week.

Did you know that Red Faction Guerilla featured such a diverse team of composers? Are you looking forward to playing the game and hearing the soundtrack this week?

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