Game Music

Winifred Phillips, LBP2 and Toy Story: Triple Win!

September 9, 2011 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Winifred Phillips, LBP2 and Toy Story: Triple Win!on Twitter

Hello OSV friends. Missed me? I missed you too. I won’t be writing nearly as much as I used to, but I’ve always been too big a fan of game music to disappear forever, and Jayson was gracious enough to allow me to do some guest contribution articles.

I return to tell you about some new work from one of my favorite composers, Ms. Winifred Phillips. It’s not a big chunk of music, but it leaves a lasting impression. What is it? Well, as the graphic above indicates, it’s some original music for the Toy Story DLC for LittleBIGPlanet 2.

Alongside music producer Winnie Waldron (more “win,” with thanks to Charlie Sheen), Ms. Phillips put together three pieces of music, each with six unique layers that fade in and out depending on the environment and what all is going on within the game. So while the music may only be three tracks, one could look at it as an amalgam of 18 miniature themes, in 3 different styles, layered together.

Interested in more? Check it out after the jump. Oh, I’ve missed saying that…

The three tracks are a “Big Band” theme, a “Space” theme, and a “Western” theme. The first is the closest to the sort of piano-heavy jazz music Randy Newman wrote for the films, though Philips’s contribution is (obviously) instrumental. This is a fun, jazzy track you could dance to. Easily.

The second track surprised me in the sense that it wasn’t too dark or whole-tone for my ears. My children also got into this one. It has “space opera” written all over it, as an epic orchestral march kind of piece. My eldest son, listening to this track, spontaneously broke into a march, coming down on the two main beats in this 6/8 piece. Booming, loud, and fun.

The last track was a natural fit, following one of Toy Story’s protagonists (Woody) into a Western toy wonderland. Anyone who has heard and enjoyed Yasunori Mitsuda’s “Hako no Niwa” will fall in love with this fun little bit of music.

As I’d written in other posts covering Phillip’s work, I have to emphasize that my adoration of her work doesn’t come from some sort of affirmative action stance in the VGM world. But, with that said, how many female composers do *you* know working in film and game music? Yes, Japan has a fair number; now cut it down to just the American ones. You see my point? The scene is dominated by men, and Winifred Phillips is blazing a trail as one of the few female game music composers in the (wild) West.

To our knowledge, Phillips hasn’t had a chance to publish this music anywhere (iTunes, Amazon, or even Bandcamp are wonderful outlets for these mini-releases!), but you can not only experience it, but also throw it in your own created levels if you pick up LBP2 and the Toy Story DLC. Be sure to check it out if it piques your interest. Also, for more on this, check out The Examiner’s interview with Winifred Phillips, conducted by Mark Morton. Also noteworthy: this post on Phillips’s official site.

Below: the “Big Band” theme. Listen for the beautiful piano parts interspersed throughout the horn leads.

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