We have asked our interviewees to select five tracks from various scores that they think are interesting, forward-thinking or even underrated. There are no limits to which tracks our interviewees can choose; the aim is to give you, readers, a real glimpse into the composer’s tastes and musical identity.
Rich Vreeland, or better known by his stage name Disasterpeace, is a veritable force in the composition industry. His breadth of musical styles and the range of mediums he uses them in truly set him aside from others in the field. Vreeland’s past work is predominately centred around video game music, most notably Mini Metro, Reigns and the recently released Hyper Light Drifter.
After the release of his first feature film composition, the critically acclaimed score for the horror sensation It Follows (dir. David Robert Mitchell), the composer provided Score It Magazine with an inside look at his diverse and exciting career. He also shared with us a few of his favourite scores, these range in type and medium from the electronic Donkey Kong soundtrack to the atmospheric There Will be Blood score.
- ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’—Ennio Morricone (From The Good, The Bad & The Ugly by Sergio Leone, 1966). I’ve always loved this track since I heard it at a Metallica concert as a teenager, and then found a renewed appreciation for it watching The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly. The scene is disorienting with all the twirling, yet simple and powerful, and the music captures that frantic drive to the goal in an iconic, anthemic way.
- ‘Aquatic Ambiance’—David Wise (From Donkey Kong Country, 1994). This song so perfectly captures an idealistic notion of being underwater, and tonally it’s funny that it’s in a Donkey Kong game, because it wouldn’t be too out of place as a vocal ballad in an early 90s movie.
- ‘Athletic’—Koji Kondo (From Super Mario World, 1990). It can be hard to separate nostalgia from a genuine fondness but Koji Kondo’s music has often passed the test of time for me. He pulls from so many different sources and styles to create the sound world of Mario, and the kind of light, cute aesthetic that the music took on for Yoshi’s Island I will always have a soft spot for.
- ‘Open Spaces‘—Jonny Greenwood (From There Will be Blood by Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007). To me, this cue uses a relatively simple but very expressive motif to do a really good job of expressing the time period, emotional quality and setting of There Will Be Blood. Also, the Ondes Martenot settles into the orchestra so subtly and effectively that I often forget there is an Ondes Martenot.
- ‘Too Late to Love You’—Ben Babbitt (From Kentucky Route Zero, 2013). This is one of the most iconic and memorable scenes I can ever recall in a video game, and the song really puts it over the top. It does a great job of humanizing a robot character, and I love that it’s a choose your own adventure song.
Banner image: Rich Vreeland by Nika States, courtesy of Nika States