Martin O’Donnell’s indelible choral theme to Halo: Combat Evolved has helped set the tone for Master Chief’s battle against The Covenant from the very beginning. For me, just hearing the word “Halo” is enough to bring those haunting voices and the piece’s somber melody to mind, but with Halo 4 in the hands of a new developer, the time has come for a fresh approach to the series’ soundtrack.
Enter Neil Davidge, who has contributed to the scores for such films as Clash of the Titans and Trouble The Water, but may be better known for his writing and production work on the last three Massive Attack albums, Mezzanine, 100th Window and Heligoland. Davidge has just been announced as the composer for Halo 4, and 343 Industries has released a new ViDoc exploring his approach to creating music for the game.
Just as 343 Industries‘ work on Halo 4 is sure to be closely scrutinized by fans of Bungie’s games, so too is Davidge’s score apt to be held to the high standards set by Martin O’Donnell. This issue was clearly very much on the mind of Halo 4 Audio Director Sotaro Tojima, who nonetheless knew the direction he wanted to pursue with the new game’s score.
“I had a vision for the overall Halo 4 music production that I think of as ‘Digital and Organic’–something very much inspired by the game script. With that vision in mind, I explored Electronica and heavily digitally-processed—based dance music to find that new sound. I also had to respect the game’s previous orchestral experience, while still trying to find something new.”
“But of course Halo games traditionally have strong, weeping melodies to drive the story, so we needed someone who could capture that, but with a very new sound. My prior experience also drove me to look for someone who could create a great-sounding percussion track.”
That “Digital and Organic” aesthetic is very much in evidence during the ViDoc, which showcases snippets of the score composed for Halo 4. If you were worried that choral voices wouldn’t make the cut this time around, rest assured, they’re in there — but so are a number of electronic textures and treatments that clearly separate the new game’s score from those that have come before it.
Check out “Making Halo 4: Composing Worlds” below.
For even more of Halo 4’s score, listen to the soundtrack samples below.
The announcement of Davidge as Halo 4’s composer follows a deluge of news on the forthcoming, highly anticipated game. In the past few days, gamers have had a chance to look at Cortana’s new design, learn about Halo 4’s co-op mode, and explore the question at the heart of the game’s story. On top of all that, a wealth of Halo 4 screenshots hit just this morning.
Ranters, what do you think of Davidge’s approach to Halo 4’s score? Do you like the sample tracks? Can anything ever replace O’Donnell’s chanting monks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Halo 4 releases in 2012, exclusively for the Xbox 360.
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Source: Halo Waypoint