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ADG Q&A With Bioshock Infinite Composer Garry Schyman

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Posted on March 19, 2013 AT 02:08pm

Bioshock Infinite is very close to being here and your boi, ADG is back with an incredible honor of having an exclusive Q & A with the guy behind the music of the game. When it comes to setting the mood and presentation, you have to have your musical score on point. It sets everything from the tone, the mood, and more that gamer’s will get out of their experience.

ADG: Hi. Garry Schyman thanks for being here with us for this interview. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself.

Garry Schyman: I went to USC and studied music composition and knew from the start that I wanted to be a film and television composer.  When I graduated, I got hired almost immediately to work for Mike Post and Pete Carpenter on some very iconic television series such as “The A-Team” and “Magnum PI”.  I went on to score films, television series and movies for television.  In 2004 I competed for the opportunity to score a video game called Destroy All Humans! They wanted a 1950’s sci-fi score a la Bernard Herrmann which sounded like great fun to me.  I got the gig and very much enjoyed the experience and suddenly I started being offered more video game projects.  Then BioShock came along, which was really an amazing opportunity. Getting to write that music for it was fantastic on many levels both creatively and from a standpoint of making my work known in the industry. It garnered a lot of additional opportunities for me.


ADG: Going into Bioshock Infinite did you have any new ideas that you wanted to do for this game?

Garry Schyman: I didn’t come into the process with pre-conceived notions about what the score should be or not be. The proper thing for a composer starting a new project to do is to listen to the creative team and to look at whatever material they provide to inspire you, whether it’s images or gameplay video capture, general information, scripts etc. and then start to experiment and send music to them as you develop ideas. I knew it was going to be a fantastic creative opportunity because it was an Irrational game with Ken Levine as the creative director. So I was excited and my expectation was to do something really unique because that’s what Ken wants and demands.  But I did not go into the process with any preconceived notions on what the new score should sound like.  I had to discover that.

Garry Schyman

 

ADG: From my understanding you did work with the original Bioshock. The game     had a classic story as well as soundtrack score. What is your favorite score from that game?

Garry Schyman: Probably “Welcome To Rapture.” It was a wonderful creative challenge to compose, felt right for the game and subsequently stands on its own as an interesting piece of music that gets performed by various orchestras throughout the world. I really like that piece of music.


ADG: What is the main theme for Bioshock Infinite and is it your favorite score? If it isn’t what score is your favorite and why?

Garry Schyman: My favorite track is Elizabeth’s theme and comes closest to what you would call a main theme. It’s a simple piece of music but it brought all the ideas together and helped me find the direction for how the rest of the score would sound like. It was critical to find her a musical theme that properly represented Elizabeth because her character is so central to the game.   I don’t really have a favorite score.  I guess it’s always the score I am working on at the moment.  But I am very pleased with how it turned out.  It has a very unique quality to it.


ADG: I’m sure you got to play BioShock Infinite? Is there anything great about the game that you’re sure will excite fans of the series?

Garry Schyman: Actually I never get to play the games I score until they are finished.  Often they are not playable till much later.  Or only a few levels are playable.

As far as anything great about the game that will excite the fans I can assure you that the game is amazing!  Everything I’ve seen and know about it makes me anxious to play it.  I do not think it is overstating it to say that the game is groundbreaking.

The soundtrack will include unique song performed by actors Troy Baker (Booker DeWitt) and Courtnee Draper (Elizabeth).

ADG: Out of the series of Bioshock games. What is your favorite moment and your favorite character?

Garry Schyman: As I have said I have not played Bioshock Infinite so can’t compare it but frankly I loved both BS1 and BS2.  I guess BS1 was cool in that it was the first of the two and presented this amazing set of characters and story and style of playing.  They’re both great games but BS1 was the first and it was such a fresh new game idea – so perhaps that gives it an extra bit of weight on the scale.

Sander Cohen (from BioShock) was one of my favorite characters.  He is just a fascinating person. He’s likable and hateful all at once. He’s very complex which I really like. He’s theatrical and over-the-top. All those aspects of his personality make him really interesting to write music for.

Elizabeth (from BioShock Infinite) because she’s such an interesting character. I can’t talk too much about her because it would be giving away more information than I am permitted for now but let’s just say that she has a fascinating background and the game evolves around her and her story in a really interesting way.

Garry Schyman: “..she has a fascinating background and the game evolves around her and her story in a really interesting way.”


ADG: Ken Levine is the man at Irrational Games but who is a better gamer overall? If you guys were going head to head in a game who would win?

Garry Schyman: Since Ken runs Irrational Games I would have to say Ken! :)

 I want to thank Garry Schyman for taking the time out to answer these questions. Bioshock Infinite soundtrack is available with the Limited and Premium Songbird Edition of the game.

 BioShock Infinite launches on March 26, 2013. Your Boi, ADG Says Preorder Today!

Being a fan of video games, since introduced to him by his brother looking at Combat and Pac-Man on the Atari. AntDaGamer has been in touch with video games, art, and technology. Grasping his hands around several video game related websites and communities such as TGN, GameOn, Twitch.tv, Youtube, and his own site AntDaGamer.Com. Ant has managed to find contacts in the industry and show he has a passion to do anything video game related.


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