InFAMOUS is the story of Cole McGrath, a bike messenger given an assignment to deliver a package that is secretly a bomb. Cole survives the massive explosion and develops electricity-based powers. Soon, he discovers that his city has fallen into chaos under the rule of gangs and factions and must fight back against them to restore order while unearthing the conspiracy behind the package.
Music4Games was talking with the electronic musician and composer Amon Tobin in an interview where he talked about the soundtrack of InFAMOUS game for Playstation 3, score created by Amon and composers Jim Dooley, Mel Wesson and Martin Tillman.
Somo highlights from the interview:
M4G: So, how exactly did you work with the other composers? Please explain the process. How much collaboration and interaction was there between each of you? How were you able to add your own identity to the music?
Amon Tobin: For my part the process was often to go to the Sony studio and record the foley material first. Jonathan had built this incredible room full of toys and we experimented together to create sounds that I might find useful later on. Sometimes we would record musicians also. I would sing simple hooks and bass lines (badly) for virtuoso players to politely humor me with. Then I’d take all the stuff we’d recorded back to my studio and start piecing it together. I’d process the sounds, make the arrangements and mixes, and then send back individual stems.
Sometimes for the sake of continuity it was necessary to reflect themes Jim had written for the cinematics in the in-game music. On those occasions Jim would send me stems he had made and I’d incorporate those into new arrangements.
M4G: What were the main challenges of writing and producing the score?
Amon Tobin: I’d say it’s finding a balance between what works musically and what is most effective in terms of mood. The challenge is in not compromising either way.
M4G: What kinds of samplers / techniques did you employ to add the gritty/urban vibe?
Amon Tobin: There was a lot of manipulation applied to the foley material but I also wanted there to be a strong electronic element so I used a mixture of sound design techniques and audio twisting processes to try and merge the two.
M4G: What have you learned from this experience that might be applied on other scoring assignments / recording projects?
Amon Tobin: I learn something every time I sit in the studio whether it’s working on a score or collaboration or on my own music. There are so many ways of doing things and some are more appropriate when applied to scoring in the same way some are more useful when applied to just making a tune. My hope is that I can progress in general but also be able to take something from one discipline and apply it to another.
Rea Full Interview here.
Recently Wired post a video-interview with Amon Tobin and the Sony Music team talking about the use of found objects and field recordings to create the dark and grimy videogame score for InFAMOUS.