The indie roleplaying game, Rainbow Skies launched on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Vita this week. I am currently hard at work in my playthrough of it so that I can bring you a complete review.
In the meanwhile, we had the honor of being able to speak with the Rainbow Skies’s composer, Eanan Patterson. He gave us his thoughts a few things and answered some of our questions. It was very informative and we are glad to be able to bring it to you.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your career so far?
Well, where to start? I’m a composer & violinist currently living in Ireland. I was born into a very musical family and started learning music as early as 5 years old. I’ve been very lucky in my career to meet some incredibly talented and generous people who not only took a chance on me but also have continued to support & encourage my work. My portfolio ranges from television to web series, film and most recently, video games with my music being used on shows like FOX’s Gotham, or film promos for 20th Century ’s Fantastic Four. As a violinist, I’ve been extremely blessed to work for talents like video game composing legend, Steve Ouimette, and film composer Rupert Gregson-Williams.
You have worked on the soundtracks for multiple video games, with that said do you play any video games yourself?
I’m an ‘old school’ gamer having loved video games since the early 80’s! My first ever game experience was Midway’s Galaxian mini arcade series. I later upgraded to my first Nintendo console in my early teens. I currently game on Xbox, PS4 & PC. My favorite games being Mass Effect 2, Last of Us and GTA Online.
Is there a big difference in your process for creating the tracks for a video game vs something like a movie or a television show?
When it comes to writing, the overall process is always the same, regardless of genre. How a composer approaches scoring a project differs from person to person, but for me, each project typically follows the same structure setup. There is always a clear vision of what the music should be from the client and it’s up to you to accomplish that vision to the best of your ability. The only main difference I found with scoring Rainbow Skies was the lack of visual cue scoring you normally deal with on television and film projects. Besides the opening and closing cutscenes, all the music I wrote was ‘player activity’ based. What that means is the music written had to reflect how the player was interacting with the environment; exploring a village, searching a dungeon, battling monsters or just fishing in one of the mini-games!
Of all the projects you have worked on, which one are you most proud of?
That’s a very difficult question. I’d have to say scoring 5 seasons of web series, The Guild created by Felicia Day. It was one of my first gigs and opened the door to most of my more recent major projects. I’m very proud of the music I wrote for the show and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunities it gave me in my career.
Of the tracks you created for Rainbow Skies, which was your personal favorite?
I have a good few, but if you’re forcing me to choose ONE, then it would be ‘The Story of Wondira’. A big part of my brief for Rainbow Skies was blending Eastern & Western musical styles. Not an easy task let me tell you! I feel ‘Wondira’ best represents that blending of styles & culture, musically.
Do you see yourself continuing to work on video game soundtracks in the future, if so is there a particular series you’d like to have to chance to work on?
I certainly hope so. Getting to work with Marcus Pukropski and the rest of the Side-quest Studios team was a real pleasure. Their passion for Rainbow Skies was a true inspiration for me and helped push the limits of my own contribution to this amazing game. With so many great games being showcased at E3 recently its hard to pick just one particular series. I still feel I’ve a lot to learn in this genre so I’d truly love to continue working with indie game developers, to be part of something new and help build it up from the start!
Would you have any advice for someone aspiring to compose music for video games on a professional level?
The most important advice I ever received was to focus on my ‘voice’ as a composer. As writers, we need to be versatile in our abilities to blend and adapt with whatever briefs come our way. Saying that having a ‘voice’, a style that separates you from the pack, something unique and distinctive is truly the most important goal of any composer. Figure out your ‘voice’, develop & perfect it… the work will come, believe in your voice.
Again we were very happy to be able to bring you this interview. We should have a full review up for Rainbow Skies this week. Spoiler, so far I am enjoying it quite a bit. We would like to thank Eanan Patterson for taking the time to speak with us, and we look forward to hearing more of his work on future soundtracks.
Brian Cowan loves playing video games, football, Magic, and pretty much anything else that he can use as an excuse to waste time. When he is not doing the above or working, he is usually writing or reading.