13
July 2018
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Cue of the Week: “The Murky Swamp”

This week’s selection from Wizard Ops Tactics portrays the game’s swamp level as a damp and ominous place. Plaintive woodwinds ease in and out over low string undulations, while excerpts of the game’s main theme recur in the brass. The low string lines themselves are just the main theme, slowed down and altered to fit into 7/8 time. (Yes, I’m lazy and prefer to re-use existing material rather than write more.)

06
July 2018
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Cue of the Week: “The Worm Boss”

This week’s cue heralds one of the bad guys in the original Wizard Ops game: a hulking, missile-spewing worm. (I hate when I find one of those in my lawn.)

As befits a worm of this stature, I wrote an apocalyptic piece for chorus, orchestra, and pulsing drums. The choir chants the words “chaos” and “maker”, the latter being part of the ultimate villain’s name.

22
June 2018
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Cue of the Week: “Wizard Ops Tactics”

Last week I highlighted the music of the game Wizard Ops. The followup game Wizard Ops Tactics wasn’t a pure sequel, in that it was a turn-based strategy game rather than pure action. The new music needed to maintain continuity of style and reference the prior game’s theme, but suggest a somewhat different mood.

The opening music for Tactics is urgent rather than frantic. A new theme is introduced at the start, and the reprise of the Wizard Ops melody takes on the character of a militaristic march. To my own set of associations, this was a good match for the “sitting around a battle map” visual of the splash screen.

On a side note, if you missed my interview by the awesome folks over at The Loudmouth Report podcast, you can check it out here!

15
June 2018
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Cue of the Week: “Wizard Ops (Main Theme)”

This week’s cue is the main theme from a visually delightful shooter (or, more accurately, magic-wand-zapper) for iOS and Android. The musical concept was a beat-driven cousin of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, capturing the grumpy supernatural quality of wizardry but adding a frenetic pace appropriate for an action game.

On a side note: I had a great time being interviewed by The Loudmouth Report podcast, and the episode is now online via SoundCloud or iTunes. We discussed film and game music, notation software, and the merits (or lack thereof) of various Star Wars films. Check it out!

01
June 2018
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Cue of the Week: “One Absent Friend”

One joy of the digital music era is being able to go back to old recordings, particularly live recordings, and breathe some new life into them. It’s the composerly equivalent of tinkering with a beloved old car.

I love the musicianship in this bittersweet piano-and-strings cue, but its recording always struck me as a bit thin-sounding, and its stereo spread a bit narrow. Thanks to today’s audio tools, I was able to give the sound more warmth, and width. Enjoy this re-release!

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Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  1. Morituri Te Salutant // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  2. Emerald, Texas // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  3. Mythic Battle // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  4. The Yard Sale // Michael Gordon Shapiro - HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  5. Investigations // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  6. Home Room // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  7. Sands of Arabia // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  8. Spider Cult // HOMEPAGE MUSIC
  9. Poker Night // HOMEPAGE MUSIC