17
May 2013
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Cue of the Week: “Wizard Ops Tactics”

This week’s music selection is the main theme from the freshly-released iOS/Android game Wizard Ops Tactics.

The original Wizard Ops game was a frenetic action-shooter, whereas the successor is a turn-based tactical game. It features the characters and visuals, but completely different gameplay. This raised an interesting question: how to keep a sense of musical continuity between such different experiences?

This cue tackles that problem by reprising the original Wizard Ops theme (which you can hear in full sorcerous glory here) in a more stately, marchlike arrangement. It’s preceded by a slightly mysterious theme that’s unique to the Tactics universe, and recurs throughout the score.


(Click on the play button to stream, or the cue title to download.)

Wizard Ops Tactics
09
November 2016
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Guzheng concerto performed by China National Symphony Orchestra

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I’m very pleased that the Identity guzheng concerto will be performed by the China National Symphony Orchestra on November 13th in Beijing. The concerto will be included with a handful of other pieces for a concert celebrating the 150th birthday of Sun Yat-Sen. The CNSO had previously performed the concerto in 2011.

To use the piece’s full name, Identity: Zhongshan Zhuang is a concerto for guzheng and orchestra that I wrote with Chinese producer/composer Victor Cheng. Since 2010 we’ve been fortunate enough to see it performed many times both in the United States and China, including by prestigious ensembles like the San Francisco Symphony and Chicago Sinfonietta.

Guzheng virtuoso Su Chang has been our soloist since the very first performance, and she’ll be returning once again for this concert.

If you’d like to hear the piece or are just curious what a guzheng sounds like, you can find the album on Amazon or iTunes. (It also appears to be available for streaming via Apple Music, but I can’t figure out how to link to it.)

16
May 2013
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“Wizard Ops Tactics” Released for iOS and Android

Tactical turn-based game Wizard Ops Tactics, a followup to Phyken Media’s 2011 shooter Wizard Ops: Part One, has been released for iOS and Android mobile platforms.

The game features a fantasy-themed orchestral score by Michael, combining musical elements from the prior game with many new themes and an overall pacing more suited to new game’s strategy genre.

The game is available on the iOS App Store and the major Android marketplaces.

 

03
September 2010
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Cue of the Week: “Escape at the Airfield”

Written back when I was a wee composer of 25, this action cue accompanies a daring airplane escape sequence in the film The F-Zone. Using a predominantly string orchestra, and one a bit underpopulated in the brass department, I turned to aggressive (marcato) string bowing as a means of conveying tension.

(Click on the play button to stream, or the cue title to download.)

Escape at the Airfield
 

21
December 2011
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Wizard Ops released for iOS

Wizard Ops

Fantasy-themed action game WizardOps has been released for iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, with an Android version forthcoming.

Michael’s thoughts on the music: “The concept for the score was ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice meets drums ‘n’ bass electronica’, so needless to say it was a really fun compositional undertaking.”

Wizard Ops is currently available for purchase at the iOS app store.

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