Merry Podmas: 7 Composition Podcasts

December 9th, 2014 • Composer Quest


Welcome to this special Christmas episode of Composer Quest! Since I'll be taking a break from interviews (until I find a few more patrons...wink wink), I thought I'd share a few of my favorite music composition and music production podcasts. If you've been listening to Composer Quest, you've heard from many of these podcast hosts before. Continue reading...

N64 Composer Grant Kirkhope Talks Banjo-Kazooie, GoldenEye, Perfect Dark

December 3rd, 2014 • Composer Quest


It was an honor interviewing legendary composer Grant Kirkhope about his time at Rare, where he worked on some of the most popular video game soundtracks of all time. In this episode of Composer Quest, Grant talks about composing within the very small limits of the Nintendo 64 cartridge, and he shares some stories behind the soundtracks to Banjo Kazooie, Banjo Tooie, GoldenEye 007, and Perfect Dark. We also talk about Grant's more recent orchestral work for Kingdoms of Amalur and Civilization: Beyond Earth, and he shares his favorite chord progressions that keep coming back in his music. Continue reading...

Chiptune Composing with Ben Burnes

November 26th, 2014 • Composer Quest


In today's episode of Composer Quest, I talk with fellow Minnesotan Ben Burnes, who has been writing chiptune music for games (12 games in 12 weeks, as a matter of fact). He just released them in his album Three Red Hearts, and in our talk he shares some tips on creating video game music. We also Continue reading...

Quest 13: Arias on Tap, the Sequel

November 25th, 2014 • Composer Quest


For the next Composer Quest quest, we're partnering with Opera on Tap Twin Cities again to premiere new arias and art songs. You can write for up to 4 voices accompanied by electronic piano. Optional additional instruments are clarinet, bassoon, and euphonium. Send your new composition to charlie@composerquest.com and twincities@operaontap.com on or before December 28 at 11:59pm central time. Continue reading...

How to Create a FEZ Track Like Disasterpeace

November 20th, 2014 • Composer Quest, Production Tips


I had the privilege of watching Rich Vreeland (aka Disasterpeace) give a live music production demo at Gamer’s Rhapsody this past weekend. I recorded it for my new sub-podcast of Composer Quest, Charlie's Music Production Lessons. In the talk, you’ll get to hear Rich composing a track on the fly. He shares his secret ingredients in scoring the video game FEZ: the Massive synth, with heavy amounts of reverb, bitcrushing, randomness, and tape warble. Continue reading...

Scoring and Re-scoring Films with Alex Ruger

November 19th, 2014 • Composer Quest


By day, he works for living legends Danny Elfman and Inon Zur. By night, he composes film scores himself and "re-scores" classic films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Inception, and Saving Private Ryan. In this episode of Composer Quest, Alex Ruger talks about his personal challenge to add score to scenes that, admittedly, should not have music. We also discuss his vegetable-based sample library, Lord of the Rings music theory, and how he got the gig with his longtime hero, Danny Elfman. Continue reading...

Chopin, Hendrix, and Pianist Paul Cantrell

November 12th, 2014 • Composer Quest


What do Chopin and Jimi Hendrix have in common? What do "Graceland" and "Yesterday" have in common? How do mp3s work? What is the purpose of music? These are just a few of the random topics Paul Cantrell and I talk about in today's episode of Composer Quest. He has a ton of golden nuggets for composers, and you'll get to hear him live at the piano, explaining the composing styles of Chopin, Brahms, and Paul Cantrell himself. Continue reading...