So for the last few years I’ve been writing music for the AAA video game franchise Destiny,
Which is of course related closely to the “space fantasy” genre AKA Sci-fi/Fantasy.
I hope I can give some of you aspiring composers some insights as to how I approach writing for this genre, whether it’s for game, television or film.
Going through the submissions I had four main criterias on which I based my choice of the favourite five tracks –
As a composer for media, we often walk the narrow line between the “generic” and the “avant garde”. I feel like none of these two extremes is very successful in our field. the challenge is portraying the emotional impact, narrative and landscape of a futuristic fantasy story while respecting the genre, it’s history and it’s audience and at the same time, having your music sound fresh and original.
Space fantasy scores are often considered either fully orchestral or synth heavy. each of these approaches require a hefty amount of craftsmanship in order to be done well,
I was paying attention to use of sample libraries and midi programming as well as interesting synthesis where applicable.
I’m a big fan of incorporating some solo acoustic instruments, either performed in a traditional way or mangled to the point of being unrecognizable. this might not be a staple in this specific genre but it’s a good way to make your track stand out. it’s always good to have some “moving air” in your track.
Which is basically no different to other genres – I was looking to hear tracks with a lot of depth (space) in them, with wide panorama and contrast between far away sounding channels and some more up close, covering all of the frequency spectrum.
Being appropriate to the genre.
These tracks should sound like they came out of a sci-fi fantasy film / game / tv show.
Easier said than done. I know.
Episode 03 – Space Fantasy
So here are my favourite five –
Giacomo Rita – Alastra
I really like the ethereal opening and than the groove of this track, it has some cool spacey sound design elements and it is overall well produced. it also has the right balance between being unique but still relevant to the genre. would love to also hear a more distinct thematic material (AKA a melody). well done!
Mathieu Duguay – Like a Million Suns
This track is very evocative and powerful. orchestral and choral elements are well produced. I like the use of reverberation and pulsating synths, very apropos to the genre. it is a bit more on the epic trailer vibe, but that’s cool!
Francesco Rignanese – Arrival
Really cool sound design and ambient work on this one. very evocative and unique mixture of almost horror film soundtrack and baroque-ish orchestra. it’s quite a bit out of the fantasy genre, but I like it!
Ari Politi – Breakdown of Tradition
Like the name suggest, this track is featuring both traditional elements and contemporary sounds and techniques. it’s a bit more on “song” side, but very cool stuff!
Tsvetelin Tsvetkov – Stars
An atmospheric orchestral track with some very nice lead lines. midi production could have been more detailed, but this would sound beautiful with a live orchestra!
Thanks to everyone who submitted their music!