The video game score has over the past few years grown in popularity, and it is also a medium that I see as something that will maybe encourage a younger generation of film music fans. Because let’s face it video game scores are film music, they are scores for moving images on screen, and I have to add that in the past three to four years these scores have certainly come of age with composers delivering grandiose and near operatic examples. One such composer is Gareth Coker, his music for two games caught my attention and have stayed with me as I return to them regularly.
Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps, are both amazingly well-crafted scores, these are a film music fans dream come true, overflowing with rich romantically laced themes, and also containing robust action material with ethereal sounding passages and haunting tone poems scattered throughout. The composer utilizes choir and female voice to great effect throughout both soundtracks, and underlines and enhances these with lilting and tender strings that are complimented by poignant sounding woods to achieve something that is for want of a better word pure. The composer has worked on many more projects shorts, movies, TV series and more games. His music is in a word stunning. The composer manages to evoke the sound and style of the golden age of Hollywood, but also infuses his compositions with a more contemporary sound that bares his own unique musical fingerprint, In the scores for the two Ori games he has established a sound that is innovative as well as inventive, creating wonderfully affecting thematic material that one cannot help but be attracted to because of its alluring and at times hypnotic musical persona.
I cannot say that one Ori score is better than the other, as both have so much within them that will please. Every cue is a delight, each composition is special, with every note being placed meticulously in position. If you are looking for grand, romantic, powerful, lyrical, action led, emotive, and a whole lot more, well its all here.
These are predominantly symphonic works, with some synthetic support, but the lions share of the music is performed by live musicians. These are scores are an Oasis in a desert of electronic, sampled and synthetic soundtracks, a breath of melodic fresh air at a time when the drone and soundscape is beginning to wear a little thin. Highly recommended.