Interview with Aleksandar Randjelovic - Genesis Rising soundtrack composer
Interview with Aleksandar Randjelovic - Genesis Rising soundtrack composer
Here is the new release of KeepMoving Records – symphonic score to Genesis Rising composed by Aleksandar Randjelovic. Game-OST was able to catch Alexandar to discuss aspects of creating this soundtrack.
First of all, tell us about yourself. When did you decide to compose music? Do you have classical musical education or you’re a self-made?
Are there any bands or single performers whose work affected you?
There are some composers whose genius works had inspired me to create. Basil Poledouris, for example, was the composer whose works made me interested in film music. His early works still inspire me as well as his latest. I was deeply moved when I heard of his death.
Can you recall your first memory connected to music?
Oh yeah, that was Tchaikovsky “Swan lake”. My mother used to play it all the time. Some times it even bored me?.
You worked both with movies and game music – is there a huge difference? Tell us about composing process of yours.
It’s not so easy to explain and I wouldn’t go much in details. When I work for movie in most of the cases director gives me “look-a-like” music and some hints which guides me in a way. I rarely have a total freedom in the process and that is very frustrating for most of the composers so I’ve heard. Process of making music is individual for every composer. I, for example, feel each scene first moment I see it. I try to feel its rhythm, soon I start taping it with my fingers and things are on move… It is something inside you that drives you to tell that scene by music.
Composing music for games is similar and different at the same time. I feel that making music for games suits better my creative nature, because its gives me more freedom. But I enjoy making film music as much as music for games.
What musical instruments have you mastered during your life? In addition, we are curious about your hardware and software involved in composing process.
Singing is my first choice. I became master in it during my musical education and working with singers for many years. My colleges often call me on they recording sessions to produce their singers…I also play violin and piano. I always try to do a live session, but sometimes there is a budget issue. Because of that I often have to use samples, mainly self made. I also work a lot with synths, virtual instruments… I found that I like to sit by computer and program samples…Its great fun.
Have you had any other inspiration sources but the game itself?
Story of the game itself inspired me very much because it is unique vision of future I think. I like SF literature and movies very much. I was eager to work on project like these and all my enthusiasm and love for SF genre came out when I got this offer. I couldn’t pick the better project myself.
What you can tell us about creating music for Genesis Rising? From what moment do you work on game?
From point when I got the script I was in constant contact with studio and game designer. It was very interesting but difficult to work on project when you only have the script and artwork to see. It was like you are creating music for comic book… Later there were some models but there is still there was no game. On other hand I have time to think a lot about music. Lead designer and I talked a lot about music which had a strong influence on my creative work. I tried to imagine how the situations that I should make music for will look like. When playable demo was given to me I was pleased to se that my demos perfectly suited the game. I think that my music itself clearly describes the game, it makes you picture the game even if you still haven’t played it. Music completely merged with it.
What materials you received from developers? Were there available a playable version of the game or maybe you used only concept drawing for inspiration?
Like I sad in previous answer, I eagerly waited for demo. Till then I had script, drawings and models. When game started to gain its shape I asked them to capture some movie clips for me so that I can feel something of the game. They gave me various situations like short battles, long battles, long building procedures… It was a good way for me to feel the game from different aspects.
How much time was used to create Genesis Rising soundtrack?
To much ? I worked for whole year! It was very hard to program all instruments but that is the price of tight budget for music. Live orchestra was a better solution, although I did record a lot of live instruments and singers what was absolutely necessary in some themes.
Were there any thoughts about using full side orchestra? If yes, why it didn’t happen?
There was but when I faced producers with the cost of full scale orchestra they where like “ we will go on samples”. That was disappointing for me but…
Idea of Gregorian choir is great, who was responsible for implementing it into the soundtrack?
I was absolutely fascinated with writings of St.Augustine in that period. I traveled a lot in that period across the Europe and in every city I look for cathedral and churches, l listened concert in St.Deenis cathedral for example - beautiful acoustic! I became interested in Gregorian Chants and all that religious experience together with the element of the story of Genesis Rising bring me to that idea. I took the most beautiful words from “Confessions” of St.Augustine and put them in my music and that was it. Everyone was very pleased with that idea.
Tell us about your studio and its hardware?
My studio is not very big but it has everything I need. Logic is the main software that I use in my work. I use Lynx TWO B soundcard on MAC and PC, which I use basically as sampler, is equipped with my favorite soundcard Lynx L22. My outboard is also modest. I have two, not very expensive, microphone preamps (the weakest point), but I’m proud owner of TC 6000. Nearfield speakers are PMC DB1 (my favorite) and I made surround system of Genelec 1031. My choice of microphones for vocals was Neumann M 149 and Akg C 414. I also have couple of dynamic mics for instruments and percussions.
Do you like playing the video games? Can we name you a hardcore gamer? What are you favorite games?
No I’m not hardcore gamer. My friends always bit me in Call of Duty and Quake4 but my passion is strategy games. I’m playing Universe at War right now.
Have you ever listened to works of other game composers and can you highlight any favorites of yours?
I could remember themes from very first games that I was playing on my PC like Supremacy or M.A.X. For many years I was thrilled with music from Heroes of M&M III but that was long time ago. Lately I noticed that music from big video game hits sounds very much like Hollywood movie blockbusters music. I understand that, but I would like to hear something specific for video games. BioShock is something that I waited for to hear in video game music world. Nothing else drew my attention like that one. It is innovative and when you listen to it you really have impression that someone did a very serious piece of art.
You definitely have plans for nearest future. What are they?
Film is my big passion and I’m going in that direction. I’m working on a big movie at the moment (live orchestra this time), and I’m giving my best to finish it by the deadline which is in July. But when I think a little… I will change two big movies for one good game any time. :)
Great music is necessary part of any high-quality game for a long time already in game industry. Multimillion budgets, best symphonic orchestras from all over the world… What do you think of the game music industry future? Will there be a place for talented freelancers or symphonic “Hollywood-style” orchestrations will prevail?
I think that game industry will go for “Hollywood- style” music for some time but in near future I can tell that film music will be combination of various electronic, synthetic sounds with atonal use of orchestra. Something similar is already happening in European cinematography, mainly in artistic movies. It’s probably going to happen in game industry as well. I also think that music will be more about the atmosphere and the themes will be less important. Instruments will sound raw and dirty and the concept of composing music will merge with concept of sound design.
Do you have any hobby, not connected with music in any way?
I rarely have time to do anything beside my work, but luckily for me, most of the things I enjoy doing are in one way or another connected to what I do for living. I like watching films, it used to be sort of passion of mine. And… oh yeah, I like playing video games.
Thanks, for spending your time on our questions!
Here you can download movie about creation of Genesis Rising soundtrack.
You can buy soundtrack at