What to expect at…Jared Underwood’s video games composition Masterclass

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Thinking about delving into the world of video game composing? It’s an exciting, evolving time to pursue it. Jared Underwood (Batterie) will be leading a masterclass on the topic.

He has composed music for indie games including OTTTD, One More Dash and One More Line (12 million downloads), as well as for film and TV, and as solo act Batterie.

You’ll have 90 minutes to cover a range of topics related to video game composition. What are some key composition topics you will cover?

I start by explaining the components of the game music and my collaborative process with the game developer.

Topics I will cover include:

  • interpreting the brief from the game developer
  • writing a title theme
  • in-game music
  • menu loops
  • ‘win’ and ‘fail’ stings
  • user interface sounds.

I will demonstrate how I start a compositional idea, build a sound palette and mix as I go. I will also show some examples of games I have worked on and discuss collaborative exchanges between myself and the game developer.

Is your masterclass a good place to start for someone making music and who wants to make a foray into game composing?

The masterclass will include examples of my first experiences of composing music for games, so that should hopefully offer some insights for other composers wanting to make a start in game music composition. I’ll show examples of my game music that worked well on the first demo and some that needed a creative re-think in order to work in the game.

As a musical career path – why games and why now?

Writing game music is a lot of fun and creatively satisfying for a composer as each game is very different. I have found that most of the time I am encouraged by the game developers to be as wild and experimental as possible with the music. This is a refreshing change from other areas of commercial music composition where sometimes you have to make creative compromises. It’s a fast growing industry with technology and innovation at the core, which can be exciting for composers who also use a lot of technology to create their music.

What do you hope an attendee will glean from the masterclass?

I hope that anyone attending will feel inspired that they too can use and develop their own unique musical ideas to create game soundtracks. Hopefully attendees will have some interesting experiences they can share and questions that will lead the masterclass into interesting territory.

What do you wish someone told you in a masterclass at the beginning of your composing career?

I have been to some great masterclasses covering many areas of music over the last 20 years since I finished Uni. Developing as a composer and freelancer in this creative industry takes time. It’s a journey and I am always learning and adapting. I do remember someone once saying try to ‘develop your own sound’. It’s taken me about 20 years but I’m starting to put that into action with my solo act BATTERIE.

Masterclass: Video Game Music Composition with Jared Underwood

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