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Interesting direction. All the music sounded good, and unusual in its composition (I mean that as a compliment), but not very strong melodies. Of course, they're just snippets. I'm really looking forward to a longer piece. It's a very different direction for the score, and that's a very good thing. This isn't Marty-lite, it's a whole new ball of wax.

Will the Halo theme return?
yep, unusual, just like ODST OST, hype!
 

op_ivy

Fallen Xbot (cannot continue gaining levels in this class)
i love marty and what he created in the original series, but i have to admit, aside from odst, i stopped really listening after halo 2. its really great to have a new sound to be excited for again.
 
There's a little bit of horror in the music that wasn't present in Marty's compositions. Which I quite like. The unexpected can be quite scary, and when the music takes an unexpected twist and you're on an ominous shield world called Requiem, I imagine it'll be quite foreboding.
I thought there was a very creepy vibe coming from the choir in the first minute of the video. So good. It will be interesting to see the organic/synthetic contrast too. More strings and choir oriented than Mass Effect 3 was, which is nice. There is a lot of diversity between the two which is good because of the similarities in themes.
 
Will the Halo theme return?
I believe that there might be a few key moments in the game when they'll reprise one of Marty's themes or a couple of Marty's themes. That's going to be quite a small part of the score for the game, and quite possibly that will be just more toward the beginning of the game to help with the natural flow from Halo 3 to Halo 4.
I think you'll probably hear some monks in some form at some point, even if it's just as a nostalgia cue.
 
i love marty and what he created in the original series, but i have to admit, aside from odst, i stopped really listening after halo 2. its really great to have a new sound to be excited for again.
Halo 3 was pretty grounded in the established scores. ODST was the first real departure (dat sax), and people tend to forget/ignore everything in Reach.
 

op_ivy

Fallen Xbot (cannot continue gaining levels in this class)
Halo 3 was pretty grounded in the established scores. ODST was the first real departure (dat sax), and people tend to forget/ignore everything in Reach.
yeah, agreed. i think just 10 years of marty's halo and it lost its excitement for me. halo 1 really had me musically, 2 less so, and odst did now and then, but 3 and reach were nearly invisible to me. i'm not a musical guy, its extremely rare that a game or movie soundtrack is memorable for me, so kudos to marty for inspiring a love of his work - but i am more then ready for truly new sounds and this fits that bill quite well. actually excited for a halo soundtrack again
 
I'm not feeling it. That first piece was kinda cool, but the rest just sounded uninspired and dull. I don't really like the first ViDoc track either, the only one that really got me was the one from the concept art vid.
 
Some of the new screens get posted on the gaming side, ignorance ensues - how predicable.
I find it easier to ignore them. If someone doesn't like the way it looks, you can't force them or convince them into liking it.

I'm not feeling it. That first piece was kinda cool, but the rest just sounded uninspired and dull. I don't really like the first ViDoc track either, the only one that really got me was the one from the concept art vid.
The "chants" that opened the video didn't really vibe with me. Funny, because I thought the monks were emblematic of Halo's auditory style. Then came the Terminator title screen transition-meh. The next piece was too "Prince of Persia, lost in the desert" for me, but Reach had a similar feel in one of its pieces so it might grow on me.

But then 2:09 happened. I got attached to it like I did to the "Both Ways" remix used in Reach beta trailer. Just amazin'.

but i am more then ready for truly new sounds and this fits that bill quite well. actually excited for a halo soundtrack again
More than fair. I might've begun to tire of his work too after another go around.
 

Stinkles

Clothed, sober, cooperative
So no more Halo CE - 3 main menu style music?

Gonna miss the "Gregorian chants." Added a level of mystery in the actual game for me. Hopefully they have something that tops it :D
As the music sample that will show up today shows, he is absolutely creating a cinematic feel for the music. But the electronic stuff, where it appears will be layered, nuanced and appropriate. No wub wub.

The video music is mostly layers, out of context.
 
Don't really have a strong opinion on the music for Halo 4 at the moment. Loved Marty's stuff but I'm open to what the new guys are dishing. Sounds good to me so far.

But then 2:09 happened. I got attached to it like I did to the "Both Ways" remix used in Reach beta trailer. Just amazin'.
I loved that, but it's also unfortunate since it serves as one of my strongest musical memories of Reach, and it's based on ODST.

Getting ridiculed in Gaming for saying I'm bored of Marty's work!
You will find no solace here. I mock you! MOCK!
 
1:35-1:37...

I can't tell, is that Reach or H4 on the TV?

EDIT: It looks like Wraparound? Nvm.. Looked at the AR, definitely Reach.

As the music sample that will show up today shows, he is absolutely creating a cinematic feel for the music. But the electronic stuff, where it appears will be layered, nuanced and appropriate. No wub wub.

The video music is mostly layers, out of context.
FUCK YES MUSIC SAMPLE <3 YOU FRANK.

But yeah, seriously, im amped.
 
So it is Neil Davidge? Didn't someone from 343i dismiss that possibility when we kept saying it was him months ago?? Anyways, I'm pleased. I'm not expecting him to blow me away to the extent Marty did with Halo1 through ODST, but he should be very competent and bring some interesting sounds to the mix.

Anyone else notice the DMR has no reticle?
Seems to be hidden behind the lovely GLARE.

Sounds good.

As the music sample that will show up today shows, he is absolutely creating a cinematic feel for the music. But the electronic stuff, where it appears will be layered, nuanced and appropriate. No wub wub.

The video music is mostly layers, out of context.
nom nom
 
Damn long day at work before I can hear the new music and watch the vidoc. :(

Saw the new screenshots and was happy. Why? One of the blues in the screens is doing a roll as far as I can tell, so it seems that armor ability is back and I LOVED that one. :D
 
Saw the new screenshots and was happy. Why? One of the blues in the screens is doing a roll as far as I can tell, so it seems that armor ability is back and I LOVED that one. :D


I think that's ragdoll though.

Damn, 2002 for me. I feel left out of the cool kids club.
Highly exclusive. Only had a month and a half to get in. I never even owned an Xbox and I managed it. What's your excuse?
 


I think that's ragdoll though.

Highly exclusive. Only had a month and a half to get in. I never even owned an Xbox and I managed it. What's your excuse?
It looks too on point to be ragdoll I think. He's in a roll forward just like how it looks like in Reach if you try to screen cap it, doesn't it?

Plus, I'm sure 343 is trying to do some subtle teases and hints at stuff.

BELIEVE!
 
Well that sounded.. interesting. My immediate reaction is positive.
The dramatic "dun dun dun" bit in the middle gave me a "BF3 hurm" face.
And yes, I can see Monks returning for a few nostalgia moments. Especially if/when we end up on another Halo in the next three games.

Need to hear more before can really make any solid judgement, perhaps in a gameplay trailer or something around E3.
Saw the new screenshots and was happy. Why? One of the blues in the screens is doing a roll as far as I can tell, so it seems that armor ability is back and I LOVED that one. :D
Ser Bam, bring me his head!
 
http://halo.xbox.com/blogs/Headlines/post/2012/04/11/Neil-Davidge.aspx

Our mystery composer&#8230; revealed!

One of the major contributing factors to a memorable and emotional video game experience is its soundtrack, and that statement rings especially true when exploring Halo&#8217;s vast and mysterious sci-fi universe. From the aggressive riff of a guitar to the powerful beat of drums to the liturgical chant of monks, there are numerous sounds that have become etched into the essence of Halo.

Following a tradition that started more than ten years ago, 343 Industries is dedicated to continuing the legacy of weaving iconic music into the very fabric of the Halo experience. It is that goal that led us to the virtual doorstep of an award-winning composer, record producer, songwriter, and musician who has made an indelible impression on the music industry.

That person is Neil Davidge.

&#8220;Music has always been at the heart of what makes Halo so captivating and iconic. With Halo 4, we want to build upon the franchise&#8217;s amazing legacy and create a score that captures the awe and wonder of the Halo universe, and reinforces the deeper and more emotionally impactful journey Master Chief will embark on.&#8221;
-Neil Davidge, Composer for Halo 4

As co-writer and producer for the last three albums from pioneering trip-hop group Massive Attack, Neil Davidge not only had a hand in creating some of the most innovative sounds over the past two decades, but he also helped develop an entire genre of contemporary music. He has established a career as a film composer, scoring acclaimed documentaries and composing additional music for Hollywood blockbusters like &#8220;Clash of the Titans,&#8221; and now his focus is on Halo 4.

Enlisting a 16-person, hand-picked, male tenor/bass choir plus 10 female Bulgarian vocalists, a full 50-piece orchestra, and a whole host of other performers is just one of the things Neil Davidge and his production team has done to bring the music of Halo 4 to life. The following video, which shows a recent choir and orchestral recording session at Abbey Road and Angel Studios in London, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the haunting and compelling Halo 4 soundtrack.

Neil Davidge Bio

As co-writer and key sonic facilitator on the lauded Massive Attack albums Mezzanine, 100th Window, and Heligoland, Neil Davidge, of Bristol, England, helped birth some of the most arresting and innovative sounds of the Nineties and Noughties. He has also enjoyed a parallel career composing for prestigious film and TV ventures. To date, feathers in his cap have included &#8220;The Storm That Brought You To Me,&#8221; from Louis Leterrier&#8217;s 2010 fantasy film Clash Of the Titans, and his co-written score for Trouble The Water, a moving study of Hurricane Katrina victims that won the &#8216;Best Documentary&#8217; gong at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Now, though, as Neil explains, a certain hands-on experience was as vital as his musical credentials when securing the gig:

&#8220;I don&#8217;t really play a lot of video games, but I&#8217;ve always played Halo. I started when I was making 100th Window with Massive Attack; it was how I entertained myself while I was waiting for the band to show up. Even later on if I was in the studio and feeling frustrated, Halo was one of the first things I&#8217;d turn to to get my head straight.&#8221;

Neil visited our studio prior to starting work on the new music. &#8220;I came back to Bristol on a high and immediately starting writing,&#8221; says the composer. &#8220;I wasn&#8217;t even officially engaged yet, but that period generated a number of major themes that we&#8217;ve ended up keeping.&#8221;

Neil says his soundtrack is a fairly even split between orchestral and electronic elements; this a tailor-made match for him and his co-arranger Andrew Morgan, since both men are well-versed in both fields. The orchestral elements were recorded at Abbey Road, and the electronic ones were hatched at Neil&#8217;s mysterious and moniker-less studio complex in &#8220;an apartment building somewhere in Bristol.&#8221;

&#8220;The music is very cinematic and atmospheric,&#8221; he says. &#8220;At times it can be textural while at the same time being quite grim&#8212;when someone&#8217;s running around shooting aliens, you have to know that shit&#8217;s going to happen! I was working from artists&#8217; impressions of various scenes rather than video footage. That left things quite open, but as I&#8217;m a former graphic designer and graphic novels fan, it fired my imagination as well.&#8221;

Neil Davidge was born in Bristol, England, in 1962. As a teenager, he loved to paint, creating both fine-art works and more abstract pieces. Prior to studying graphic design at Brunel Technical College, he was enamored of the late 1970&#8217;s UK punk/reggae scene, and he began painting likenesses of the Banshees&#8217; Siouxie Sioux and the dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Having learned guitar thanks to punk&#8217;s DIY ethic, Neil later embarked upon long hours of alchemical, suck-it-and-see experimentation as he learned the complex but rewarding art of sound-recording.

Happily, he was in situ at Bristol&#8217;s Coach House Studios when famed trip-hop act Portishead recorded parts of their debut album Dummy there between 1991 and 1994, and in 1996, he hooked up with Massive Attack on &#8220;The Hunter,&#8221; a song for the Batman Forever soundtrack that featured Everything But The Girl vocalist Tracey Thorn. That same year, Massive Attack won a Brit Award for &#8216;Best Dance Act,&#8217; thus cementing a working relationship with Neil Davidge that would continue for some 17 years.

It was Massive Attack&#8217;s stately, cinematic sound&#8212;together with Neil&#8217;s longstanding affinity for visual mediums, of course&#8212;that lent his scoring for film, TV, and advertising an air of inevitability. After auteur Luc Besson came to Neil and Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack to commission music for his 2005 martial arts thriller Unleashed, a swathe of other attractively varied coups followed. Among them were scores for the films Bullet Boy and Battle In Seattle, advertising campaigns for Jaguar and Adidas, and Neil&#8217;s collaboration with Snoop Dogg while scoring music for In Prison My Whole Life, a documentary about US death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal.

&#8220;I just have to concentrate on the music and hope that, if it moves me, the fans and the people at 343 Industries will get a similar feeling. If they do, I&#8217;ll have done my job.&#8221;

Office of Halo Intelligence: Part 7

Office of Halo Intelligence, or OHI for short, is a semi-regular diary-type feature brought to you by various members of the Halo 4 development team. This week, to give you some special insight into Neil Davidge&#8217;s Halo 4-related work, I asked Sotaro Tojima, Audio Director for Halo 4, to write an entry that is sure to be music to your ears.


I&#8217;m so excited to announce the Halo 4 music composer, Neil Davidge, finally, today! It was hard for me to keep the exciting news secret for 15 months.

Back in 2010, I was looking for a music composer who could establish the epic score for Halo 4. But it wasn&#8217;t going to be enough to just have great music; I wanted to establish something fresh and new for Halo 4&#8217;s score. I needed not just strong talent but also a strong passion for exploring new, less traditional avenues with music.

I had a vision for the overall Halo 4 music production that I think of as &#8220;Digital and Organic&#8221;&#8212;something very much inspired by the game script. With that vision in mind, I explored Electronica and heavily digitally-processed&#8211;based dance music to find that new sound. I also had to respect the game&#8217;s previous orchestral experience, while still trying to find something new.

But of course Halo games traditionally have strong, weeping melodies to drive the story, so we needed someone who could capture that, but with a very new sound. My prior experience also drove me to look for someone who could create a great-sounding percussion track.

After spending almost a year looking, I finally found a composer from the Bristol music scene who could fulfill all of those requirements and match my vision perfectly. That&#8217;s Neil Davidge, of course. And I just fell in love when I listened to his percussion tracks.

When we met up, it was perfect&#8212;I discovered that he was a huge fan of the Halo series and had an equally strong passion for matching the next Halo score with his technique and experience. He was also willing and, indeed, enthusiastic to have strong communication, collaboration, and tough iteration with 343 to build something really special with Halo fans in mind. We were exactly on the same page! For me, there was no reason to look any further.

His music on his past works was already great. But with his strong passion for exploring epic music, I&#8217;m convinced that his Halo music will be different from his any past work. I believe the music he composed will make people excited.

Please enjoy the music and see his passion in this very special soundtrack sample!

-Sotaro Tojima

What soundtrack sample, you may be wondering? Why the following one, of course. Press play, close your eyes, and soak in the sounds of Halo 4.
Soundtrack sample:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BQ-mmSh9yMw#!

The end is pretty amazing.
 
So will we be finding out more about the development process with Bristol in a podcast?
Could Tojima come on & talk about it?
Because obviously it's a whole other kettle of fish when you have the person in house like Marty.
Would love to hear if Davidge's music or feedback has impacted the rest of the development in any way? Things like that.

This line strikes me as different to what it may have been like for Marty:
Bulletin said:
! I was working from artists&#8217; impressions of various scenes rather than video footage. That left things quite open, but as I&#8217;m a former graphic designer and graphic novels fan, it fired my imagination as well.