Musicians Get Into Gaming: New Tunes From Trent Reznor & Beck
Following on from last week’s report that Paul McCartney was working on music with Bungie, the makers of the blockbuster Halo videogames franchise, two more high-profile artists have also jumped on board two equally profitable videogame institutions.
First up is (sometime) Nine Inch Nails frotnman Trent Reznor, who’s already earned his soundtrack stripes for his scoring for David Fincher films, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network. The latter even nabbing Reznor and musical partner, Atticus Ross, an Oscar.
Reznor is now turning his hands to scoring videogames, with Consequence of Sound reporting that he’s producing “aggressively sounding” music for the latest Call Of Duty game, November’s Black Ops II.
Reznor’s intense, sophisticated tunes seem a perfect fit for the game’s near-future militaristic setting that “envisions a new Cold War between the US and China.” Reznor remarked of his themes for the game, ”there is a lot of reservations and angst and sense of loss and regret and anger bubbling under the surface. So it didn’t make sense to have a gung ho patriotic kind of theme song. It has to feel weighty.”
In a new promotional video for the latest entry in the blockbuster franchise, Reznor discusses his involvement with Call Of Duty: Black Ops II along with the game’s developers and Hollywood writer David S. Goyer (most well-known as the scribe for Christopher Nolan’s Batman films), the clip also containing some brief samples of his contributed score.
As the sequel to the biggest selling videogame of all-time (with over 25 million copies sold worldwide), there’s an obvious financial gain for Reznor’s involvement, but it certainly adds to his already impressive soundtrack CV and fruitful music career. “I look at videogames as a true art form,” says Reznor. “It’s every bit as viable as film work or music.” It’s not the first time he’s made the leap to the medium either, back in 1996 he created original music and sound design for the iconic shooter, Quake.
Musical chameleon Beck however, is going for something a bit less moodier.
The upcoming Harvest headliner was last spotted tooling about with the likes of Donald ‘Childish Gambino’ Glover and Jack White, is now collaborating with music and electronics juggernaut Sony. Specifically on a new music-based videogame for Sony’s Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita called Sound Shapes.
Rather than providing a full score, like Reznor, Beck is instead contributing three brand-new tracks to the game called ‘Cities’, ‘Touch The People’ and ‘Spiral Staircase’. Each song acts as its own level in the game, which is a blend of traditional platform/action gameplay with a digital musical creation utility.
Beck’s new music will feature alongside Deadmau5 and composer Jim Guthrie, and his portion of the game was designed by developers Pyramid Attack.
You can get your hands on your Sony’s Beck-featuring game in early August, while Reznor’s music will be soundtracking Call of Duty: Black Ops II come its traditional, annual worldwide release in November.
You can check out Reznor talking COD below, followed by a musical demo of Sound Shapes.