Level with Emily Reese

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September 23, 2022  

Level 192: Phill Boucher (HEROish, Fortnite)

Composer Phill Boucher wrote a fantastic score for HEROish, a new castle defense game on Apple Arcade. It's an amalgamation of Celtic instruments, a full-orchestra and some hardcore metal guitar. He calls it "Celtic metal plus" and the description is appropriate.
Definitely take a few moments to check out this score video if you want to see the actual notation for the HEROish main theme - it's great!!
You can find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon. Join us on Discord for free. Find us on YouTube and Twitter. Patrons have access to special Discord events and special guest playlists.
September 16, 2022  

Level 191: Nainita Desai (Immortality, Telling Lies, 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible,The Reason I Jump)

Composer Nainita Desai is all over my playlist these days, whether it's her game music or film music. Most recently, it's for Sam Barlow's new interactive film/game called Immortality.
In Immortality, the player sifts through footage of 3 unreleased feature films, trying to solve the mystery of missing (fictional) film star, Marissa Marcel. As a result, the music shifts through several different moods throughout the experience.
We also discuss Nainita's Emmy-nominated scores for 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible and The Reason I Jump.
You can find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon. Join us on Discord for free. Find us on YouTube and Twitter. Patrons have access to special Discord events and special guest playlists.
September 9, 2022  

Level 190: Ben Hanson, Kyle Hilliard (MinnMax, GameSpot)

Ben Hanson and Kyle Hilliard are serious content creators in the world of video game media. They have a media empire of sorts here in Minneapolis at MinnMax, with weekly podcasts and videos, a vibrant Discord and a variety of events. They met years ago as colleagues at Game Informer magazine (published here in Mpls) and have been making media for game fans ever since.
Ben graciously invites me to participate annually in a game-music-of-the-year podcast, and had me out for jucy lucy's a couple of weeks ago (along with the esteemed Janet Garcia!).
You can find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon. Join us on Discord for free. Find us on YouTube and Twitter. Patrons have access to special Discord events and special guest playlists.
September 2, 2022  

Level 189: Alina Matson (Fitment, Glossbird)

Alina Matson is the founder of Glossbird, a Minneapolis-based game developer making a game called Fitment.
Alina and her company are making a social micro-fitness game, described as Animal Crossing meets Duolingo for exercise. It isn’t out yet, although it will be hitting early-access soon! Fitment's release is expected in 2023, and now you can get it on your radar!
You can support Level with Emily on Patreon. Join us on Discord for free. Find us on YouTube and Twitter. Patrons have access to special Discord events and special guest playlists.
August 26, 2022  

Level 188: Brian Schmidt (Game Audio Network Guild, GameSoundCon, Mutant Football League)

Brian Schmidt is a composer, but his influence and reach within the game audio community are wide after more than 3 decades in the industry. Brian is also the president of the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.) and the founder of a game audio convention called GameSoundCon
Importantly, Brian is encouraging game composers to submit their scores for the upcoming (Feb. '23) Grammy Awards, with the addition of the new Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media category.
We talk about all of these things, including Brian's music and sound work on Mutant Football League (2017) and Mutant League Football (1993).
You can find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon. Join us on Discord for free. Find us on YouTube and Twitter. Patrons have access to special Discord events and special guest playlists.
August 19, 2022  

Level 187: Zac Tiessen (StarCraft 2 UED: First Light

I loved talking with Zac Tiessen. He's a phenomenal guitar player (look him up on YouTube for sure). He's just composed the soundtrack for a StarCraft II mod called UED: First Light, a prequel to the StarCraft universe.
Zac's music matches the epic expanse of the cosmos he scored, with an epic orchestral style and the vocal talents of Julie Elven. It was a pleasure to speak with him!
You can find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon. Join us on Discord for free. Find us on YouTube and Twitter. Patrons have access to special Discord events and special guest playlists.
August 12, 2022  

Level 186: Kristofer Eng (It Takes Two, Elias Software)

Composer Kristofer Eng's music for It Takes Two is fantastic. For the most part, it's cinematically orchestral, with other styles heard depending on the level in the game. The game is a 2-player puzzle/adventure platformer, where you play as the parents to a girl named Rose. Her parents are planning to divorce, and Rose doesn't want that to happen.
It's a marvelous journey with beautiful and clever level design, all enhanced by Kristofer and the other composer on It Takes Two, Gustaf Grefberg.
Additionally, Kristofer co-created a company called Elias Software, which makes adaptive music and audio software for games.
You can find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon. Join us on Discord for free. Find us on YouTube and Twitter. Patrons have access to special Discord events and special guest playlists.
August 5, 2022  

Level 185: Meena Shamaly (Old World, Game Show)

Meena Shamaly is a singer, an instrumentalist, a composer, a radio host and a performance poet. While not a definitive list of his artistic talents, it's a list relevant to our conversation we had at the end of July.
So, we talk about how he sang, played oud and served as an Arabic music and language consultant for Christopher Tin on Old World.
We discuss his one-hour radio show on Australia's ABC called Game Show, where he talks about and plays video game music.
We also talk about his poetry - he is a performance/spoken-word poet. It was great chatting with him!
You can find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon. Join us on Discord for free. Find us on YouTube and Twitter. Patrons have access to special Discord events and special guest playlists.
July 30, 2022  

Level 184: Will Savino (Souldiers)

Composer Will Savino talks about his music for Souldiers, a metroidvania platform puzzler with RPG elements, pixel art and a retro-ish soundtrack. So much music in this game! It was fun to talk about it with Will!
Also, Will composes loads of music for tabletop gaming, a topic I haven't explored very much, and was delighted to discuss.
You can find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon. Join us on Discord for free. Find us on YouTube and Twitter. Patrons have access to special Discord events and special guest playlists.
July 22, 2022  

Level 183: George Sanger (Wing Commander, The 7th Guest)

A few things about my conversation with George Sanger. It's the longest single-interview episode in my 11 years as a podcaster, and the interview itself flew by. I felt like each question could've been its own episode. I kept wanting to turn the page and discover more.
Alas, we barely scrape the surface of this game audio legend. We talk about his music for Wing Commander and The 7th Guest. We talk about writing lyrics, loving The Beatles, and math.
George's nickname is The Fat Man, thanks to a typo on a business card decades ago. I encourage you to spend time listening to as much of his music as possible. You can do so on his Bandcamp page.
You can find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon. Join us on Discord for free. Find us on YouTube and Twitter. Patrons have access to special Discord events and special guest playlists.
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