Music composers find whole new 'game' in industry

As the demand for mobile gaming increases, music composers have found themselves questioning how their roles will change with technology.

Will computers one day replace the need for a human’s touch to add thrill or emotion to a character’s flight over a mythical Venice? A group of industry pros addressed the fears during a recent panel discussion at Dark Delicacies, a horror book and gift shop that attracts location managers because of its uniquely decorated interior.

Mike Reagan, an award-winning composer who has worked on such projects as Sony’s best-selling God of War video game franchise, Emmy Award-winning Wow Wow Wubbzy! children’s show on Nick Jr. and Darksiders game, was among the panelists.

“Music is math and inspiration at its most basic level. When computers have the ability to be inspired, we have a much, much bigger problem on our hands,” he said to laughs from the the crowd. The event last weekend came on the heels of the E3 gaming convention in downtown L.A.

Oscar Flores, 26, of Westwood, runs, and asked the panelists their thoughts on console games and the growing demand for mobile gaming. Flores mentioned the drop in sales of console games and the fact that more of them were being purchased for mobile phones and tablets.

Flores said he has interviewed many of these composers for his site because of their work in film and felt mobile gaming was their future.

“Eventually they will start working on more of these games, even if they don’t want to,” Flores said.

Richard Jacques, whose experience as a composer includes James Bond 007: Blood Stone, nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Awards for best original music, said he was approached recently about creating music for a cell phone game.

“There was about 20 minutes of music, the client was really fussy, there was no money and a lot of sound effects (were wanted),” Jacques said. “No, thanks.”

Reagan said his experience was a little different. He added that he created a small company about four months ago for mobile games.

“It’s the Wild West; uncharted territory,” Regan said. He noted that sometimes, because of his work on popular games, it’s almost as if some of the mobile game designers may not initially think of him, but most have seemed flattered when he reaches out to them about possible collaborations.

“Personally, I do think mobile entertainment is the future,” he said. “It’s happening now and it’s not a fad because technology is not going to stop growing.”

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World