Interview with Gaming Composer James Hannigan

Last month, I was playing Kris Steele’s Centipede tribute Bad Caterpillar.  It was very impressive.  It felt like an authentic lost chapter in the series.  There was only one problem: the music.  Centipede’s music is iconic.  Replacing it with a generic heavy metal soundtrack that is as far disconnected from the source material as you can get was just plain stupid in my opinion.  And it got me thinking about how music is an often overlooked aspect on the scene.  I’m guilty of this too.  I rarely comment on music here at Indie Gamer Chick.  It wasn’t until Bad Caterpillar that I realized that the wrong music really can take away from the game experience.

So I put out a call on Twitter asking if anyone wanted to do a Tales from the Dev Side on marrying the right music to the right game.  I had a few takers, but the most interesting one came from a gentleman by the name of Joshua Dennison.  His story was a unique one.  He has written hours of music for seven games.  Not one of those games ever got completed, and the music is stuck in purgatory.  Despite my tin ear, I had a listen, and I immediately recognized that the dude has talent.  Just to confirm that, I had my boyfriend Brian and my buddy Alan of Indie Ocean have a listen.  They agreed, the guy has “it.”  And his struggles to land a job with someone who actually will finish a game is a story that ought to be told.

Around the same time, I had another response to the request.  This one came from a man by the name of James Hannigan.  James is not part of the indie scene.  Quite the opposite.  His credits include games in the Command & Conquer series, the Harry Potter game series, and the Lord of the Rings game series.  He’s been nominated for five BAFTA awards and won in 2000 for his work on Sim Theme Park.  Best of all: he’s a fan of the indie scene.  He was open to doing an interview on gaming music, and I figured he might have some words of inspiration for the next generation of game composers.  The problem is, I don’t know shit about music.  Then I remembered Joshua, and decided he would be the right person to conduct this interview.  My hunch was right.  This was a perfect match.  Joshua, the floor is yours!

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