Ben MacDougall is a prolific composer for film, TV and video games, who most recently wrote the original fantasy score for upcoming Sony PlayStation 5 launch title, GODFALL. His rich and diverse portfolio enjoys airtime on prime-time networks and has been featured on high-profile global TV events such as the Olympics and Academy Awards - as well as countless franchises, campaigns and AAA studio projects.
A graduate of the Royal College of Music in London, Ben is based in Los Angeles, California.
Milan Records today announced the release of GODFALL (MUSIC FROM THE VIDEO GAME) by composer Ben MacDougal. Available everywhere now, the album features music from the history-making Sony PlayStation 5 launch title and groundbreaking fantasy-action, roleplaying game. Making its debut alongside today's announcement is Godfall's main theme song, "Aperion's Champion," which can be heard here. Godfall is currently available in stores and online in tandem with the global arrival of the new PlayStation 5.
Of the soundtrack, composer BEN MACDOUGALL says, "I'm thrilled that the musical experience of Godfall is going to be available both in and outside of the game, and to be partnering with Milan Records on it is awesome. Whether it's the sweeping cinematic moments, the heart-pounding combat sequences, or the music denoting the incredible world of Aperion that draws you in, writing this score was an amazing journey."
Godfall, created by the small studio Counterplay Games, is a launch title for the brand new Sony Play Station 5. Soundtrack composer Ben MacDougall says he was hooked on the project from the very first conversations with the developers, who enticed him with the gorgeous, dangerous world of Aperion and epic game play as the Valorian hero Orin seeks revenge for his betrayal by his brother Macros.
In crafting a distinctive sound for the music, Ben built a unique instrument from bits and pieces of wood and wire from his local hardward store. His "swamp koto," as he calls it, even has a bit of filed-down bone at one end to add to the range of ususual sounds it can produce. Ben also used some recognizable instruments, and worked with cellist Ashok Klouta and vocalist Laurence Servaes, whose performances are showcased in the track, "Song of Aperion." But even the traditional instruments got some heavy processing and modification. As Ben says, "I like to torture my waveforms."
Ben says it was exciting to be providing the music for a brand-new game, and he felt like he imagines his dog does when he gets to explore a completely new park. Ben's Godfall soundtrack is avaliable through many digital outlets.
All tracks composed and performed by Ben MacDougall, with cellist Ashok Klouta and Laurence Servaes, vocals.
91.1WSHU - Fairfield CT host Kate Remington discusses some of the very unusual instruments in the Godfall' soundtrack with composer; Ben MacDougall. LISTEN
Godfall's world of Aperion is a new one - and one that hasn't been explored yet. Being a new IP, this gave the game's composer, Ben MacDougall, plenty of room to experiment with. He tells TechRadar that his training as a flute player really shined through in the game's soundtrack, with the instrument giving the game a more melodic influence. Aperion has no existing associations, so MacDougall took inspiration from the world itself, and discussed both the characters and story of how the world came to be with director Keith Lee.
Sonically, MacDougall utilized a large orchestral sound for an expansive soundtrack, as an epic tale requires an epic score. An orchestra is capable of creating both sonic mayhem and beauty equally. He had been playing in symphony orchestras for many years, so writing one felt natural to him, saying, "When you combine that more traditional writing-style with my fascination for making instruments and warping them into new sonic forms, you suddenly have something that feels new, but also grounded."
MacDougall noted that it's the contrast between quiet moments and the loud moments. For him, one of the most interesting challenges with Godfall was to find a balance between cues that offer moments of comparative serenity in the otherwise tense, violent world of Aperion while also considering different levels of combat intensity. The mix between the game's soundtrack and the sound effects coming from weapons, enemies, and environments, all come to life through the power of new hardware.
Godfall, as with all big projects, brought new challenges every day. Whether it'd be the technical challenges of recording and mixing a score of this scale, or the moments late in the night when figuring out a way to make something "pop" just a little bit more. MacDougall said, "At the end of the day, we all serve the game, and as such, I'm thrilled that people are finally able to get stuck in, and dive into the mystical world of Aperion, and everything that it has to offer." (Image credit: Gearbox)
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