Interview: The Composers Behind Mass Effect Paragon Lost

By William Usher 2 years ago discussion comments
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Gaming Blend: Regarding creative freedom...were there any sort of restrictions or guidelines set in place for the musical score of Paragon Lost? Like a thematic guideline, for instance, having to use certain or similar cues to what may have been established by Jack Wall and Sam Hulick or Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan? Or were you given a lot of freedom in the kind of music you wanted to shape for the movie?

Kates: Funimation gave us a great deal of freedom to develop the music as we wished, as long as we stayed inside the established sound of Mass Effect. Joshua and I created a suite, an overture, early on that suggested the color and thematic choices we were leaning toward. The production team, including those at BioWare seemed to really like where we were headed.

Mosley: We were very blessed to have a lot a freedom to explore new possibilities within the Mass Effect "sound". We presented those ideas to FUNimation and to BioWare and they just came on aboard with it and took part in our musical journey throughout this film.

Gaming Blend: The original Mass Effect soundtrack seemed like it had a very synthetic, spacy vibe to it, where-as the second and third game were a lot more orchestral. Will Paragon Lost make use of the synthetic foundation set by the first Mass Effect game or will it take on a more traditional, symphonic sound similar to the third game?

David KatesKates (Pictured right): I remember when I was working on Mass Effect 2, Jack Wall, who created the original Mass Effect sound suggested I listen to the score to Blade Runner. Vangelis’ music was a big influence on my writing then and Joshua really embraced that approach for this score along with Daft Punk’s score to Tron. So, yes, you’ll hear a wonderful combination of the ‘80s style synth sound that defined the first two games as well as an expansive, symphonic, cinematic quality of Mass Effect 3. I also love what Joshua has brought to the Mass Effect universe. His modern sensibilities really opened my eyes to where it could all go, and my own music has been very influenced by him.

Mosley: You will definitely hear a strong synthetic through-line that captures the essence of the first two Mass Effect games. There is also a broad exploration into symphonic elements which carry the score cinematically. Some of the other major electronic music influence came from great producers like Deadmau5 and Daft Punk.

Gaming Blend: Is it possible that either of you could return to score another entry in the Mass Effect franchise maybe for the rumored prequel or Mass Effect 4?

Mosley: It would be such a great pleasure and honor to create more music for the Mass Effect universe. We shall see! Thank you for having us interview with you. All the best!

Kates: We certainly hope so, and would love to participate in the future of this great franchise. Hey, by the way, thanks for inviting us to interview with you guys. We love your site and what you’re doing. Cheers to all of you, and we wish you all the success in the world!

Huge thanks to David Kates and Joshua R. Mosley for answering our questions. You can look for Mass Effect: Paragon Lost to launch on December 28th, this year.
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