The world of video game music has blossomed in recent years, enough to support live concert tours and bestselling albums. But while most such work is licensed or contracted out to third-party composers, a rare breed make their living at a single company, imbuing entire franchises with their unique sound. And apart from Nintendo's venerable Koji Kondo, there is perhaps no dedicated gaming composer more renowned than Martin O'Donnell. From humble beginnings writing the jingle for Flintstones Vitamins, O'Donnell and longtime collaborator Michael Salvatori joined developer Bungie in 1997, penning music for Myth, Oni, and most notably the Halo trilogy -- an iconic blend of sweeping orchestral bombast, haunting choirs, and electronic ambience that became one of the most acclaimed and successful gaming soundtracks of all time. O'Donnell also helmed Bungie's audio department, managing voice actors, sound effects, and an innovative dynamic music engine, and was most recently working with Paul McCartney on the score for the upcoming Destiny. So it came as a surprise today when it was announced MartyTheElder was being terminated without cause (flabbergasted reaction: HBO/DBO - NeoGAF - Reddit). With O'Donnell following Joseph Staten, Frank O'Connor, Marcus Lehto, and other Bungie veterans out the door, what might this mean for the company and its decade-long plan for Destiny? [more inside]
LittleBigPlanet, the highly anticipated create your own platformer game by Media Molecule, originally set to release next week, has been recalled. The reason? Apparently one of the music tracks used in the game, "Tapha Niang" by Grammy Award winner Toumani Diabate, contains verses from the Qur'an. As it's a no no to mix Islamic holy text with music, Sony has pulled the game after complaints. The problem has been fixed, but no new release date has been announced.
It's the story that has Britain in uproar*: Cliff Richard and General Franco: the 1968 Eurovision mystery. Did General Franco scupper the judging? Exhibit A: Cliff's UK entry, Congratulations. Exhibit 2: Spain's winning entry by Massiel, La la la. For added measure, exhibit iv: here's Cliff's 1973 entry, which believe it or not also did not win, Power to all our Friends (though Cliff's spectacular moves should not sway your opinion on the controversy* in any way). [*not really].
"I just turned on my little iMovie, and here I am!" This week, Hollywood Records announced a record deal with female vocalist and underground sensation Marié Digby. Over the past few months, she has over 2.3 million cumulative Youtube hits, and has become a veritable rags to riches story - a testament, if you will, to how the Internet is changing the world of entertainment. What the label failed to mention was that Digby had already been signed to Hollywood Records for almost two years, well before she became a hit. A case of manufactured networking, or simply a "major" misunderstanding?
Banned in D.C., not to mention the rest of the U. S. A. --British-Sri Lankan rapper M. I. A. (myspace page, with music), aka Maya Arulpragasam, has apparently been denied entry into the United States to record her next album, a follow-up to the surprise success of her first major release, "Arular." Could it have been this album that pricked the ears of immigration officials? Or maybe these lyrics ("Sunshowers," available at myspace)?
her parents must be having coronaries by now. sinead's back in the news. who knew..?