It's safe to say that Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most highly-anticipated video games to still be released this year. Its unique approach to gameplay, aesthetics, and Keanu Reeves cameos has already piqued the interest of many people, even with many more months to go until its September release date. It's no secret that music is going to play a significant role in the world of the game, and CD Projekt Red has hired an array of interesting composers to bring that to life. Composing the game's score are Marcin Przybylowicz (The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt), P.T. Adamczyk (Far Cry 5, Loners), and Paul Leonard-Morgan (Dredd, Limitless). ComicBook.com got a chance to speak with Leonard-Morgan about his work on Amazon's Tales From the Loop, and we also asked about the unique collaborative process of working on Cyberpunk.
"I've never collaborated with other composers before, and then in the last year, suddenly, I've worked with Phillip Glass [on Tales From the Loop] at one end of the spectrum, as far as a classical composer. And then suddenly I end up with Marcin and P.T. [on Cyberpunk], who go 'We loved your work on Dredd. We don't want to do the same thing as that, but we really really like that style as a starting point,'" Leonard-Morgan explained. "And it's funny, because you've suddenly got the three of us, and it's not a case of trying to work out 'Well, that's Marcin's cue. That's P.T.'s cue. That's Paul's cue,' in the same way of working out 'Well, that's Phillip's cue, or that's Paul's cue.' It's a case of trying to write a soundtrack that's really fluid, that's all in the same world, and still sounds really cool."
"And I think the thing with Cyberpunk, in the question of 'What style is it?' -- I would say that it's hardcore electronica," Leonard-Morgan continued. "And there is hardcore electronica, but it's not this kind of dance music or EDM. And we've got Russian synths and Polish synths and American synths. There are loads of synths going on there, but there's also humanity. Because there's a lot of humanity in Cyberpunk, in a very different way from Tales From the Loop, obviously. But there's stuff that happens in [really emotional] moments, even as there's obviously full-on chase sequences going on. So we've got real instances of going over-the-top with it, but there are some really haunting bits as well. You've got all this stuff that goes on -- you really kind of create an emotional connection to those characters. I would say it's hardcore electronica, with a lot of humanity."
According to Leonard-Morgan, finding that blend of "hardcore electronica" and humanity was a particularly creative challenge, especially with the deluge of '80s-inspired soundtracks that already exist.
"And on top of that, you've got elements of Blade Runner, you've got elements of that '80s stuff. But at the same time, I don't want it to be a pastiche of '80s stuff. That's been done before, so often," Leonard-Morgan revealed. "That's why we spent the first month or so of the soundtrack trading synthesizers and trading keyboards and going 'Well, what sound are you using? Why don't we try this? Why don't we try that?' And it's a testament to one of the synths that we use, that we've all got, that none of us are using in the same way. I think because none of us know how to use it, it's too complicated."0comments
"We literally woke up one morning, and we were bouncing ideas off of each other going 'What do you think of this for this part?' And they were like 'How the hell did you get that sound?' And I was like 'With this keyboard.' And they were like 'I've got that keyboard, and it doesn't sound anything like it.' And I think when you've got that. - instead of relying on people to just give a sound, because that's just lazy writing - but using it as part of your creative process, it's f-cking fun. The three of us have been working on the soundtrack for two or three years, back and forth. And by the end of it, we genuinely wanted to create a unique sound that no one's heard before. And I think, fingers crossed -- there's only a few people that have been entrusted with listening to some of it, they've all gone 'Bloody hell. This is unreal.' We're really excited to release it to the world, but we've got to finish it first."
Cyberpunk 2077 is expected to be released on September 17th.
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