There are a lot of game composers out there attaining great popularity with their work, but one name that instantly comes to mind for some is Austin Wintory. The Colorado-born composer brought us such essential works as Flow, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, The Banner Saga 2 and Absolver, along with a variety of other games.
But of course, he's best known for his work with Journey, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack -- the first game soundtrack to get such an honor.
Lately, however, Wintory's been working on an innovative new project called A Light In the Void, which will air live on Twitch October 5, starting at 9 PM EDT. It's a show that celebrates science with cinematic music, and mesmerizing sights that must be seen to be believed.
After a successful KickStarter, Wintory and his team were able to put together the project how they saw fit. We recently had a chance to talk to him about what to expect from tonight's show.
First off, congrats on the success of A Light In the Void becoming a reality! How excited were you to see the Kickstarter campaign become a success?
The KS campaign was a huge undertaking, even bigger than I expected, but a thrill and relief. I'd been involved in multiple of these campaigns in the past and yet it never fully prepares you. The "startup" cash that the campaign gave us was essential to the vision of the show we've evolved into. It's a pretty huge piece of theater now, with actors and elaborate lighting, etc. None of which would've been possible with that campaign!
Something New, Yet Familiar...Oh, and Troy Baker!
This is new territory for you outside of your usual video game soundtrack composing. What tempted you to give it a chance?
It's actually not really new territory, it's just the biggest version of this type of thing I've yet done. But I've produced concerts many times, including pretty unusual ones (such as concert I did at New York Comic Con in 2014 called Mythos which combined music from all major modern media [film, games, TV and contemporary "classical"] and wove a sort of narrative thread out of them. I also did an evening length 'orchestra cabaret' show called This Gaming Life with the legendary Australian comedy singers Tripod).
Music + Science isn't even novel to my life. In high school my biggest-to-date work was a half hour symphony called Spirit of the Cosmos and a couple years ago I directed a short film called Our Curiosity about the Mars Curiosity Rover, narrated by Neil Degrasse Tyson.
All that said, everything one does prepares you for what's next and that's certainly the case here. Those projects, my gaming work, film work, conducting experience … they've all been essential to feeling I could pull this off!
How are Troy Baker and Hana Hayes involved in the project? How excited were you to see them come on board?
Troy has been a good friend for years (in fact he was a featured performed in that show Mythos I mentioned back in 2014), so I just sort of defaulted to asking him. When it became clear we'd need a young actress, I asked him for a recommendation and he unhesitatingly mentioned Hana. It's a sort of reunion for them, and the first time collaborating since they wrapped her scenes in TLOU. So I'm really excited. We've already workshopped it and they've got the same old wonderful chemistry.prevnext
Reaction, Challenge, and What's Next?
How do you feel about the social media reaction from the show?
So far so good! I think it's a really hard show to predict. We'll see what people think after the Twitch stream!
What's the biggest challenge in seeing all this come together, you think?
Mixing a narrative theater piece with factual science content, and making the blend cohesive, has been enormously challenging. Endless credit to my co-creator Anthony Lund for cracking that code. This entire show is very much a product of our collaboration but elements like that, the core writing, I truly can't take any credit for. Tony is the brains behind the narrative.
Would you like to do more great projects like this in the future?
I'm not sure I'm ready to call it "great" yet but absolutely yes. I always have 100 ideas in my mind for large-scale shenanigans. This was just the one I chose for now!
Again, you can watch the show here for free starting October 5 at 9 PM EDT!prev