Why I Compose Military-style Music PART ONE

Hello all!

As recently revealed in the previous blog post, I've been working on instrumental music that is in the orchestral-military style for some time now. And now, I would finally love to talk about how this came to be! 

For as long as I can remember, I've loved the sound of the short drum roll, the reverberating brass section, and the timpani crescendo. My very first piece I completed when trying out the Orchestra Symphony Jampack for GarageBand was in fact a war/military style piece I titled "War's Harsh Reality" (formerly titled "The Harsh Reality of War"... remember in my previous blog post I mentioned I had trouble sticking to one title?!)

In June of the year 2002, three years before I decided I wanted to become a music composer, my sister, my dad and I chipped in to get a Playstation 2 video game console. I was in 11th grade and summer vacation would be soon starting, so you could imagine how excited I was to get a brand new video game! We each got one game for this console (and you always remember your first... mine was the original Dark Cloud.) My dad's first game on the Playstation 2 was "Medal of Honor: Frontline", a brilliantly made video game that took place in World War II. Again, I didn't really plan on being a composer yet (I was still in singer-songwriter/rock-star mode back then), but on the title screen of "Medal of Honor: Frontline," I heard the most beautiful music... A solo choir boy, then strings and eventually the brass section came in. And in my mind, I thought "Oh my god, that sounds so beautiful... in a video game!" These days, video game soundtracks use a real live entire orchestra to score it... unless you have a good computer program that makes the music sound like almost the real deal (which comes in real handy if you don't have the funds for a whole orchestra)!

Years later, my family went to see VIDEO GAMES LIVE at the Hollywood Bowl, and one of the numbers in the live performance of video game music was indeed the main theme to "Medal of Honor: Frontline." During the performance, a slideshow of photos from World War II played in the backdrop. It was one thing to have listened to this track before, on a television screen, but hearing it live at the Hollywood Bowl was another experience in itself.

Here is a video of some of the recording process that went into the theme music for "Medal of Honor: Frontline."

MEDAL OF HONOR: FRONTLINE, Music by Michael Giacchino

Eventually, I also caught wind of another video game my dad played on the PS2, called SOCOM 2, and I fell in love with the main theme for this game as well. Though it has a different air about it than the music in "Medal of Honor: Frontline", it also has a more driving and inspirational feel to it, along with the use of what sounds like electronic percussion.

SOCOM 2 THEME SONG, Music by Inon Zur

I will have to continue my explanation in another blog post. Please stay tuned for PART TWO, coming soon!