I have had the enormous pleasure of working for the venerable Austin Wintory in the past as a copyist on some of his phenomonal video game projects like Abzu and The Banner Saga 2. He is such a wonderful person on top of being a top-notch composer that I have constantly been trying to impress him in order to get his attention…and, incidentally, some work.
Fortunately, those efforts paid off! I a couple of months ago, he hired me to create two arrangements for the Colorado Symphoy’s Symphonic Tribute to Comic-Con! The first was the theme to his new score The Pathless; another collaboration from the folks over at Giant Squid. This one featured a neat instrument you don’t get to see very often (unless you are in Sweden on a regular basis): the Nyckelharpa. Writing orchestral accompniment for this one was neat, but the real fun came when I got to sit down and have a beer with the soloist, Morgan, and check out this strange, steampunk-y violin-hurdy-gurdy hybrid. It’s the first sound you hear in this reveal trailer:
The second chart was much more difficult, but so rewarding! Austin finished his score for The Banner Saga 3 not too long ago. I immidiately got my hands on the ost and then music-edited the best bits of all three together into one massive suite. I posted about this on Facebook and not only did Austin give me permission to do this with the Arapahoe Philharmonic, but also requested that I cut everything but the stuff from the third installment and shoot that over to the Colorado Symphony as a second chart! This was super involved to arrange, both for me and for the orchestra. All kinds of wierd effects, aleatoric brass fanfares, thundering percussion and strained dissonance just lent such an epic sound to those 8 minutes in Boettcher. Here’s a small taste of that!
I was utterly blown away by both of these requests! Technically not the first time I’ve ever arranged for a professional orchestra, but it IS the first time I have been able to see it, and also the first time arranging for my home town ensemble, the Colorado Symphony. Not only that, but he also shouted me out in the middle of the concert! So much gratitude to this wonderful person and first-class composer for giving me such a unique opportunity! I can’t wait to see what he writes next!