New York Comic-Con Panel: Maestros of Horror and Sci-Fi Music

New York, September 18, 2012 – Award-winning composers Jason Graves (DEAD SPACE Series), Kevin Riepl (ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES, GEARS OF WAR), Sam Hulick (MASS EFFECT Trilogy), Cris Velasco (MASS EFFECT 3, Clive Barker’s JERICHO), Sascha Dikiciyan (MASS EFFECT 3,TRON: Evolution),  Tom Salta (HALO: Combat Evolved Anniversary) plus very special guest Grammy® award-winning artist/producer Nile Rodgers, founder of Sumthing Else Music Works-the premier label for video game soundtracks including HALO 2: Volume One, the best-selling video game soundtrack of all time-will discuss the art form of writing and producing music for video games, with specific focus on the horror and sci-fi genres.

The panel will be followed by a Meet & Greet / Signing Session with the composers at the Metal Machine/Sumthing Else Music Works booth (#1075) where copies of the artists’ soundtrack albums will be available.

Panel: “Maestros of Horror and Sci-Fi Music”
Location: Room 10A1, Javits Center, NYC
Date: Friday, October 12th
Time: 12.15-1.15pm

Composer Meet & Greet / CD Signing Event
Location: Booth #1075, Javits Center, NYC
Date: Friday, October 12th
Time: 1.30-2.30pm

Jason Graves
Jason Graves is a British Academy Award-winning composer who has brought his passion for music to video game franchises such as Dead Space, Prey, Resistance, Star Trek, City of Heroes and Command & Conquer. His music has become synonymous with unique, cinematic textures combined with modern aesthetics and he is renowned worldwide for his dramatic and immersive award-winning music. Jason’s innovative, unique soundtrack for Dead Space has become Electronic Arts’ best-selling original title and called “the scariest game ever made.” His groundbreaking score has been hailed by critics as a “truly original soundtrack” and “the best score of the year.” It was recognized with a myriad of worldwide nominations and won two BAFTA awards – one for Original Score and one for Use of Audio. For the latter, the Academy stated, “It’s the music soundtrack that boasts horror and tension.” Graves returned to create a psychodramatic orchestral score for Dead Space 2. Reflecting hero Isaac Clarke’s dementia and nightmarish personal journey, Graves’ original music score for Dead Space 2 features the intricately woven thematic movement “Lacrimosa,” a concerto for string quartet that runs throughout the game. Jason conducted the world premiere of “Lacrimosa” from Dead Space 2 with members of the London Philharmonia at the “Dead Space Exposed” launch event in London. Other projects include the cinematic and action orchestral music for Prey 2. Graves is currently scoring sequels to several major video game franchises including Dead Space 3.

Kevin Riepl
Kevin Riepl is an award-winning film composer writing for multiple entertainment genres. His engaging and atmospheric scores have enhanced numerous indie films such as ABCs of Death, Clemency, The Aggression Scale, and  Henri. In video games, Riepl is best known for composing the bombastic signature scores for blockbuster titles including Gears of War and the highly anticipated  Aliens: Colonial Marines. Throughout his many years working in the video game and film industries, Kevin Riepl has distinguished himself from his peers with his ability to craft engaging atmospheres and rousing scores that not only complement and enhance the numerous film, game and television projects he’s worked on, but are also recognized and praised by gamers and moviegoers alike. His themes range from emotive, energetic and rhythmic to macabre and otherworldly, as demonstrated by his acclaimed score for Microsoft’s top-selling Gears of War franchise. Since 2002, Kevin has steadily gained recognition from fans and critics for his work on the Unreal series, and with his work on Gears of War launching him to the forefront of the video game music world. Kevin recently completed his score to the upcoming horror feature film  Silent Night.

Sam Hulick
Sam Hulick is a BAFTA award-nominated and multiple award-winning composer, best known for creating the signature music for BioWare’s epic sci-fi franchise Mass Effect. Sam composed the iconic “Mass Effect Theme” as well as “Uncharted Worlds,” “From the Wreckage,” “Sovereign’s Theme,” “Victory,” “Uplink” and many other compositions for the original Mass Effect. The ’80s inspired electronic score was lauded by critics as “One of the most memorable and unique soundtracks in gaming,” (Game Informer) and won Best Original Score awards from IGN, GameSpy and GameSpo t. For Mass Effect 2, Sam was again tapped for his adept skill of inventive blending of analog synths with orchestral instrumentation. The soundtrack features a suitably darker and more cinematic musical experience to complement the sequel’s heavier subject matter. Mass Effect 2 received British Academy (BAFTA) and Spike TV VGA nominations for Best Original Score. The only composer to have worked on all three games in BioWare’s blockbuster sci-fi trilogy, Hulick’s compositions for Mass Effect 3 include “Mars”, several key emotional scenes in the game (“I Was Lost Without You”, “I’m Proud of You”) and the epic finale (“An End, Once And For All”). Hulick also recently provided the new original score for Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut. The DLC includes new and extended cinematics that feature more of the emotionally impactful material Hulick was responsible for in Mass Effect 3.

Cris Velasco
Cris Velasco is a multi-award winning composer of over 40 video games. As a finalist for the BAFTA awards and a two-time winner of “Best Original Score” for the AIAS awards, he has become one of the most sought-after composers for games. Cris turned his attention to his childhood passion, video games, after receiving his degree in Music Composition from UCLA. Soon after, he was given the opportunity to write music for Battlestar Galactica. He has since gone on to score many major titles including the God of War Trilogy, Clive Barker’s Jericho, Tron: Evolution, and Darksiders. In 2005, Cris teamed up with electronic composer Sascha Dikiciyan (Quake 2 & 3) to create a new hybrid of cinematic orchestra with electronic/musical sound design which has garnered industry acclaim for its versatility and pushing the boundaries of music in games. The duo have collaborated on numerous titles including: Mass Effect 3, Borderlands 1 & 2, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Mortal Kombat, Prototype, Splinter Cell 4, Hellgate: London, Dark Messiah.

Sascha Dikiciyan
Sascha Dikiciyan is one of the most distinctive music composers in interactive entertainment, renowned for his cutting-edge electronic sounds and hybrid scores for blockbuster franchises such as Mass Effect, Tron, Quake and Borderlands. Drawing upon his heavy electronic music roots in Berlin and Hollywood, Sascha’s original scores feature epic synth soundscapes, raw electronic beats and musical sound design mixed with live orchestra. Sascha moved from Berlin to Los Angeles in 1993, where he studied at Hollywood’s famous Musicians Institute as well as UCLA’s prestigious School of Music. In 1997, Sascha’s unique electronic/industrial sounds caught the attention of pioneering game developer id Software, who approached him to compose music for the award-winning Quake II. Sascha’s musical identity as “Sonic Mayhem” was born and has since become one of the leading, progressive voices in music for games.

Tom Salta
Tom Salta is one of the most versatile music composer/producers working in multimedia including film, television, advertising and most notably video games. Renowned for crafting memorable, emotionally engaging music for the medium, Salta has garnered widespread acclaim for his distinctive, world-class produced scores featured in blockbuster franchises including: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, From Dust, Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands, Red Steel 1 & 2, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 1 & 2, Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X 1 & 2. Recording under the artist name “Atlas Plug,” tracks from his album “2 Days Or Die” grace many television shows on ABC, CBS, MTV, NBC as well as national commercials. His Atlas Plug music can also be heard in the soundtracks to hit games such as Crackdown, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Project Gotham Racing 3. Salta’s music for Hollywood movie trailers and promos include Spider-Man, Toy Story, Harry Potter, Astro Boy, and Coraline. Prior to his composing career, Salta toured with and worked on releases by a diverse array of popular artists such as Peter Gabriel, Junior Vasquez, Everything But The Girl, Deep Forest, Mary J. Blige and Sinead O’Connor.

Sumthing Else Music Works
Since its creation in the late 1990s by the world-renowned songwriter, musician and record producer, Nile Rodgers, Sumthing Else Music Works has become the acknowledged industry leader in licensing and distributing video game soundtracks. Possessing full in-house services worldwide, from retail marketing and sales through physical and digital distribution, Sumthing is partnered with the world’s leading video game developers and publishers including BioWare, Bungie, Capcom, Crytek, Eidos-Montreal, Epic, Gearbox, Microsoft, Sega, Sony, Square-Enix and THQ. Their catalog of titles includes the best-selling video game soundtrack of all time, Halo 2: Volume One, as well as award-winning and critically acclaimed titles including: Borderlands 2Darksiders II, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Gears of War 3, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Halo: Reach, Fable III, God of War III, Uncharted 2, Halo 3: ODST, Dark Void, Borderlands, InFamous, Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV, Halo Wars, Halo Trilogy, Gears of War 2, Fable II, Crysis, Advent Rising, Fable, Gears of War, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 Volume Two, Halo 3, Hitman: Blood Money, Hitman: Contracts, Jade Empire, Kameo: Elements of Power, Mass Effect, Red Steel, Freedom Fighters and many others.

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About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.