The name “Winifred Phillips” isn’t a stranger around these parts, and there’s a darn good reason for that! Her compositional style is not only fascinating in construction, but varied in mood and genre. Little Big Planet 2′s Toy Story DLC is an example of how varied her arsenal is with genres. In this DLC project we see three genres reign supreme: Big Band, Bluegrass, and Symphonic.
What better way to start the Toy Story DLC than presenting the players with a Big Band piece. Toy Story Big Band Theme’s swing-like-feel and mellowness draws out a casual adventure for the players as well keep things really relaxed and hip. I appreciate the nice Andante tempo used than blasting through the piece in a faster tempo. I’m surprised on the fluidity of this piece, as well with that tasty Trumpet and Piano solo halfway into the piece. Good construction and layering.
Toy Story Western Theme’s Honky-tonky-ness and Bluegrass-ness is wonderful. It must haven been a headache trying to layer together all these samples into one solid work. Banjo, fiddle-playin, piano, mouth harp, percussion, ect, filling in one another and falling out for one another; it’s most definitely a treat for the ears. Near the end of the piece you get a taste of Evil-Railroad-Villain piano playing that would fit any Silent Black and White film. This piece was very imaginative and fun, and a genre that I do not think Winifred Phillips has treaded upon until now. Great job!
If you’re a symphonic kind of person, then your ears will swoon to Winifred’s Toy Story Space Theme. Adventerous, dark, and epic are choice words to describe this piece. I would go on even describing this piece as some sort of Tone Poem with its variety in direction and sense of Bravado. Winifred’s forte of the Symphonic style is evident in her past soundtracks, so we could have only expected such quality work from Winifred!
While the music of the DLC may have been limited to only three tracks, they nevertheless prove to be an excellent production of work from Winifred Phillips. Knowing now that her ability to work with genres outside her norm and achieving astounding success is possible, I’d like to hear different genres of music from her in future projects. Much thanks to Winifred Phillips as well her producer, Winnie Waldron, for this exceptional musical product!
Speed Racer, God of War, Spore Hero, and SimAnimals; What do these titles have in common? They were fortunate enough to have Winifred Phillips grace their soundtrack with her pencil and staff [paper]. Of course these are not the only games she has worked on, but we are here today to observe the newest addition to her musical repertoire: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole Original Videogame Soundtrack.
The job as composer was handed to Winifred in January of this year by Zack Synder, director of Legend of the Guardians and 300, which was nine months prior to the theatrical and game release. An important note to make about this soundtrack is that it was completed before the composer of the film, David Hirschfelder, was given the job to work on the score, so what this means is that everything you hear on the soundtrack is of complete originality on Winifred’s part and a demonstration of her imaginative and magnificent style on the game’s soundtrack.
Spore Hero Original Videogame Score was released on October 6th, which shared the launch date of Spore Hero as well. We have the talent of Winifred Phillips behind the music of this gem, with her music producer, Winnie Waldron, by her side. If you don’t know much about either, swing by the bio page on Winifred Phillips’s website here. You know the drill, that is if you’ve read my previous reviews, read about both of them before moving on!
The first time I went through this soundtrack, I was left with a lot of questions that I needed to have answered, like which song is played and so on, so I decided to watch some playthroughs on the youtube to check these tracks in action. My reaction: Priceless.
The soundtrack definitely takes to the tribal side of things, and the first track, “Spore Hero Main Theme”, makes that quite apparent. Very appropriate. The next track, “Home World”, is the intro to the game when you begin your quest. While listening and watching on youtube, I couldn’t help but chuckle on how well the music complements the game. The opening sequence, tied fairly well with the music, does the job on letting you know that this is going to be a pretty comedic and wonderous adventure. For those who played the game or seen the opening, does not the blue creature that retrieves the egg bear the same characteristics of Sid the Sloth + Scrat the Squirrel?
If you don’t mind, I’ll jump around a bit now. Taking a large leap, we go straight to “Beast Brawl”, which is the fight music for this game. Even with the feeling of tension in the air it produces, it stays quirky and true to the nature of the game. I love the mouth harp that comes in and out during the track. Mouth harps are pretty useful to give a wild west feeling to music, but also adds a bit of humor if used appropriately. I’m sure it was used for the quirky side of things here, or possibly to capture that dueling feel of westerns. One can only wonder…or ask the composer.
Going back a track, we find ourselves to “Sporexplore”, which I take it as the exploring theme. Clever name, it would also be like if I were to say that I find my classes at times Sporing (applause isn’t necessary, I get me too sometimes). The track is pretty vivid and feels like an exploration of sound as well. Instruments come and go, like the environment that past by you in-game.
Track 17, “Spore Wars”, was nothing I would have expected on this soundtrack. Electric Guitar? Haunting homophonic choruses? My goodness this track was quite the epic. If this track didn’t raise your fighting spirit, I’m not sure what will. Bravo on this track. This track then leads to the ending track, “Hero Theme”, which is a militant sounding track to already add to the diversity given by the previous track. It’s funny to say this, but the last two tracks of the soundtrack ended up being my personal favorites.
Winifred Phillips does a smashing job at creating music that complements Spore Hero extraordinarily well. Wonderful use of percussion to give that tribal feeling in the game, as well as enhances the comedic value that is presented in the first scenes of the game and throughout. I must say, Winifred Phillips created a soundtrack that can stand alone from the game, something I could listen to simply because of its quirkiness and how well it was crafted. Wonderful job to her, and my thanks and praises also extend to her producer, Winnie Waldron, as well! Thank you.