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PAX Prime 2013: Interview: Tommy Tallarico

InterviewPAX Prime 2013

Tommy Tallarico’s fully engaged in the touring stage of his career. The prolific composer’s created compositions for over a few hundred videogames and has given us such an immense quantity of well-regarded music but now his focus is on making videogame scores more visible. With his third Video Game Live album, Tommy’s turned to crowdfunding to make his vision a reality. We interviewed Tommy during PAX about what this entails.

The first question when doing a third album poses itself: why turn to Kickstarter on the third time out? Tommy answered before we could get there. The first couple albums were passion products that required an immense amount of time and personal investment before they could be funded. With Kickstarter, Tommy hopes to focus on getting into production straight-away and focusing on the parts that better the product. Kickstarter’s recently found an audience for a range of videogame music projects and now felt like the right time to launch one.

Performing live music is very different from the role of composing. Asked whether or not he’d return to composing videogame music, Tommy said it’s the difference between sitting alone in a dark basement and piecing together arrangements or performing to a full arena. There’s little comparison there and it’s clear that bringing awareness to the music’s what drives him to continue the tour.

It’s been a successful run. They’ve found far reaching audiences and international success. Of those performances Tommy said how the reaction had been incredible. It was something the audience doesn’t expect in other countries, like Brazil, and that experience is completely new to them. That comes across as the reason for touring and finding a broad audience for what’s largely been a mysterious kind of process for people who play games. Spreading the passion is the important thing.

As for new videogames, Tommy said he’s most looking forward to Assassin’s Creed IV and Destiny. He went on to talk about Destiny’s music and that Martin O’Donell’s one of the modern composers who he listens to and isn’t it crazy that he’s done some work with Paul McCartney for Destiny. Tommy said his ideal collaboration would be with his cousin and lead singer of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler. It’s something they’ve kicked around some ideas for but has yet to come to fruition.

Currently the Kickstarter’s doing well and Tommy says the response has largely been positive. It’s brought out others who also want to push the visibility of videogame music and want to fast track another Video Games Live album. For now, his tour and continues to push the industry’s musical talent to the forefront, proving the importance of great videogame music through sharing it with others.

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2007. Get in touch on Twitter @Calvin_Kemph.

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