With Buried being released in a little more than three weeks, I’ve started looking back over the six month journey and find it hard to believe that it’s been six months. One of the moments I recall quite clearly is writing the script to some pretty dark ambient music. I started with Robert Rich, Brian Eno, Jasper TX, and Biosphere. But then I ended up in the endless maze of bandcamp and came across a few artists that I really liked.
One of them was Gimu. So much of his music absolutely nailed the tone I was trying to write towards. So I pitched Brice Morrison (overall head honcho of the project) the idea of reaching out to Gimu to see if he’d be interested in making some music to our unique game.
A few days later, Gimu was on board and crafting what ended up to be some truly great ambient work that I truly feel enhances the game beyond measure.
Because I’m a music geek, I wanted to give Gimu a platform to talk about the creation of the game’s music as well as music in general. Without further delay, here’s Gimu…
Are there any games or movies that you really enjoy the score to?
I can say I don’t like it when the score is too clean, too polished, lots of orchestra or synth sounds only. Some scores are just ruined because of that choice. I wonder what some composers listen to or like when I think a score doesn’t suit a movie at all. I know it has to do with what appeal to most people, etc, etc, and most people are not into “weird”, harsh sounds.
I can’t really remember when I was last impressed by a, say, horror movie score that made me go “wow!” I mean… I’ve only recently watched Suspiria and, its score is eerily magnificent. There is this documentary called Patience (After Sebald). The music for it was made by The Caretaker, one of my favorite artists, and it’s simply wonderful.
As for game music, I like things such as Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssee, The Blinding of Isaac, Secret of Evermore, etc. Sorry if I sound too elusive but I’ve come to understand that not mentioning names might be a good idea.
What are some of your favorite ambient artists? Why?
I don’t really listen to a lot of ambient artists or ambient music. I try to listen to as much new music as possible (and it can be anything) but I lean towards drone or its variations. I enjoy music that seems to cause time to stand still. I love William Basinski but I wouldn’t say it’s ambient music. I listen to a lot of pop music, too.
The majority of your music is dark and gloomy. Do you enjoy listening to things that are the opposite of that?
I was listening to The Smiths on my way to work today. I’ve checked the last things I’ve listened to on rdio. They are: Vangelis, Violeta de Outono, Mercenárias (two 80’s underground Brazilian bands), the Eraserhead soundtrack, Seefeel, The Auteurs, Arca, Flying Saucer Attack, etc. I’ve been listening to some albums released by UAE Records which is my home now. I simply love the music that label puts out.
What equipment and/or software do you use?
Essentialy my iMac and my Macbook. And that’s it. I have lots of gear I haven’t used for years because I got sick and tired of them and wanted to explore all the sound possibilities a computer could give me. It appears to be endless. I could call it ideology: I want to keep it as basic as possible, like, “this is my tool, this is what I have. What can I create?” It’s exciting. Live Ableton is the DAW I use but I don’t use it to create sounds. There’s a lot of sampling and looping going on on my songs as well as things I create myself by playing or hitting stuff.
What does a typical recording session look like for you?
No one would say I am making music. Myself and a computer. It’s really quiet. I live in an apartment which means having to wear headphones all the time. Such a disappointing answer, isn’t it?
Do you utilize field recordings? What can you tell those that might not know about field recordings how they are used?
Grab a recorder…and that can be an app on your cell phone or some very pro piece of gear and go for a walk. I do utilize field recordings but sometimes they are heavily manipulated. So the sound of a wave on a song of mine would never sound like the sound of wave. I just avoid obvious things like bird sounds, for instance. It’s thrilling to know – when you finally understand it – that any sound can become something else. It’s something I have in mind whenever I am working on music:
I don’t want the listener to easily find out what the source of that sound is or how it was made. Some days ago a good friend was saying great things about the guitar sound on this song of mine called “Dust” and… I could’ve kept it a secret but had to tell him there’s no guitar at all on that song.
If someone wanted to start a venture into listening to your music, which album would you recommend to start off with.
Can it be 6 albums? They’re all on my bandcamp page:
“Of The Spirit, Of The Space”
“The Whole World Is Tired Today”
“Sadly Dying Out Never To Resurface Again”
“Mercury Stuck At Freezing”
“Alien Ancestry” could be the first one. Really like that one.
After working on Buried, is composing music for games something you would do again in the future?
Definitely. I was in the dark but excited I finally had that chance! I’m not an expert but I do know that some elements of what I do suit music for movies and games quite well, and I just hope “Buried” is the beginning of something for me.
Where can people learn more about you and you music online?
*A note from Barry: Since conducting the interview, Gimu has included several previews of tracks from Buried on his bandcamp page. Check them out and get geared up for the game’s release in January.