A few years ago, The MEDAL OF HONOR
franchise was put on the musical-map by composer MICHAEL GIACCHINO.
As the franchise continues to press forward, it does so under new
musical leadership. Composer CHRISTOPHER LENNERTZ shares about
this transition and what fans can expect, musically speaking, from the
next MEDAL OF HONOR release!
our job as composers for anything is to serve the needs of the project
first. If that leads to great music in its own right, even better.
Because of the subject matter and style of the Medal of Honor music, I
think it will make a great listen on its own, but my job is to make the
player have the greatest experience they can."
How did you come to be involved with the Medal of Honor
CL: I had been recommended on various occasions to Steve Schnur, EAís
music supervisor by Julia MichelsÖan exec over at FOX. Iíve known her
for years back when we both worked for Basil Poledouris. When it
became clear that they were looking for a new composer, my music was
submitted and they felt that I really had a sensibility for the
project and the passion and style they were looking for. After a few
meetings, I think it just seemed to feel right!
What was your initial reaction at being offered the project?
I was thrilled. They said from the get go that they wanted to approach
this like a Hollywood blockbuster soundtrack. This is my kind of music
and I knew they wanted to give me the tools to do it right, so once I
made sure my schedule was going to fit, I jumped at the opportunity.
As soon as I met Steve and Erik Kraber, the Audio DirectorÖI knew it
would be a great experience.
How would you compare the buzz about you scoring for Medal of Honor as
opposed to scoring a one of your past film projects??
Along with Saint Sinner, the Clive Barker film I did, Iíd say it has
had more buzz than most of my Indy film projects. This game has such a
loyal following and the music has already played a major role. It
seems like people are really exited. I think that the move to the far
east and EAís commitment to scoring with an LA orchestra has
definitely raised the bar.
How much of MG's music and motifs will you employ?
Iím still in the writing process, so I canít really say how much.
Since this takes place in the Pacific with a new main character, many
of the previous themes might not fit, but, I can say that you should
expect the original Medal of Honor theme to appear from time to
time. Some others may be used as needed. Iíve also written a new
Rising Sun theme, Japanese Empire theme, and others that youíll have
to get the game to hear!
Have you played the video game or other Medal of Honor games,
(inasmuch as some form of research for pacing, tempo, for example.)?
I havenít played the new game, but Iíve seen it in progress. Itís
going to be great. I have played the older ones of courseÖboth for
research and fun. Although, I must admit, that my hand/eye
coordination isnít as good as I remembered it being when I was playing
Pitfall and Frogger!
Christopher Lennertz at
the recording session
of Medal of Honor: Rising Sun
Will there be an official soundtrack release?
Iím certainly hoping so. I know Steve Schnur and EA really want to do
something big with this record. Weíre recording with an ensemble that
is over 80 people plus ethnic specialists here in Hollywood on the
Sony Pictures scoring stage where theyíve recorded everything from ET
to Forrest GumpÖso Iím thrilled. Weíre also recording a 32 voice choir
to add some emotional drama as well.
How much music did you write for these upcoming games?
Still writing, but in the end, there will be AT LEAST 100 minutes of
score. Yikes! Iíve got to get back to workÖBut with all the different
locales, adventures and ethnic influences on top of the classic
orchestral sound. There are so many things to explore.
How do you think these projects could change your career?
Probably the biggest change will be the size and scope of this score.
Its really going to feel like a big-budget movie score and hopefully
will be great ammunition to get me noticed for bigger films. Beyond
that, I just feel like Iím able to explore so many new influences in
the pacific theater, that Iím learning a lot myself. Iím sure this
will expand my palette in the future.
You've scored film, television and now video games. What would you say
the principle differences are in working out each?
Well, The big enemy in TV is Time, because things are so fast. The
game world is much closer to film, Iíd say. I usually prefer projects
that give me the chance to use lots of live players, regardless of the
medium. The best part about the game is the freedom from timings that
get locked in editing a feature. In games you can finish a melody or
motif when it falls naturally. But, in the end, as long as a project
gives me the opportunity to do something good with music and work with
great people, then, Iím always interested.
Would you say to an up and coming composer that scoring a video game
is a great way to "break" into the business?
I think scoring ANYTHING is a good way to break into the business. You
never know where contacts will lead, and anytime you create, you get
to practice your craft. If they pay you for itÖeven better.
Some listeners have no interest in the game, and will probably never
play it, they are only interested in the scoreódo you have anything to
say to that, do you think thatís a legitimate audience, or would you
prefer your work to be appreciated more in the context of the game?
Well, our job as composers for anything is to serve the needs of the
project first. If that leads to great music in its own right, even
better. Because of the subject matter and style of the Medal
of Honor music, I think it will make a great listen on its own,
but my job is to make the player have the greatest experience they
What other projects do you have coming up?
My latest film for Josh Butler called Deathlands is coming up on SciFi
in MayÖA post-apocalyptic gunslinger type sound. We really took a lot
of chances with textures, dissonance, and feedback on that one. Very
different from my previous work for JoshÖ Then, immediately after
Medal of Honor, I will be scoring a feature called Tortilla Heaven.
Itís a quirky latin flavored comedy with George Lopez and should
definitely be a drastic change of pace for me after huge orchestral
war music. Somebody pass me the chips and Salsa!
composer Christopher Lennertz for his time and Electronic Arts for