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May 2, 2003


Composer Christopher Lennertz
Taking the Reigns of Honor


Born near Boston, Massachusetts

Wrote first song in fifth grade

Studied music at USC under Elmer Bernstein, Buddy Baker, and David Raskin

Resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Official Web Site

Composition Credits

Dr. Doolitte 3

Shark Bait

Supernatural (TV)

Gun (Game)

Medal of Honor:
Dogs of War (Game)

Medal of Honor:
Rising Sun (Game)

Medal of Honor:
Pacific Assault (Game)

America! (Hallmark)

Back by Midnight

Brimstone (TV)

The Fourth Tenor

Lured Innocence

Piranha (Showtime)

Saint Sinner (USA)

The Strip (TV)

Warning: Parental Advisory (VH-1)

Other Credits:

101 Dalmations

The Jungle Book
(Electronic sequencing)

Free Willy II
(Score Production)

Michael Jackson's History (Music Editing)

(Source music)









Christopher Lennertz - Taking the Reigns of Honor

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!


The Interview

"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 can."

Christopher Lennertz

CC: How did you come to be involved with the Medal of Honor franchise?

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!

CC: 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.

CC: 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.

CC: 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!

CC: 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
Christopher Lennertz at the recording session
of Medal of Honor:  Rising Sun

CC: 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.

CC: 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.

CC: 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.

CC: 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.

CC: 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.

CC: 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 can.

CC: 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!

Tracksounds thanks composer Christopher Lennertz for his time and Electronic Arts for their cooperation. 

Got a comment?  Discuss this music here!




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