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Scorefront:  Karl Preusser

 COMPOSER COLIN O'MALLEY

Composer Colin O'Malley




A composer for feature films, television and games, Colin's clients include the Walt Disney Company, the United States Air Force, Eidos, Electronic Arts and DC Comics. In 2005 Colin received an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Music and Sound for his score to the PBS documentary film "The Last Reunion: A Gathering of Heroes." Colin's game credits include Superman Returns/EA and the upcoming title Tomb Raider Underworld from Eidos/Crystal Dynamics.  (bio continued below)

Official Website

The Quick Eight:

1. What was your first memory of music?

My Dad brought home a toy guitar and mouth piano you. My twin brother picked the guitar and I picked mouth piano. I played it all the time, almost obsessively. The guitar broke in the first few days. Now I'm a composer and my brother is a fighter pilot. Who knows what would have happened if I had ended up with the guitar



2. Who has had the greatest impact on your music?

I had two very unconventional teachers that really impacted me: Jeremy Lyons and Dave Clark. Early on traditional music theory didn't really interest me. I had a hard time staying with it. They were able to come at things from a different angle and keep me focused.


3. How did you come to work in the film / video game music industry?

Basically this is all I have ever done. I've been doing this for 13 years now. The first few years I essentially starved. It's a very slow building process. I guess that is the case with any profession. I do find that things are very credit driven. In the game industry I scored Superman Returns. That opened up a lot of doors. I'm still trying to find the same sort of break into films. I think the key to success as a composer is being able to stick with it. It can be a mind game when you are first starting out.



4. What film or game scores have had the greatest impact on you?

I'd have to say Williams/E.T. That score had such a huge impact on me when I was younger. Having said that, I think it is a mistake to get too hung up on one particular composer's style. It's easy to fall in the trap of emulating another composer and neglecting your own musical voice. Too many people are trying to sound like John Williams or Hans Zimmer, myself included. This is something I'm trying to move away from.



5. What is your current hardware / software configuration for composing?

I use Logic 8 on Quad Core Intel Mac. I also have 4 pc's and an older Mac G5 as slave machines running Kontakt.


6. What other musical genres influence you?

I think it's important to listen to as much diversity as possible. I try to appreciate and understand all genres, even if I don't particularly like them. In that way it's hard for me to narrow down. It really depends on the project I'm working on. For Tomb Raider Underworld I listened to the previous game scores, and a fair amount of ambient world music. It's rare that I just listen to music for the heck of it. It's always related to my work in some form. I spend a lot of time listening to "classical" composers. I learn a lot orchestration wise from them. When I'm not working I usually prefer silence!


7. What is your personal motto or favorite quotation?

I'm not sure I have one. I think humility is very important. I value that in other people more than talent, success or anything else.


8. What would be your dream project?

I would love to score a huge epic no apologies Hollywood blockbuster like the Spielberg/Williams collaborations of the 80's and 90's.
 

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Music Review

Superman Returns: The Video Game
Review by Christopher Coleman

Superman Returns: The Video Game (Game Soundtrack) by Colin O'Malley

While offering impressive works for television and film such as: "The Last Reunion:  A Gathering of Heroes," one of composer COLIN O'MALLEY's most challenging projects had to have been for SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEO GAME.  Let's just look at a couple of reasons as to why.

First and foremost, it's SUPERMAN and there's a big musical tradition that comes with this hero.  There is the iconic music from JOHN WILLIAMS and then JOHN OTTMAN's well-received take for feature film SUPERMAN RETURNS.  These two factors alone gave this tie-in-game a lot to live up to.  Speaking of "tie-in," the second reason is the push for simultaneous game release with the feature film almost always puts a pressure on the developers and this pressure surely extends right down to the composer.

For whatever "tall buildings" were put in COLIN O'MALLEY's path, he appears to have soared right over them on the wings of his own musical score.  From the small sampler of music I've been privileged to hear, SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEO GAME is a very strong effort.  While it doesn't reference any of the well-known themes, this score stills carries a lot of punch.  O'Malley truly crafts his own "Superman" score here.  No half-step-knock-offs.  With a brooding then heroic anthem in "Son of Krypton" and continued uplifting flare in "Guardian of Metropolis," O'Malley touches a bit of Elmer Bernstein and the Olympic-style of John Williams.  Pretty fine company. 

SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEO GAME didn't receive the greatest of welcomes by the game community, but I personally recall having a bit of a good time soaring above buildings and vehicles -doing the occasional good deed here and there in the game's Xbox 360 demo.  Regardless of the game's level of success, COLIN O'MALLEY delivers a strong musical score for it, which continues the proud musical tradition of the Superman franchise.

 

Biography Continued:

Colin is also active in the world of advertising. He has scored ads for Disney, American Idol on FOX, Nickelodeon and Universal Studios. In 2005 Colin received a Gold Addy award for music composition in advertising.

 For the passed 6 years Colin has also worked as an orchestrator and arranger for the recording artist "Yanni." Projects with Yanni include music for the NBC broadcast of the 2004 Olympics in Athens Greece, the main theme for the US Open Golf Championship on CBS, the PBS special and DVD release "Yanni Live:The Concert Event" and Yanni's current project: Yanni Voices.

 

Scorefront Composers:

Penka Kouneva
Assaf Rinde
Stephen Harwood Jr.
Colin O'Malley
Duane Decker
Karl Preusser

 


 

 
 

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