Initially, computer games were not associated with good music. Today, we can responsibly say the opposite. Music plays a significant role in the world of computer games, shaping the atmosphere, building tension, and enhancing the emotions of players. Composers such as Patryk Scelina sometimes face unique challenges that require both musical skills and a deep understanding of the narrative context of the game.

Instrument selection and the game’s atmosphere

Creating music for computer games is an art of balance between the diversity of instruments and the atmosphere one wants to convey. Patryk Scelina, in his work on “My Memory Of Us,” emphasized the importance of choosing instruments that must be perfectly matched to the game’s atmosphere. String instruments, chromatic percussion (such as marimba or vibraphone), klezmer instruments, and even electronic synthesizers – everything must harmonize to create a cohesive sound track. And that’s why composers sometimes consciously give up certain instruments for the sake of the game’s story. This was the case in My Memory Of Us. Patryk Scelina decided to forego brass instruments altogether.

Patryk Scelina
More about Patryk and his music here: https://polvinyl.pl/en/scelina-en/

Narrative challenges

Composing music for games also means understanding the narrative and context in which the sounds are meant to operate. In the case of “My Memory of Us,” where the story of a boy and a girl unfolds during the Nazi occupation in World War II, the music must capture the delicacy of a child’s imagination. On the other hand, the music must emphasize the difficult and sad reality of war. This narrative challenge requires the composer to be sensitive to the emotions and dynamics of the story.

Diverse inspirations

Composers of game music often draw inspiration from various sources. Scelina mentioned in one interview two extreme directions that served as references for his work: traditional klezmer music and minimalistic, heavy electronic music. This diversity influences the final character of the sound track, adding a unique flavor and style to it.

My Memory Of Us
Source: Play Station

Collaboration with the development team

In the process of creating music for games, collaboration with the development team plays a crucial role. Composers must be flexible, adapting to the artistic vision as well as the technical limitations of the game. Scelina highlights his creative freedom in the “My Memory of Us” project, allowing him to extract a unique sound that perfectly complements the game’s narrative.

Considering the time I dedicated to working on the game music, this will probably be my biggest project overall. So far, I haven’t worked on anything for a longer period of time than two years. Music can be created more quickly. However, I have been involved in the game development process almost from the very beginning. Thanks to this, I had the opportunity to emotionally mature with this project. If I were suddenly surprised with a commission and found out that I had three months to write the entire music score, it would definitely sound different than it does now.
(Patryk Scelina – My Memory of Us, interview, Krzysiek Kowal, 13/11/2018, gamemusic)

Technical challenges

Creating music for games also involves dealing with technical aspects. Scelina emphasized the need to record solo instruments to add authenticity to the sounds. At the same time, he had to consider that not all instruments could be recorded. This, in turn, required finding a balance between virtual and acoustic sounds.

Summary

Composing music for computer games is a unique artistic and technical challenge. In light of Patryk Scelina’s experiences working on “My Memory of Us,” we see that creating a perfect sound track is a process that demands not only musical skills but also the ability to understand and collaborate with the development team. Ultimately, game music is not just an addition but a significant element that brings depth and emotions to the interactive world of virtual gaming. It’s not surprising, therefore, that alongside film music, game music has gained increasing popularity among listeners. We are pleased to see that many Polish composers are breaking into the global music market in the category of game soundtracks.

More: https://polvinyl.pl/en/scelina-en/

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