Photo by Joshua Mellin
In 50-plus-years, Paul McCartney has probably soundtracked every human experience imaginable, which explains why there’s both a calendar day and an actual mountain named in his honor. Whether you’re engaging in your first kiss, breaking up with an old lover, running through a field, or making a peanut butter and bacon sandwich, there’s probably a Macca song appropriate for the situation. Now, as The New York Times reports, McCartney is set to bring his music to your late-night video game binges, as he’s scored the upcoming Bungie and Activision title Destiny.
McCartney actually began work on the score way back in 2010, working in Los Angeles, New York, and London’s famed Abbey Road Studios alongside Mike Salvatori and Marty O’Donnell, who previously served as Bungie’s in-house composer. In addition to his scoring work, McCartney submitted the game’s theme song, which was recorded by a 120-member orchestra led by Giles Martin, son of former Beatles producer George Martin. McCartney’s as-yet-untitled theme song, produced by Mark “Spike” Stent (Madonna, U2, Lady Gaga), is slated to be released as a single leading into the game’s release on September 9th.
Though it’s his first project involving video games, McCartney is no stranger to the orchestra pit. Since 1990, he’s written four full-length orchestral pieces and bevy of shorter classical pieces. Plus, he’s a darn Beatle, so he has that going for him, too.
A 70-minute preview of the score was rolled out during the game’s beta testing last month. As the Times describes it, the score is “widely varied, with lush orchestral and choral sections and eerie, atmospheric passages, to fast paced, heavily percussive sections and high-adrenaline string, brass and electronic figures.”
In an interview last summer with gaming publication Edge, O’Donnell said the music focuses on a “50-minute suite that tells its own story that’s within the story of the Destiny universe.” He added that McCartney, whose only other video game experience is apparently playing Halo with his grandkids, even brought out “his old tape-loop machine – he said the last time he used it was on Sgt. Pepper. So he sent me an entire session where he was playing around with all these tape-loops. We were just thrilled. That [was] the same machine that was on Revolver.”
Destiny is an “online multi-player first-person shooter” set in the open world of a “mythic science fiction.” Players take on the role of a survivor of the “Collapse,” which wiped out most life on our solar system. As a mix of an FPS and and MMO, it emphasizes creating and developing your own character, from a pool of alien lifeforms, and innovative combat tactics and strategy. The game’s engine is also said to be “alive,” leading to in-game developments that might not have been planned by developers.
Below, check out footage from the beta, which features brief tidbits of the score. Update: Also check out a preview of the film’s theme song.