As you may notice from my blog I am big fan of the music of Gavin Dunne a.k.a. Miracle Of Sound, so I decide to ask him some questions about music and video games. Here is the result.
Strangera (STR): Let’s start with a worm up question. Can you give us a short recap on the topic „who is Gavin Dunne“?
Miracle Of Sound: Just a big nerd who loves games and music!
STR: We will, of course talk about music, but first let’s talk about games. What is your platform/s of choice, and favorite game genre?
Miracle Of Sound: Well right now I’m primarily on 360. When I can afford it I plan on getting a PS3 too and building a beast PC. Favourite game genre is that one halfway between shooters and RPGs… i.e Fallout 3 , Mass Effect etc.
STR: On prima vista what are your top all time favorite games?
Miracle Of Sound: 1. Fallout 3; 2. Mass Effect 2; 3. Half Life 2; 4. A Link To The Past; 5. Skyrim.
STR: And what is the WORST game that you have ever played?
Miracle Of Sound: Probably Duke Nukem forever. That game was just wretched in every way.
STR: Favorite game character?
Miracle Of Sound: Ezio Auditore! I love his character arc and development from happy go lucky ladies’ man into uber-badass assassin. I also love tonnes of the Mass effect characters, in particular Wrex and Garrus.
STR: For the people that by any chance don’t know, you are probably most famous for doing game related songs, as „Miracle of Sound“. Is there any interesting story about the name, or it was just… yeh, I will name myself „Miracle of Sound“? 🙂
Miracle Of Sound: Nah, I didn’t plan it. Actually it was the name of a song I wrote for my old band. It was literally a song about music, and how music is this amazing, miraculous thing. It’s also a reference to Soundwave from Transformers G1. I used it as my forum username on the Escapist so it just naturally became the name I was known as!
STR: It is clear that you can actually sing really, really well, 😀 so I presume that you have study music/played somewhere else before starting „solo epic game music career“. Can you give us some back story of the guy before the guy that gamers know as Miracle of Sound?
Miracle Of Sound: I never studied music. I am self taught and I cannot read or write sheet music. I have however been in bands for over a decade now, so I’ve had a lot of practice! Singing was hard to get right. Took me years of practice to get it to an acceptable level.
STR: What music instruments can you play?
Miracle Of Sound: Guitar and keyboards, that’s it really. Most of the other instruments you hear in my songs are me playing software synths or orchestral sims through my keyboard.
STR: Any second impressions on the Gibson Les Paul guitar that you bought recently?
Miracle Of Sound: It’s beautiful. It feels amazing to play, it’s hard to describe it just feels so… smooth.
STR: What was the first game related song that you did \I can see in your youtube profile, that the first upload was Gordon Freeman Saved My Life\
Miracle Of Sound: That’s the one.
STR: So how do you decide to do it? You woke up one morning and thought „today I will create a totally kick ass game song“ and you made it, or it was something more complicated? 😀
Miracle Of Sound: No I woke up one day pissed off that my band had fallen apart just as we were signed by a label and about to hit the big time. So I made that song to cheer myself up! Posted it on the Escapist and BAM it just went mad.
STR: After which song you saw that things are going big a.k.a. what was the first big hit that you made?
Miracle Of Sound: I think Commander Shepard was the song that really made the MOS thing take off. The views on that were something else and it was the first one that showed me there’s a potential niche here.
STR: So you are writing the lyrics and the music for most of your songs alone, and then you record them all by yourself \audio mixing etc\? What is the typical creative process for you?
Miracle Of Sound: The creative process is ‘sit down and work your obsessive, compulsive ass off’. Musical ideas are easy and always come naturally, but making new lyrics all the time is tough. I basically knuckle down and will go without sleep until I get it done. Recording and mixing the song can take anything from 20 to 100 hours.
STR: „Take it back!“ I guess creating this song was a little bit different than the rest of your stuff. What was the process of creating it, and how did you manage to do such awesome song without spoiling the game for yourself?
Miracle Of Sound: Bioware asked me to make it for the ME3 launch. They sent me the trailers early so I had a vibe for the game. They asked me to make the song about taking earth back, and if I would make something kind of mainstream and rocky, so I said no problem!
STR: Have any other game developers approached you yet \if they haven’t they should do it NOW\?
Miracle Of Sound: No they have not. DO IT!
STR: And the other interesting thing that was a little bit different – Legends Of The Frost, the awesome Skyrim song that you recorded with Malukah. You said that you wrote this last year, so how this song came together?
Miracle Of Sound: We were mutual fans and we just Tweeted at eachother, haha! It was fairly simple really. ‘I love Miracle Of Sound’s Sovngarde Song!’ ‘Awesome 🙂 Wanna do a collaboration?’ ‘Yeah!’ It was that simple! I wrote the song specifically for the collaboration – I wanted it to be something genuinely awesome and passionate, not just a half assed collaboration to get more views from eachother.
STR: And is there an old game that you really want to make a song about but, still haven’t had the chance to do?
Miracle Of Sound: I always get asked for a Halo song but just haven’t gotten round to it yet. I will make one when H4 comes out. As for my own wishlist, it would be nice to do something for ICO although that would get very few views.
STR: I heard that you had a live event in a local convention near you some time ago? Any planes for more live performances, and when you are going to have concert on gamescom so I can book tickets from now? 😀
Miracle Of Sound: No plans right now, touring is an expensive activity and I don’t even have a band. Maybe in the future, once I’m more established.
STR: There are a lot of people that do game related songs. Most of them can’t sing at all \but they are doing cool parody’s in the end of the day\, other can sing, but absolutely no one of them can brag with such great variety of game related music \I count 40+ songs at the moment\. Is it hard to stay fresh and push new content so often \at the moment without counting the side projects you do new song for The Escapist every 2 weeks\?
Miracle Of Sound: As i said, the music part is easy. I have tonnes of ideas flowing around at all times and it is a blessing to be able to do whatever genre I like whenever. Lyrics is the hard part – it is indeed tricky to make new ones every second week as there are only so many ways to say things!
STR: What is coming next? Can you give us a small hint what we can expect from you in the feature?
Miracle Of Sound: Well I’m going to Comic Con SD this year so it would be awesome to meet up with fans there. I may be doing something with Bioware there again too so stay tuned! As for songs, the near future will be bringing more Assassin’s Creed (Ezio is finally getting his own song) and my first purely instrumental song for the Esacapist.
STR: Ok, I think that I took more than enough of your busy schedule, so any last words for your fans in Bulgaria before we rap this up?
Miracle Of Sound: Just thanks for listening and for the support. The fans are who put any artist where they are 🙂