An Easy Game to Play: Paul McCartney Composes Video Game Soundtrack

The former Beatle has collaborated on the soundtrack to the shooting game 'Destiny'

Paul McCartney, Video Games
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Paul McCartney
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Even a peace-loving vegetarian like Paul McCartney sees nothing wrong with blasting bloodthirsty aliens hell-bent on destroying Earth, or so it would seem now that the former Beatle has collaborated on the score to the PlayStation and Xbox game Destiny. The singer-songwriter has even recorded a theme song, reportedly about hope, for the game, according to The New York Times. Although he has yet to publicly comment on the soundtrack or slate a release date for the theme song as a single, Destiny will arrive on September 9th.

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McCartney first announced that he was working on a project with the game's studio in a July 2012 tweet, saying how happy he was to be writing music for the people who made Halo, but the Times reports that the project has been in the works for four years. The former Beatle collaborated with Halo composers Marty O'Donnell and Mike Salvatori. O'Donnell reportedly approached McCartney with the suggestion that writing a video game score could be a challenge, since the music must change depending on how a player navigates the game.

O'Donnell and McCartney met over the past few years at studios in Los Angeles, New York and London, including Abbey Road, to work on ideas. Last August, O'Donnell told the gaming website Edge that the trio came up with a 50-minute suite that they intended to release before the game. The video game composer reported at the time that McCartney even added some Beatles-esque touches to the score. "He brought out his old tape-loop machine – he said the last time he used it was on Sgt. Pepper," O'Donnell said. "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."

Excerpts from the score that have leaked online this summer show off grand choral arrangements with plucky orchestral flourishes. Similarly, the Times reports that McCartney's theme song was recorded with a 120-piece orchestra at Abbey Road, with Sir George Martin's son, Giles, conducting and Madonna and U2 producer Mark Stent producing.

And for fans doubting McCartney's interest in violent video games, O'Donnell said he had that fear, too – at first. "That was one of the things we were quite worried about: Would Paul even be interested in a sci-fi shooting game?" he told Edge last year. "But he seemed excited about it. He's played Halo with his grandkids.... I think he's pretty excited that he's stretching into an area he hasn't stretched before."

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