Cloudscape OST // Interview with Samantha van der Sluis

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FFO: FrogunHARVESTELLA, Paper Animal RPG and Cozy Grove

Samantha van der Sluis took the time to answer a few questions we had about their work on the upcoming game Cloudscape. Here is what they had to say!


 Q1: One of your upcoming games "Cloudscape" is an adorable pixelated life sim. How did you create the chiptune sounds for that score?


A1: Thank you! It's an incredible project to work on, and I hope the fans will appreciate the love and care we put into the game. The overall score is a hybrid between orchestral and synth/chiptune sounds. I decided to go with this sound to complement the art style. The chiptune sounds are created from VST synths where I used presets and also created my own adjusting certain knobs and faders. Some of the most used throughout the soundtrack are stock plugins from Cubase which I manually adjusted to customize the sound, as well as Omnisphere patches, and creating an initial sine wave then editing that into another interesting sound wave. There's so many synth plug-ins and VSTs that I'm constantly patch surfing, but the ones mentioned above are definitely heard the most throughout the score. I also take inspiration for sounds from Mort Garson's "Plantasia" album, Nintendo's "Earthbound" soundtrack, and indie games "Alchemic Cutie" with music by Dale North and "Garden Story" composed by Grahm Nesbitt.


Q2: You tend to compose for cozy and light-hearted games. Do you find these types of games simply line up with your musical instincts? Or is it for a different reason?


A2: I definitely have a soft spot for cozy, wholesome games and always enjoy the music from games in this category. Although I am capable of composing in a variety of styles, it's also important to be proud of the project you are working on and to enjoy it. I feel fulfilled when working on these types of projects as there's usually many different kinds of music needed such as "beach music", "seasonal music", "map-specific music" and "combat music" to name a few. Cute, cozy games are definitely my favourite type of genre to write for, but I also won't shy away from something out of this category!


Q3: You work in the film industry doing "Music Preparation". Do you mind explaining what that entails?


A3: Sure thing! Music Preparation basically involves everything needed in order to have the sheet music ready for musicians to play live. This can involve orchestration, MIDI mockups, and mostly copying and proofing the score and each part before it reaches the musician in the studio. It's important that this step in the process happens to avoid any mistakes on the scoring stage. Hiring live musicians and studios is very expensive, and the amount of mistakes on the sheet music I can limit, the less stress and expenses the team have to deal with.

Q4: Are you passionate about composing film scores as well as game soundtracks?

A4: Absolutely. I have scored a few films in the past, including Sony Pictures film "Killer Night Shift" and animation short film, "Felix". As a media composer, I am open to most opportunities that come my way, I even recently scored a podcast series called Otter Space which was released earlier this year.

Q5: Do you have any other upcoming projects you are allowed to talk about?
A5:  As well as "Cloudscape", I also am working on games "Petit Island", "Love, Ghostie", and another game which is currently under a working title. "Petit Island" is a cute, photo exploration game in which you follow the cat character, Lily, while she explores an island her "grand-paw" (grandpa) grew up on. He lost most of his memories and Lily wants to try to re-capture those moments for him so he can enjoy them once more! It's a very sweet story. "Love, Ghostie" is a match-making game where the player plays as the ghost, Ghostie, and tries to pair up the residents of a mansion together by secretly dropping gifts pretending they are from another resident. You can match up any pair of residents and see if they're a good fit, but you may also have a few awkward dates too (the music I wrote for the awkward dates was definitely a fun one to compose). There will be some demos coming up soon for these games, so be on the lookout!
Q6: What have you been listening to lately?

A6:  Lately, I've been listening to the new World of Warcraft expansion, Dragonflight, soundtrack. I've been a fan of the music and the game for several years now and it's exciting to hear the new music. Also, I've been listening to Alexandre Desplat's score to "Julie & Julia" - I love how light-hearted the music is!


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