Guildlings OST // Interview with Pedro Silva

blog chillwave Guildlings OST interview OST Pedro Silva VGM

Most of you know Pedro Silva from their enormous contribution to modern chiptune a la everyones favourite 8bit/dreampop/VGM project Slime Girls. Pedro is an incredibly talented musician, composer, and performer from Los Angeles, California and they are responsible for this meticulously crafted 20 track OST. 

Guildlings is a story driven RPG episodic adventure from Sirvo Studios with an endearingly unique premise and a focus of exploration, conversation and non-traditional combat. The art style is akin to low poly 5th generation console games like Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards and modern day indie contemporaries like The Flame in the Flood. The music does an excellent job of punctuating the game play and story telling elements, which are really well balanced, never making you feel like you're grinding through one to get to the other. 

Pedro was also tasked with composing the score to Ooblets which was recently released for early access on Steam and Xbox 1. Ooblets is a life/farm sim with a  card based (dance)battle mechanic and an enchanting aesthetic quite similar to Guildlings. They composed 38 tracks for Vol.1 of the games OST and it is a joy to listen through. 

I spoke with Pedro to ask them about their influences and approach. This is what they had to say. 

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Q1: How different is your approach when creating a game OST as opposed to a Slime Girls Album?

You have to think about the usage and intent behind the music differently. With an OST it has to match, enhance, or provide an emotional layer to the gameplay or art direction of the game it's for, whether it's a specific scene or area or character. Music in video games or film or TV has to act in harmony with the images and emotions going on.

In that regard I think that soundtracks tend to be a little less versatile, no less important or useful or impactful taken out of their original context, but I think they inherently represent music made with very specific context in mind.

Personal / pop / non soundtrack / etc whatever music can have very specific context, or at least implied context, like dance music or ambient music etc. But I think ultimately with music you're writing for yourself you get to decide that context or usage or what have you and you can do whatever you want with it.

On a more technical level, I think that I tend to want OST music to have a smaller dynamic range or spectrum of frequencies than non-OST music. I feel like I don't want a ton of sub-bass or very high end and I don't think you'll hear a lot in most video game tracks. The music has to be layered with SFX and a host of other sounds so it's important to think about that as well, and what device the game is going to be played on primarily, since that would affect how the songs are heard. There's plenty of things to consider when producing individual songs. 

Q2: Which game soundtracks (if any) did you draw inspiration from?

As with any artist I think, the influences are all over the place and vary on a song per song basis. In terms of video game music, I really enjoy the work of Yasunori Mitsuda and Yoko Shimomura and I feel their influence makes its way in quite frequently. From a problem solving point of view, looking at how people before you scored different kinds of gameplay or moods is quite useful. It works both ways as well, either as what to do or what not to do, so I tend to play things and see what they did with the music and how it feels.

But really, the biggest influence for Guildlings are the visuals. What is the world? Who are the characters and how do you represent them musically? In the world of Guildlings, there's an old world full of ruins and dungeons and magic technology, and there's a new, lazy youth culture that hangs out around it. Those two ideas have their own musical textures you can imbue them with and play with.

Q3: What advice would you give to someone who makes music and wants to move into scoring games?

Once you've established a musical identity that isn't easily found elsewhere, reach out to people and projects that you think your vision meshes with. 

FFO: Mark Sparling, Lena Raine, Josie Brechner and Skule Toyama
Find more of their music below

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