For a change of pace, we're running a little Q&A here with the amazing Dya, whose contributions to The Bounty: Deluxe Edition have really (In my honest opinion) elevated the game to a higher level. I'm personally a huge fan, so this is just as fun a thing to do for me as it is any of you. Anyway, let's start!
So, for a little background, how did you get started in music, and down the path that you've gone?
Oh man. tough question. I think it must have been back in the late 80s - when I was barely old enough to walk. My mother was a pianist for the church - so we had an old hand me down piano at home I used to mess around on. I also remember us having a Yamaha PSS-270 keyboard around that time. I absolutely LOVED all the unique sounds it could produce. Video games and RPGs were also a huge part of my childhood. I remember us having a Sega CD and a copy of Lunar. I would often just sit and listen to the amazing orchestral score.
Sometime around 1997 I started playing trombone, joined band and learned to read sheet music - but piano was always my main instrument. At some point I took piano lessons, and playing piano and organ for church. I also began dabbling in music production on PC with programs like Jeskola Buzz, Fast Tracker 2, and Anvil Studio. To be honest - my sound design was terrible! But I got better (I swear).
As the years have progressed, I've developed my own chiptune and VGM sound using various trackers and DAWs such as Renoise / Reaper / Deflemask and Famitracker.
Could you describe a bit of the creative process that went into writing and recording the tracks in the game?
Absolutely. I had a specific mood in mind for each track to reflect the "game within a game" cyberpunk aspect of The Bounty. For each track I would sit at my piano and start vamping on various chord progressions until something stuck. I then took these ideas and translated them into songs using Renoise and Reaper.
Perilous Journey - Title Theme - was my personal take on the rain-drenched dystopian future of Blade Runner's Las Angeles mixed with a little bit of Jan Hammer and Miami Vice. I wanted the track to sound "futuristic" by way of the 80s but also organic - so using synths of that era - like the Yamaha DX7 and Mini Moog mixed with more acoustic elements like bongos and piano.
Chamber of Echoes - This was the first track I composed for the game and honestly - it totally started out as an accidental homage to Crystal Teardrops from the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night OST! I wanted to make something that sounded like an underground cavern. It's also one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. Beyond that - you've got it all here - trip hop , deep acoustic sounding bass, and sultry jazz instrumentation - rhodes electric piano, flute, trumpet etc. My pal Jisun Hughes did a phenomenal job on the trumpet solo at the end as well!
The Weapon - Speaking of solos! I wrote this song envisioning the music of Tron and the game Flashback from the 90s. Another killer solo - this time from my guitar shredding pal Jesse Jensen (th4 D34D) who is fantastic composer in his own right.
I can't honestly pick a favorite that you did here- but if there is one, it's probably the main theme, "Perilous Journey". It's like an adventure in itself, and to me captures the game's whole sci-fi-lite premise. Is there a track in here that you're especially proud of, or just stands out for any reason?
It's hard to chose! But I think I personally like Chamber of Echoes the most because of the different transitions and solos throughout. I'm also a sucker for trumpet!
You're a busy man- besides being a huge part of this game's soundtrack and doing the music for Bug Attack! (also coming soon to Steam), you have a staggering body of work. Mind sharing a bit about what you have going on right now, and maybe what's next?
My most recent project was an FM Sega Genesis collaboration that took 1st place in the FM Synth competition over on http://battleofthebits.org . You can hear that song here:
I'm also currently working on a second album! It will a variety of different styles composed using the Turbo Grafx 16 chip.
Thanks for your time, and everything you've done to make this game really come into its own. You've really added a new dimension to the whole experience!
Be sure to keep up with everything Dya's got going on at...
Alright, that'll do it for now! I'll come back next time with a bit about the music Fred Capps and I did, and then go into SFX work!
Thanks for reading, dear players.