Top Score

Host Emily Reese takes an in-depth listen to video game music and talks with the people who make it.

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  • AwesomenautsTop Score: SonicPicnic and Awesomenauts
    The soundtrack for the game 'Awesomenauts' sounds like an alien radio station. The music was created by a group of composers who call themselves SonicPicnic.August 20, 2015
  • Top Score logoComposer Ryan Ike got his career started at 'Gunpoint'
    Composer Ryan Ike got his first big break in video-game composition by answering an open call for composers on Twitter for a game called 'Gunpoint'. He got the job -- and a BAFTA nomination. Hear more about Ryan Ike on this week's episode of Top Score.August 13, 2015
  • Candy Crush Soda SagaSerious music for a casual game
    Millions of people around the world play the 'casual' game Candy Crush Soda Saga, but composer Johan Holmstrom took the music very seriously, even recruiting the London Symphony Orchestra for the recording session. Holmstrom is Emily Reese's guest on this week's Top Score.August 6, 2015
  • Musicologist Ryan ThompsonA musicologist's look at 'Final Fantasy VI'
    Ryan Thompson is a PhD candidate in musicology at the University of Minnesota, with a special interest in ludomusicology. What is that, you ask? Ludomusicology is a growing field in which musicologists study the impact of music in video games.July 30, 2015
  • Composer Tom SaltaTom Salta's bold choice for subtle music
    The new game 'Spartan Strike' exists in an audio-dominant world. To make sure he could still capture a player's attention, composer Tom Salta decided to record quieter, more subtle cues. He also enlisted the help of the New York Film Chorale and the Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra. Hear more about it on this week's episode of Top Score.July 23, 2015
  • Pierce Huxtable and Emily ReeseTop Score says, 'Thank You, Pierce'
    Top Score says "thank you" to production assistant Pierce Huxtable for one year of great work. Pierce's position was funded by a (non-renewable) grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, an award for which Top Score is forever grateful.July 22, 2015
  • Composer Michael SchicianoWhat's old-school is new again for Michael Schiciano
    Michael Schiciano joins Emily Reese on this week's Top Score to talk about old-school and modern approaches to composing. Thanks to the burgeoning mobile market, many composers use old-school techniques to create music for smartphone games.July 16, 2015
  • Do A Barrel Roll and Emily ReeseDo a Barrel Roll create innovative covers of game music
    The orchestral-rock video game cover band Do a Barrel Roll stopped by Classical MPR to record a set and to chat with Emily Reese, host of Top Score. 'They played a set and stole my heart -- I've always wanted to say that,' Emily says. Listen to the full session.July 15, 2015
  • Music machineSam Dillard is a one-man music-making machine
    Completely self taught, Sam Dillard not only composes music, but he also performs and records his work. Recently hired by Kinect for its new Harry Potter trailer, Dillard joins Emily Reese on this week's episode of Top Score.July 9, 2015
  • Chris HuelsbeckChris Huelsbeck's career leaps to next stage
    The enduring success of composer Chris Huelsbeck's early works has created a fan following in his native Germany and across the world. His work inspired a 2008 concert series, and more recently, he's crowd-funded a new album of piano works. Learn more about Chris Huelsbeck on this week's Top Score.July 2, 2015