Tearaway on Top Score

by Emily Reese
January 30, 2014

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Composer Brian D'Oliveira (Photo courtesy of artist)
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Tearaway is the newest game from British game developer Media Molecule.

Composers Kenny Young and Brian D'Oliveira worked together to come up with the right sound for the Tearaway world — a world that looks as if it's been made of paper.

Kenny is the Head of Audio for Media Molecule, and was a part of the game from the early steps. Brian came into the project a bit later, after Kenny and the team had a better sense of what the game should sound like.

Kenny and Brian are both multi-instrumentalists: Brian plays crumhorn, trombone, guitar, viola da gamba and cello, among others; Kenny plays fiddle and sings, and they both play a multitude of percussion instruments.

The result is endearingly innocent and amateurish, which was a goal of Kenny's. "We wanted it like a small band of musicians, like actual music being played by real people in a pub," he says.

And it does. Brian picked up a trombone for the first time in his life to play "The Gopher."

Kenny lends his voice to "The Message" — he had to sing it lower and slower, then pitch it up to get just the right sound:

Overall, Kenny and Brian wanted to incorporate aspects of folk music in unique ways. Brian chose to use medieval instruments, like crumhorns and gemshorns, creating unique sounds unfamiliar to most of our ears.

You can hear some of these usual sounds in "The Barn":

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