Thursday, 28 February 2013

Meet Leon Willett

This week on F5 Quicksave!

We received a lot of praise for Hoodwink’s soundtrack and all that credit should go to one person, Mr. Leon Willett.

Leon isn't a newbie to composing music for games; in fact he was nominated for several awards and even bagged some. His work on Dreamfall received universal praise and Mike Kendrick from The Gateway said; 

"Leon Willett has done for Dreamfall what John Williams and Danny Elfman have given to Hollywood"

You can find out a lot about Leon's work through his website but I wanted to learn more about the man behind the music. So I sent him a few questions which he gladly took the time to answer.

What is your favourite game and is there a specific genre you favour?

As a composer I favour the adventure genre. I’m passionate about this kind of games, and the focus on plot can afford the opportunity to compose some quite meaningful music.

As a player, I like very geeky games that require a lot of thought and planning. I’m not into causal gaming. For instance, I was in a WoW arena team for a while. On weekends, I like to play large online battles with Shacktac.

Hoodwink Main Theme

Which game score/soundtrack were you most impressed by, or the one you found most memorable?

I always liked Giacchino’s old “Medal of Honor” scores. In fact, I liked them so much that I soon got into composing for games after I heard them. In those days symphonic scores were still a rarity, so I found them special. I wanted to do that too!

Who is your all-time favourite composer?

I’m torn between John Williams and Joel McNeely.

What is your favourite musical instrument and why?

I think it’s easy to tire of any instrument if you hear it too much, so I can’t really pick one.  This is why I like the symphony orchestra as a medium; almost limitless colours and textures.

What are you listening to these days?

This might sound bizarre but I don’t listen to music very often. If I do put something on, I prefer spoken word. I’m a fan of Marc Maron’s show, WTF; or I might put on some stand-up comedy albums.

What are your thoughts on dubstep?

I love it! A breath of fresh air; the biggest thing to happen in dance music in the 2000s, in my opinion.

What are you currently working on?

I’m pitching to a couple of games, and will make an announcement if/when I’m commissioned to write a new score.

What do you like to do when you aren't composing?

I like a trip to comedy club, playing video games, or a long walk. Sometimes I like to pick up an old classical score and read it like a book, really taking it in. I also like chess puzzles. I do the one in the paper every day.

Will you be working on Hoodwink Episode 2?

Yes, I’m set to begin work on the score quite soon.

Picture sourced from
What was it like working on Hoodwink with E1 studio?

Great! I love the plot, characters and look of the game. It was a really nice opportunity to go out on a limb and compose a 40’s big-band jazz score. It was pretty special, and very enjoyable.

Have you eaten any Malaysian dishes before?

Sure, one of my favourite restaurants is Malaysian. I like the sate (satay) dishes.

Thank you for your time Leon and I can’t wait to get swept away by your next master piece. And to anyone reading this, I recommend you to listen to his other compositions and share them with your friends.

They are bound to fall in love with it.

Until next time gamers. 

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