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Gordy Haab's Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2017)

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I was also thinking that could be turned into a kickass fanfare. It's one of the most stagnant and uninteresting themes with no variation, just repetition in AotC.

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4 minutes ago, Gistech said:

 

EU GDPR prevents me from seeing the article.

 

Ah sorry, here ya go.

 

Quote

Growing up in Richmond’s Lakeside neighborhood, Gordy Haab, like many children of the 1970s, listened to a lot of the “Star Wars” soundtrack. He listened to “The Empire Strikes Back” so much, he wore out three copies of the soundtrack.

“It became part of my DNA,” Haab said from Los Angeles, where he lives and works as a composer for TV, movies and video games.

Now, 40 years later, he has scored over 17 hours of music for “Star Wars” video games.

 

So much so, he’s been called the “heir apparent to John Williams,” the legendary “Star Wars” composer, by such outlets as Billboard magazine.

Most recently, when Haab was working on the score for “Star Wars: Battlefront II,” he specifically set out to put his stamp on the John Williams classic.

“They asked me to write the B-side to John Williams’ A-side,” Haab said. “It was an opportunity to build that into my own vocabulary. I could write whatever I wanted to write. But I wanted to get as close as possible as I could [to John Williams].”

To start, he writes all his musical scores by hand. He recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios, where John Williams recorded the new “Star Wars” movie soundtracks. And like Williams, Haab recorded with the full London Symphony and an 80-member choir.

“Each time I went overseas, I tried something that hadn’t been used before,” he said.

He put a full ensemble on taiko drums to get that epic “Star Wars” sound. On another visit, he used the hammer from Mahler’s 6th Symphony.

“It looks like the hammer of Thor. It creates a cannon sound,” Haab said. It’s the first Mahler hammer to be used on a “Star Wars” score.

He wrote a theme song for the new “Star Wars” player character Iden Versio and a combat suite for her, featuring the taiko drums and Mahler hammer.

It took nine trips and approximately 900,000 miles to complete the score.

The effort paid off.

The finished product is an epic, cinematic score that has won rave reviews, including the ASCAP award for best video game score of the year.

“Gordy Haab is a gifted composer who puts his heart into every project. He studied the ‘Star Wars’ scores for years until they became part of his own composing vocabulary,” said Jennifer Harmon, from ASCAP’s Film/TV staff.

“That award means a lot to me because it’s nominated and voted on by my peers,” Haab said.

Besides the “Star Wars” video games, Haab created the scores for “Halo Wars 2” and “The Walking Dead” video game.

He has also created music for film and TV projects such as MTV’s “The Truth Below” and TLC’s “Little People Big World,” to name a few.

Haab grew up in Lakeside and moved with his family to Mechanicsville when he was 10. He graduated from Lee-Davis High School and studied music composition at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Doug Richards, the recently retired professor of jazz composition at VCU, had the biggest influence on him, Haab said.

“Everything I learned about writing music was from him,” Haab said. “He was very tough on me and my abilities. But he helped me become who I am today.”

At VCU, he studied and worked with many members of the No BS! Brass Band, including Taylor Barnett who plays trumpet for the band.

 

“In a lot of ways, I feel like Gordy was the same way back then that he is now: unassuming and humble, but also brilliant and the hardest-working person you’ll ever meet. The deadlines that he works under in the film and video game industry are crazy, but this is how he’s always done it,” said Barnett, who is now an assistant professor of music at VCU. “Since I’ve known him, he never just ‘got the job done.’

“He always went above and beyond in the level of craftsmanship and creativity in his compositions.

After graduating, Haab moved to California to study scoring for motion pictures and television at the University of Southern California.

Inspired by the music featured in Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg movies, Haab always thought he would be a composer for film.

“I never thought about getting into video games,” Haab said. But he after scoring his first video game (an “Indiana Jones” game), he was given a significant budget and realized that he wanted to explore that side of the industry.

He began attending developers conferences and worked to establish himself as a composer in the video game industry.

“This side of the industry really cares about high-quality music. They want the music to be great,” Haab said. “The budget for these games is on par with or larger than the biggest Hollywood blockbuster films.”

Haab can’t say exactly what he’s doing now, but he did say that he’s working on two AAA game titles, as well as a brand-new, large-scale film franchise.

He returns to Richmond regularly to visit his parents, who still live in the area, along with his wife, whom he met at VCU.

His favorite things to do in town: “Pop into my brother-in-law Lee Gregory’s restaurant, The Roosevelt, in Church Hill. And see No BS! Brass Band perform. I’m still friends with all those guys.

“Good food, good music, is always at the top of my list.”

 

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The restaurant his brother-in-law owns, The Roosevelt, is a personal local favorite.  My wife and I have been there for three of our five anniversary dinners.

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