Level 19: Harmonix, Alex Rigopulos, Patron of the Week

This episode is a long ‘un!

Last week, Sam and I were at PAX East in Boston. I moderated a panel called

Maestros of Video Games. Composers Tom Salta, Jason Hayes, Daniel James, Mikolai Stroinski and Gareth Coker spoke about their experiences writing music for games like World of WarcraftThe Witcher 3 and Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain.

While we were in Boston, we got to check out where Harmonix Music Systems lives. Steve Pardo, who we’ve interviewed in the past, invited us there to meet some of the other composers and sound designers that make Harmonix’s trademark musical games like Rock Band, Fantasia: Music Evolved and A City Sleeps.

Thursday, we sat down with Jon Carter (creative lead for Beat Sports, Music VR), Arthur Inasi (senior sound designer for A City Sleeps, Dance Central, Music VR, Beat Sports), Steve Pardo (audio lead for Rock Band VR, audio lead and composer for Beat Sports, composer/sound designer for Fantasia: Music Evolved) and Pete Maguire (sound designer for Music VR).

Friday, we went back and chatted with Harmonix co-founder Alex Rigopolous. He talked about what it was like to create a company designed at bringing music to the masses through video games.


Our Patron of the Week is Craig Parker. Craig sent me a list of his eleven favorite video game tunes, and we talked about the first two:

1. “Wanda Wanda” from Katamari Damacy by Yuu Miyake

2. “Far Horizons” from Skyrim by Jeremy Soule

3. “Elizabeth” from BioShock Infinite by Garry Schyman

4. “Chrono’s Theme” from Chrono Trigger by Yasunori Mitsuda

5. “Star-Stealing Girl” from Chrono Cross by Yasunori Mitsuda

6. “Steel for Humans” from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt by Marcin Przybylowicz

7. “Mad Forest” from Castlevania III by Hidenori Maezawa and company

8. “Propeller Knight” theme from Shovel Knight by Jake Kaufman

9. “To The Sun” from Final Fantasy XIV by Nobuo Uematsu and more

10. “Aquatic Ambience” from Donkey Kong Country by David Wise

11. “Meltdown 2” from Cave Story 3D by Danny Baranowsky

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