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Richard Jacques: ‘Orchestral scores in games provide such a human connection for the player’

Unlike typical teens, composer Richard Jacques was an early riser. Waking up with the dawn chorus was a necessity — not because his circadian rhythm demanded it, but because his alarm would go off at 5am each morning so he could get in an hour of gaming before he had to leave for school.

Ever since Jacques had been given a personal computer for his 11th birthday in 1984, he was hooked on exploring the 2D worlds of British indie games like Jet Set Willy, as well as honing his computer programming skills by composing electronic music through his joystick, keyboard, and mini synthesiser. Much to the relief of his music teacher parents, this wasn’t a time-wasting hobby — by 1994 he had taken a job at Japanese games developer Sega as an in-house composer. And in the 28 years since he has been in the video games industry, Jacques has become one of its most in-demand composers: he was the first composer to record a video game soundtrack at Abbey Road with a professional orchestra on 2001’s Headhunter, he earned a Bafta and Ivor Novello nomination for his work on 2010’s James Bond 007: Blood Stone, and is now up for a second shot at the Ivors for his scoring on 2021’s Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Read the interview in M Magazine.

[This piece was published on 11/05/22]

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