September 26, 2019 @ 4:10 pm
Writing Music for Video Games
Jack Wall is an ASCAP award-winning and BAFTA nominated composer best known for his rich, cinematic scores found within popular video game franchises such as Call of Duty: Black Ops II, III, & IIII, Mass Effect I & II, the Mystseries, Jade Empire and several other franchises winning multiple awards for his work. Most recently Wall scored the supernatural drama television series Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments airing on Disney’s Freeform TV as well as the latest record-breaking entry in the blockbuster Call of Duty series, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. He has also written additional music score for numerous other TV series including the fantasy drama series Reign on the CW and Emerald City on NBC as well as scoring the hi-octane action film Hard Target 2 available on Netflix.
Wall is celebrated among a Hollywood elite of composers invited to score the world’s biggest interactive entertainment property, Call of Duty. For Black Ops II he crafted an adrenaline-fueled, deeply emotional and adventurous musical palette that took the blockbuster series in new sonic directions. Black Ops II received the Best Video Game Score Award at the ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards. Reuniting with Treyarch Studios and Activision for Black Ops III, his follow-up score displays the hallmarks of an epic, sophisticated narrative, combining futuristic hybrid sounds, homages to classic WWII orchestral music and even big band and swing numbers created specifically for the popular Zombies campaign. Featuring highlight solo performances from contemporary jazz vocalist Antonia Bennett, daughter of legendary singer Tony Bennett, Black Ops III was nominated GameTrailers’ Soundtrack of the Year. Wall’s unique approach for Black Ops IIII once again breaks from traditional video game scores with an array of brand new swinging jazz numbers, an ethereal new arrangement of the fan-favorite Zombies mode song, “Where Are We Going?” (featuring a children’s choir with the Los Angeles Singers and Malukah), as well as an original cinematic score including the heroic orchestral anthem "Alister's Theme," described by Forbes as “One of the series’ best yet.”
Collaborating with the world’s leading game studios, Wall is widely recognized for composing some of the most iconic scores for the medium. Wall created the distinctive musical signature for BioWare’s sci-fi epic Mass Effect, combining ’80s electronica, synthetic instrumentation and futuristic atmospheres. The soundtrack won numerous accolades, while achieving cult status with fans. Wall received British Academy (BAFTA) and Spike TV nominations for his work on Mass Effect 2.
Composing for and conducting a full symphony orchestra and master chorale, Wall first garnered attention with his dramatic score for Ubisoft’s Myst III: Exile, receiving universal critical acclaim including several Soundtrack of the Year honors. For the climactic sequel, Myst IV: Revelation, Wall was awarded Music of the Year at the Game Developers Conference.
With Jade Empire, Wall crafted a Chinese and Asian instrumental palette incorporating an “East meets West” approach. Working with authentic Pan-Asian instruments Wall crafted an exotic, percussion-driven score to enhance the mythological Chinese setting. The score was voted Best Original Soundtrack Album by the Game Audio Network Guild.
In addition to his composing achievements, Wall served as Music Director and co-producer for composer/librettist Cindy Shapiro’s PSYCHE: A Modern Rock Opera, an innovative modern retelling of the ancient Greek. He also co-created Video Games Live and served as its Music Director/Conductor from 2005 through 2010 performing with more than fifty of the world’s finest orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and London Philharmonia Orchestra.
Wall was co-founder of The Game Audio Network Guild and is a frequent speaker/instructor at various educational institutions such as Columbia College, USC, UCLA, Expressions Center for New Media, The Los Angeles Recording School and Berklee College in Boston.
Continuing to raise the bar for emotional, performance-driven scores at the highest level, Wall’s repertoire encompasses a diverse range of musical styles and influences: from ethereal ambience, choral crescendos and heavy tribal orchestra to traditional Asian, Middle-Eastern, Eastern European instrumentation, futuristic electronic soundscapes and big band jazz recorded with the world’s top musicians.