Composer Bobby Tahouri is known for his bold and dramatic scores ranging across a variety of genres and multimedia. His video game soundtracks include the superheroic score to 2020’s Marvel’s Avengers and the critically-acclaimed Rise of the Tomb Raider, as well as contributing additional music for Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Shrek the Third. We had an opportunity to ask him a few questions about video game music.
My goal was to make the score for the game sound as cinematic as possible. – Bobby Tahouri
gamemusic.net: Were you inspired by the music from the Avengers movie universe while scoring the Avengers video game?
Bobby Tahouri: It’s hard not to be inspired in some way by the music of the films, but I tried to approach the game from as fresh of a perspective as possible, while still keeping in mind that the music needs to feel right at home in the Marvel universe. My goal was to make the score for the game sound as cinematic as possible, and in that sense, I was definitely inspired by the orchestration and grandeur of the Avengers films.
gamemusic.net: Did you have any interesting ideas for that soundtrack?
Bobby Tahouri: Aside from creating one main Avengers theme for all the characters in the game, I tried to give each superhero an instrument or group of instruments that I could associate with their personality or superhero trait. Thor was given an anvil and other metalic percussion to match his use of the hammer. I used electric guitars and bass for Iron Man to match his cool swagger. Hulk was given brass and as many low-tuned percussive insturments as possible. Black Widow received an electronic pallete due to her being so stealthy. Captain America had trumpet and more traditional orchestra behind him, and Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel was given a subdued electronic palette when she wasn’t using her powers, and long and bending brass and strings for when she transitioned to Ms. Marvel.
gamemusic.net: Are you a fan of movies about superheroes? If so, how did that fact affect your Avengers soundtrack?
Bobby Tahouri: Definitely. I have fond memories of watching the Superman films as a kid, and John Williams had a huge hand in influencing my decision to become a composer. I particularly love popcorn films where you are being taken on a journey, with memorable themes and sweeping orchestral music, and I tried my best to make this score as fun and memorable as possible.
gamemusic.net: Rise of the Tomb Raider is another game from the Crystal Dynamics you scored. How do you feel scoring such big productions?
Bobby Tahouri: I love it. There’s a lot of responsibility with games of this size, and it’s fulfilling to be a part of a global team of dedicated and talented people trying to make big games come to life.
gamemusic.net: Is there any difference between scoring for film/TV and scoring for video games?
Bobby Tahouri: From a technical point of view, yes, since with games, you are dealing with interactive music and have to be mindful of the character(s) triggering events in the story that can influence what the music does at a moment’s notice. There’s also loop-based moments that you need to be aware of, and there is an art to creating musical loops that don’t sound too repetitive. Thankfully, a good audio director at a video game company can control when and how new musical phrases or sounds should appear and disappear depending on what is happening in the game. But from a storytelling point of view, there is no difference at all. Music needs to support the narrative, no matter what media is being used.
I tried to give each superhero an instrument or group of instruments – Bobby Tahouri
gamemusic.net: Are you planning to score more video games in the future?
Bobby Tahouri: Definitely. I love scoring video games, and I’m going to be starting on my next project very soon.
gamemusic.net: Do you have any video game soundtracks that impressed you?
Bobby Tahouri: There are so many great video game soundtracks out there, but two that come to mind that I particularly love are Deus Ex: Human Revolution by Michael McCann, and The Last of Us by Gustavo Santaolalla.