Thursday, May 25, 2000

McCree & Kemp detail the construction of a Tomb Raider score, had hoped to compose for first film & Tomb Raider II music almost made a Spice Girls concert [Updated]

Left to right: Matt Kemp & Nathan McCree

Nathan McCree and Matthew Kemp, Core Design in-house composers and sound design (respectively) across Tomb Raider (1996), Tomb Raider II: The Dagger of Xian (1997) & Tomb Raider III: The Adventures of Lara Croft (1998), have completed a hands-on interview with award winning magazine, Sound on Sound.

The article indulges into the specifics of McCree's acquisition of various synthesizers and soundbanks - invaluable information for Tomb Raider music enthusiasts and their reciprocations. McCree also alludes to the idea of creating dynamically evolving music in video games - something that Crystal Dynamics composer Troels Folmann pioneered with Tomb Raider: Legend in 2006, but for which Kemp & McCree were restricted by technologies at the time:

"We talked about it at the beginning of Tomb Raider II when we considered doing interactive MIDI music, but we decided against it because of the inconsistent quality of MIDI playback hardware. What had impressed everyone about the original Tomb Raider was the film score orchestral sound, and it's very difficult to get that using a typical GM sound card. Using real audio recordings, you get more control over what the end user hears" - NM

Additionally, the interview reveals plans of producer Lloyd Levin to see the pair begin work on the silver screen - translating the music from the video games to the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) film adaptation. This never did occur, with Kiwi composer Graeme Revell being hired very late into the production. McCree cites the pursuit as his reason for leaving Core. TRIII collaborator Peter Connelly took the reigns for the following three iterations of the series; Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (1999), Chronicles (2000) & The Angel of Darkness (2003).

Source: "NATHAN McCREE & MATT KEMP: Music For Computer Games" by Paul White (via Sound on Sound)

In a separate freelance job, Kemp & McCree were hired to create the introduction music for a 5 night Spice Girls concert performed at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in December, 1999. Interestingly, the show's lighting designer was a fan of the Tomb Raider scores and sought out the duo. However, another example of Eidos Interactive's strict asset licensing, the prospect never saw fruition:

"He'd heard the Tomb Raider music, so he got in touch with us and asked if we could combine a couple of tracks from Tomb Raider II. Obviously we couldn't use that music without permission, so I suggested we wrote something new and he agreed... The instruments and sounds we used gave it a Tomb Raider feel." - MK

Take a read of the full story @ Sound on Sound!

Update: Thanks to Tudor Tulok, the Tomb Raider-esque Spice Girls concert intro has been discovered on London-based company DNA Music Ltd.'s SoundCloud - Nathan McCree's current representation:

[Originally posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2012]


    Some fragments of Meode's work on "Spice Girls' Earls Court"

  2. Here is the full track/longer track


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