Read About How the Iconic Sound of WC3 Was Born Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We're one week into Origin composer George Oldziey's mission to make a new live reorchestration of Wing Commander music, and the numbers are very impressive so far. The campaign is nearly to $15,000, which is very close to the $16,000 minimum threshold when combined with additional support from superfan Matt Hiltner. This gives us great optimism that an additional $6000 to add a live choir to the mix will be possible. Next up, however, is another anecdote about his experience creating the music at Origin in the beginning. It sounds stressful, but the results were well worth it! For additional context, George posted side-by-side photos of him then and now. You can also listen to that final WC3 patrol track below:
Hi everyone. First of all, BRAVO for getting us so close to the target so quickly! I'm already hearing that orchestra in my mind's "ear" :)!

Ten years ago I posted an update for the original campaign about how I got hired by EA/Origin in the first place. It was pretty much a whim when speaking to eventual fellow Origin composer Paul Baker one day in Austin, TX. Paul and I had done many gigs together (he sax, me piano). I ran into him in early 1994 when he told me he'd gotten hired to compose game music. I found that truly intriguing and decided that "I could do that" and told him so. He recommended that I make a demo cassette (remember those??) and so I did. I gave it to Paul to hand in, and a few weeks later I was hired to score Wing Commander 3!

I also alluded some years back to the fact that I'd never heard of the Wing Commander series at that time, nor was I much on playing games, but I did have a Masters degree in composition as well as lots of experience performing in various genres. I also was totally devoid of any technical knowledge in terms of MIDI scoring and basically learned it all on the job from February 1994 up to the release of WC3 in Thanksgiving of that same year.

When I arrived at Origin, and had absolutely no clue of what was expected of me, I was needless to say very malleable in terms of what to do. Martin Galway, the audio director of WC3, met with me shortly after my arrival and seemed to assume the role of my coach. I was immediately given the task of submitting some demos to Chris Roberts our esteemed producer regarding the musical direction I would take the project. Martin assured me that he new what Chris wanted, since they both went back a long way. He directed me to create a Kilrathi theme that would seem very big and cat-like, with musical cat roars in it. I was like, "OK" and proceeded to do so, but also composing a few cues that were not of that ilk. We didn't bounce out audio at the time, so I sent Chris and game director Frank Savage MIDI files of my early compositions.

The next day I was summoned to Chris' office, just me, Chris and Frank in attendance. At first, Chris played the Kilrathi music I created based on Martin's advice and they both burst into laughter and started strutting around the room like big, lumbering cats as the music played. I smiled but sunk deeply into my chair, feeling TOTALLY embarrassed and thought I was going to be fired right then and there. Then they opened another track I gave them which I called "Patrol", and they were transfixed. Both Chris and Frank both said, "THAT is the sound!" Thankfully from that moment forward I was not second guessed for the next 1 hour of gameplay music plus 3.5 hours of cutscene (movie) music. And thus an artistic relationship was born that transcended that and the first sequel.

You can join the project here.

German PC Games Magazine Includes Lengthy WC3 Feature Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We post magazine scans of Wing Commander articles from time to time, but most of those date back to the '90s. It's not too common for those kinds of pieces to show up much past 2000, but AD spotted what appears to be an extensive WC3 article in the latest edition of German magazine PC Games. Their May 2024 issue has an extensive retrospective on the game. It looks like the writeup is also available online here, but it'd be a pretty cool pickup in person as well! Here's the English translation for those who need it.
You can get the new PC Games 05/24 from your newsagent from April 19th - either as a magazine edition for 6.50 euros or as a particularly lavish extended version with 16 extra pages, two full magazine DVDs and digital full version for 8.50 euros.
Wing Commander 3 was brilliant 30 years ago - and is still a masterpiece today

In 1994, Wing Commander 3 pushed PC systems to their limits and impressed with its cinematic staging. The space epic, directed by Chris Roberts, still gives you goosebumps 30 years later.

Those were good times in 1994! When there were still big leaps in technology that literally beamed you into another sphere. Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger will forever hold a special place in my heart - if only because of the bad romance between "Maverick" and Rachel.

Stretch Goal Adds Choir To Wing Commander Reorchestration Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

If you haven't figured it out already, we've having a blast following the exciting progress of the orchestral album campaign this week! We would have expected things to level off a bit after the first few days, but it continues a steady upward beat. So with that in mind, George Oldziey has announced the first stretch goal. He's priced out what it would take to add a comprehensive choral arrangement to the album, and it looks like that will be possible with an additional $6000. That would come to a new Kickstarter target of $24,000. We've still got about four weeks, so I think we can do it! For another sample of what you have to look forward to, here's an awesome mix of Mr. Oldziey's previous live orchestration of Wing Commander music combined with ODVS' advanced video enhancements:
Greetings all you amazing fans. We are already approaching the $14K mark in less than a week! I'm still keeping my fingers and toes crossed but things are looking so good I wanted to talk about the first of some possible stretch goals once we hit $16k.

That $16k figure, along with an EXTREMELY generous matching offer from superfan Matt Hiltner, will cover all the expenses of the orchestra recording process as well as producing the reward items. However, I didn't include expenses for recording a real choir because I wanted to keep our target amount at a figure that seemed readily attainable after a 30 day campaign. BUT, since we are getting so close so soon I wanted to mention that with an additional $6k we can record a large choir as well.

There are several cues that will be recorded that originally featured choir quite prominently, most notably the WC3 winning endgame with the Destruction of Kilrah. I have great choir sample libraries, but as we all know there is nothing like the real thing! SO, let's see how soon we can burst past the original $16k target and think seriously about recording a beautiful, REAL choir to mix with the orchestra.

Thank you all again from the bottom of my heart. I'm am SO psyched!

George

Wing Commander Album Rewards Clarified Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's been another productive day for George Oldziey's campaign to make a new live recording of Wing Commander music. We're less than five days in, and the project has hit $13,500. That's 5/6th of the target amount! During the planning phase, it wasn't clear exactly how difficult it would be to reach $16,000, so stretch goals were a secondary consideration. With the continued productive nature of the campaign, however, some of those additional opportunities for the project are coming into focus and will be firmed up very soon.

Ahead of that, I thought it would be nice to walk through some of the different tiers and highlight what is available. I know this information is readily available inside of the Kickstarter interface, but I also know how Exhausted Millennial Brain works. Reposting the details here removes one layer of mental friction so you can more easily see if something appeals to you. Also, since some of the higher tiers include a reprinted copy of the Wing Commander Bar Music/Jazz Album, here's a 2017 clip that George made to talk about how the Victory's background tunes were developed:

Additionally, Mr. Oldziey just posted this clarification that might help some of you decide what the right contribution level is:
Greetings all. Just to clarify, because my reward tiers might not be terribly clear. As you move up the tiers each tier will include everthing that came before. I apologize for any confusion caused by my excitement about the launch.

And thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign, and who might soon join! We are very much on our way to a hugely successful result I believe.

Here's the breakdown. The first two tiers are for people who support the project but aren't able to support at the higher levels. This does not include the album, but you do get updates in your inbox to help you decide if it's worth increasing later.
Pledge $5 - My Sincerest Thanks and Gratitude

Includes:

  • My Deepest Appreciation


Pledge $10 - More Sincere Thanks and Gratitude :)

Includes:

  • Receives my undying and everlasting gratitude!
$25 is the first tier that gets you an actual copy of the new music. As a bonus, it includes volume 1 as well.
Pledge $25 - Digital Download of Volume 2 Recording

Receives a digital download of the Wing Commander orchestral recordings, Volume 2. Also includes a digital download of volume 1.

Includes:

  • Digital Download of Volume 2
  • Digital Download of Volume 1
$65 is the first tier that includes a physical collectible, the album on CD. It also includes volume 1 and 2 digitally.
Pledge $65 - CD AND Digital Download of Volume 2

You'll receive both a CD and digital download of volume 2 as well as a digital download of volume 1.

Includes:

  • Digital Download of Volume 1
$100 is the first tier that produces a vinyl album of the new album as a reward. Based on the new clarification, it should also include the volume 2 CD as well as volumes 1/2 digitally.
Pledge $100 - Vinyl Version of Vol. 2

Receive a vinyl AND digital download version of volume 2.

Includes:

  • Digital Download of Volume 2
  • Vinyl Version of Volume 2
$150 is an excellent option for people who missed the previous campaigns and want the "complete" compact disc collection. It includes both the new and old live action albums on disc plus the limited run bar music album, which is being reprinted specifically for this effort. As of this writing, there are only a few more slots available at this tier!
Pledge $150 - Deluxe Triple Edition

Receive a CD AND digital download of Volume 2 along with a CD of both Volume 1 AND the Wing Commander Bar Music CD.

Includes:

  • Volume 1 CD
  • WC Bar Music CD
$200 is basically the vinyl-centric version of the above tier. It includes both the new and old live action albums on a vinyl record. It's the cheapest tier that gets you the original album on vinyl, since there is not a standalone alternative. I imagine most collectors seriously interested in the first album would also be strongly considering both. This tier also only has a handful of slots open at the moment!
Pledge $200 - Double Vinyl Edition

Receives a vinyl version of both volume 2 AND the original 2014 recording of volume. Also receives a digital download of volume 2.

Includes:

  • Vinyl Version of Volume 2
  • Digital Download of Volume 2
  • Vinyl Version of Volume 1
$300 is the super completionist collector's level with a full set of both CDs and vinyl albums.
Pledge $300 - Vinyl and CD Extravaganza!

You will receive vinyl versions of both volume 2 AND volume 1 along with CDs of Volume 1, Volume 2, and the WC Bar Music. You also receive digital download of volume 2.

Includes:

  • Vinyl Version of Volume 2
  • Vinyl Version of Volume 1
  • Volume 1 CD
  • WC Bar Music CD
$400 is like the $300 tier - plus includes a zoom link to watch the recording sessions live streamed when they are being produced.
Pledge $400 - Zoom Link to Recording Sessions

You will receive a Zoom link to watch and hear the live recording sessions as well as a Vinyl, CD and digital download of Volume 2

Includes:

  • Zoom Link to Recording Sessions
  • Vinyl Version of Volume 2
$500 is again similar to the $300 and $400 levels, but includes both the zoom link and an exclusive copy of the printed score autographed by Mr. Oldziey!
Pledge $500 - Autographed Orchestral Score

You will receive an autographed printed score of one of the pieces to be recorded (conductor's copy) as well as a Zoom link to the recording sessions and a vinyl, CD and digital download of the volume 2 music.

Includes:

  • Autographed Conductor Score
  • Vinyl Version of Volume 2
  • Zoom Link to Recording Sessions
$1000 gets you dinner with the composer, George Oldziey himself! Travel is not included, so it's admittedly much more practical of an option for those in the Northeastern US.
Pledge $1000 - Dinner with the Composer

Share dinner and lively conversation with the composer George Oldziey at his home in Lenox, MA (travel and lodging not included). The date and time would be set by mutual availability. You also receive a vinyl copy and digital download of volume 2 as well as a Zoom link to the recording sessions.

Includes:

  • Dinner with the composer
  • Vinyl Version of Volume 2
  • Zoom Link to Recording Sessions
$1500 is the big one! Get your name in the credits as an associate producer on the project. This option might only be for high rollers, but two of the ten available are already spoken for!
Pledge $1500 - Associate Producer Credit

Receives an Associate Producer credit on both the volume 2 vinyl and CD editions. You also receive a vinyl copy, CD and digital download of volume 2 as well as a Zoom link to the live recording sessions.

Includes:

  • Associate Producer Credit
  • Zoom Link to Recording Sessions
  • Vinyl Version of Volume 2
If you still have questions or there are items that are still unclear, feel free to post a comment. And if one of the above options looks good to you, add your contribution to the project here!

WC Movie Fan Art Introduces Maniac in a New Light Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Switching gears today, LOAF found a Tumblrer named NMA Nekro who specializes in fan art of Matthew Lillard. That means we get to see their glorious take on Todd "Maniac" Marshall. It's pretty amazing that people are still making content like this after 25 years. The Buzz Lightyear-style action figure is also a nice touch. As a point of comparison, the actual action figure features Maniac in his shipboard uniform and not a flight suit!
How you doing? Allow me to introduce myself. Lieutenant Todd Marshall!

Musical Disagreement Leads to Positive Results Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Over the next month, we'll have a handful of fun music-related anecdotes from George Oldziey as he recounts what life was like composing the music for Wing Commander. While many developers have fond memories from their time in the business, it's also very common for the stress to grate on people's nerves and for exhaustion to take its toll. Here's the story of how George created the soundtrack for Blair's arrival at Axius. He got into a philosophical disagreement with Chris Roberts about how this particular tune should resolve - but there was a happy outcome in the end! This track is one of the orchestrations planned for Mr. Oldziey's project to create a new live album of WC music. You can back the campaign and secure your copy here!
I thought I would share a bit of WC history from behind the scenes. Those of you who played WC4 probably remember this scene deep into the game when it was revealed that Admiral Tolwyn was actually the leader of the genetically enhanced Black Lance. Blair had commandeered a Black Lance uniform in a previous scene and made his way up to this Nazi like rally featuring Tolwyn and Seether. At the end of Tolwyn's speech Seether spots Blair in the back of the room and sends his Storm Trooper-like soldiers to get him. BTW, this is one of the scenes I have orchestrated and is ready to record.

The reason I bring this one up is it was one of the FEW times Chris Roberts and I disagreed on a musical cue. I have to admit that one reason I was able to score so much music so quickly was that he rarely disagreed witih my approach.

I had originally scored this scene so that when Blair thought he was safe at the end, and the pursuers were running by, I had the music fade to nothing, just before the hand comes out and grabs him on the shoulder. When I first showed it to Chris he said, "no, have the music build up instead". I tried to plead my point that my instincts were if we fade it out the audience would think Blair was safe and the hand on the shoulder would be more startling without a musical hit. Chris said no.

Anyway, I went back to my studio and decided I was right and sent my original music out to EA in California to be mixed and rendered with the scene.

Some days went by, and Chris received the rendered audio with that scene. I was working late into the evening at Origin, composing a new cue. I heard steps coming down the hall, the door opens, and Chris looks at me, more like glaring, and says, "do it the way I want", and slams the door. So of course I do what he said and that's what ended up in the scene here.

A side note; I was so upset by the situation that the next day I just happened to be standing outside my studio office and muttered something to the effect that, "when this game is finished I'm outta here". I don't think I really meant it. It was just artistic frustration. But apparently it got heard and passed along to the chief financial officer who showed up to my office the next day with a new contract with a big raise! Not sure if there is a moral to this story, but I just remember it well!

Wing Commander Album Campaign Zooms Past 50% Mark! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We were originally planning to mix up the news a bit to start the week off, but George Oldziey’s campaign is off to such a roaring start that it’s become newsworthy again! In barely over a day since going live, the campaign to create a new live album of Wing Commander music has hit the 50% funding mark! This means more than $8000 of the $16,000 target has been achieved. When combined with Matt Hiltner’s previously mentioned large donation, we are very much well on the way to making this a reality! Things are going so well that George is already starting to firm up plans for some of the hypothetical stretch goals that have been on his mind. No one expected to be talking about that so soon, but it’s a wonderful situation to be in. All of this is made possible by the ongoing support from so many dedicated Wing Commander fans. This is just the beginning; so we’re very anxious to see where things go next. For now, check out the Kickstarter to join in!
I'm literally blown away by the tremendous response in the early hours of the campaign. Thank you to all who have already donated so generously. If we keep up this pace I have lots of stretch goals in mind to make this even more fantastic!

As I sign off for the day here on the East coast of the USA I am truly humbled and also startled and thankful about the initial response to the this campaign. We are actually more than a third of the way there, which is incredible! [As of this writing, now more than 50%!]

But if you could all still please share this with whom you think would be interested that would be fantastic. Sometimes these campaigns do great on day one only to have interest drop off over time. And I REALLY want this part of my artistic legacy out there for all of you.

I dreamt of this music being played with an orchestra back when I was first hired by EA/Origin. That orchestral sound was ALWAYS in my inner ear as I composed the WC music for the technology of the time. Now we have the opportunity, after all these years, to fully realize that sound.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this opporunity. Let's make it happen!!

Breaking News: Wing Commander Album Project Officially Kicks Off! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today's the day! Origin composer George Oldziey's campaign to create a second album of live Wing Commander music has launched! Fans have been abuzz for the last few days as info has been released, but now there are a number of exciting additional details that can finally be shared.

For starters, Mr. Oldziey has revealed that this is a combination effort! He's not only working with a new live orchestra to perform 40-45 additional minutes of his classic Wing Commander work, but it will also be available digitally, on CD and on vinyl. Both a new live recording and a collectible vinyl print have been high on the list of fan requests these last few years, but the road to get here has been pretty challenging. Costs have been up and down as the world has been in turmoil, but George has been working on new bids that look very promising in order to make this happen. Here's a video that explains how this has unfolded and what the project means to him:

This is not George's first rodeo, and he's taking what he learned from his prior albums to maximize every dollar. Previous efforts have afforded him the time to compose and orchestrate new music for the performers, so most of the pre-work that would have been necessary is already complete. Additionally, he's coupled these efforts with the extremely generous financial support of Wingnut super benefactor Matt Hiltner. What this means is that the community contribution required to get this project off the ground is shockingly low - just $16,000! That's half of what it would take otherwise. Another way to think of this is like having the initial pledges matched and doubled. We'll have more detail on this and other topics digging into the project over the next month.

Many of you know me, George Oldziey, as the composer for several historic video games but most notably three games from the iconic 1990's Wing Commander series; Wing Commander 3 (Heart of the Tiger), Wing Commander 4 (The Price of Freedom) and Wing Commander; Prophecy. I've been blessed to have many dedicated fans of those games and my music from around the world. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Wing Commander 3, my first game score.

Ten years ago many of you supported me in a successful campaign to record Volume 1 of my music from those games featuring a live orchestra and choir (here is a link to a video documentary of that amazing experience!). I would love to commemorate the 30th anniversary milestone with another orchestral recording, Volume 2, which will feature more music from those games played by a symphony orchestra and this time released on vinyl as well as a CD and digital downloads. All the music that I plan to record, 40 to 45 minutes of it, is already orchestrated and all the scores and parts are ready to print and hand out to the musicians to play. Some examples of the music to be recorded are (I apologize if some of the titles are a bit vague. The Origin audio naming conventions never had titles for the files, only cue numbers!).....

  • Wing Commander 3 - Destruction of Kilrah - Kilrathi Surrender, Mission 3, Combat 8
  • Wing Commander 4 - Blair Arrives at Telemon, Death of Vagabond, Blair Runs from Guards Down Hallway, Missions 2, 5 and 7, Combat 2, Combat 7
  • Wing Commander; Prophecy - Intro, Mission 1, Combat 4
After all the many wonderful musical things I've had the fortune of doing in my lifetime I've always felt that my music from the Wing Commander series is perhaps my most important contribution. The fact that this is also the 70th anniversary of my birth I have a special fondness in my heart to create another amazing momento for all of you, the best fans in the world!
So don't miss out! This will be a spectacular project, and I can't wait to see the results. We have been talking with Mr. Oldziey for years about this effort. It's something he's extremely passionate about and would love to finally be able to bring to the fans. I hope many of you are excited about this as well, and it seems like you are! It hasn't even been an hour since the Kickstarter went live, and the project is already at $2000. Let's make this happen!

Prepare for Magnum Launch Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Origin composer George Oldziey is now counting down the hours to the launch of his second album of live Wing Commander music! What makes now the right time for a sequel? Check out the update below for some of the motivation behind the project.
So, this is a big year for me for round numbers. I turned 70, and 30 years ago I scored my very first video game, Wing Commander 3. And 10 years ago I had the privilege of running a successful Kickstarter campaign, funded by the greatest video game fans in the world, that resulted in the first orchestral recording of 40 minutes of my original music from the three Wing Commander games that I scored for Electronic Arts/Origin (see the link to a video about those sessions 10 years ago).

This Sunday I'm going to launch another KS campaign to record another 40 minutes of music from those games with a large orchestra!

I've been blessed to have had MANY musical careers (trumpeter, pianist, arranger, composer, recording engineer and faculty member at Berklee among other institutes of higher learning). But I'm certain my biggest legacy will be this music that has touched so many fans around the world.

So, wish me luck! And if you can, join me as I launch on Sunday!

And if you'd like a little taste of what's in store, listen to the Wing Commander 4 intro he recorded in Bratislava the first time:

Follow or Contact Us

Live Orchestral Recording Vol. 2

All Wings Considered

Episode 37 - Back to Gemini!
Archived video streams

Forums: Recent Posts

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Current Poll

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Where to Buy

WCPedia: Recent Contributions

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Site Staff