Square Enix Music Online has posted an interview with famous video game composer James Hannigan. He's been recently responsible for scoring music for the last few Command & Conquer and Harry Potter games, but one of his first projects was the in-game and theme music for Privateer 2: The Darkening. There's some interesting perspective on what new technologies were coming online in the mid '90s and how they've evolved into modern gaming music today. Check out the full Q&A here.
James Hannigan: I've been composing professionally for around sixteen years. After starting out intending mostly to work in film and TV, I was offered a job quite quickly as an in-house composer at EA in 1995, where I then spent a few years before going freelance again. I'd already cut my teeth in games before that though, alongside composing quite a lot of library music and little bits and pieces for TV. I gained some useful experience while at EA, working on numerous EA Sports titles, games such as Privateer: The Darkening, and others, plus I got to grips with various techniques for creating so-called 'interactive music'.
Chris: As a freelancer, you came to prominence working on titles such as Conquest: Frontier Wars, Brute Force, and the appropriately titled FreeLancer. Could you share your experiences on these projects and how they influenced your career?
James Hannigan: A few years before those, I'd composed for the Origin title, Privateer: The Darkening while at EA, and one of the producers of that had a lot of involvement with the formation of Digital Anvil. Martin Galway, the audio director at the company, got in touch and we went from there. As a teenager, I'd heard a lot of Martin's music in various C64 games, so it was really great to be working with him — and we've been in touch ever since.