The Guardian have released an article about how The Sims 4 composer, Ilan Eshkeri, is putting even more emphasis on the impact of the game soundtrack.
So he began working closely with Maxis, conversing with the studio’s audio director, Robi Kauker, an experienced musician in his own right. And eventully Eshkeri developed a sort of systematic approach. “I really wanted to try and unify the style,” he says. “I didn’t want the stings to be these random pieces of music, I wanted them to relate back to the music you get when you build a character or home. I invented my own set of rules.
“So if something emotional happens, like doing a set of stings around getting married or having a baby, I’d try to relate all of those to a few notes or a riff or a chord sequence that appeared in one of the longer pieces of background music. For example, if character is doing something in the house or if something breaks in the house, I’d try to relate that to the music you heard when you were building the house. It doesn’t always work – if you’re getting married, for example, you want to hear the Wedding March or some version of that, so some bits of the stings have this very obvious musical impetus.”
We’re talking at the famed Abbey Road recording studios, where Eshkeri has been working with the London Metropolitan Orchestra and Maxis for several days. I sit in the control room for one session, as the composer leafs through a vast wad of papers, and calmly speaks directions to the assembled musicians on the other side of a glass divide. Around him sound engineers tap into computers and twiddle nobs on a vast mixing board. The piece they’re recording is about six seconds long and has the working title “first kiss… shy”. It’s pretty clear what it will accompany in the finished game.