A substantial part of the game’s soundtrack is composed in tandem with the player. Tracks have rarely been set up as long linear tracks that switch to another long linear track. Musical elements are put into the editor which are played tied to the player’s position in 3d space or when other game elements come in and out.
This was all one big puzzle to put together for Rich Vreeland (also known as Disasterpiece), but nevertheless it turned out beautifully.
In a workshop presented by Pyramind Studios and Game Audio Network Guild entitled “Philosophy of Music Design in Games” made in September 2012, Rich Vreeland [the composer of FEZ, also known as Distasterpeace], talks about the process he used to compose the score for the game. He notes that:
“it was quite an interesting challenge because […] instead of thinking about order, like when things happen in the music, it was more about proximity, like which notes do I want to happen near other notes so that they sound pleasing. Which is kind of a weird thing to think about in music (29:41)”.
With the game’s soundtrack, Vreeland not only complements this exploration aesthetically with the combination of ‘chiptune’ sounds and studio effects like reverberation and delay, but also incorporates this exploration into its production and composition. This concept it is easily shown in the Temple Room, as in Video 2, in which the music was composed in a way to simulate the “rain phenomenon” with midi notes and chords. It starts with a chord which represent the sound of a thunder and the rain particles are represented with fast and soft arpeggiator lines:
There is still so much about the score and game that I’ve not been able to explore yet.
Exstensive blog post about the ins and out of the music system in FEZ:
Harmonic Relationships in the Music of Disasterpeace: