Game news We know the identity of the first video game to win a Grammy Awards!
If you follow the music news — or the media in general — you know that the 65th Grammy Awards gave Beyonce a big thumbs up. But for this edition, and for the first time ever, the organizers have decided to make room for video game music. Several titles were in competition and it was ultimately the American composer Stephanie Economou who won the prize. We tell you more.
On Sunday night, the Academy of Grammy Awards honored the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla composer for her work on the DLCs f or the latest installment in Ubisoft’s series. Alongside Beyonce, Harry Style or Adele, she left with the famous gramophone, becoming the very first winner of the category at the Grammy Awards. This award comes as a surprise to Stephanie Economou:
I didn’t have high hopes in this category because I’m brand new to video game music and I encounter giants and veterans alike.
The one who thinks that this new price “ an important step for people to finally realize that video games have their finger on the pulse She is best known for her work on films and series. It is therefore a real success for her, especially since she has had to deal with big names like Christopher Tin, Richard Jacques or Bear McCreary.
view composer @StephEconomou win a GRAMMY for their work on “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn Of Ragnarök”. 🎶
👏 “Thank you for recognizing and acknowledging the power of video game music,” said Economou. #GRAMMYs https://t.co/7MI2Rxgwcd
— Recording Academy / GRAMMYs (@RecordingAcad) February 6, 2023
The sound of the Vikings at the Grammy Awards
Stephanie Economou was contacted by Ubisoft to produce the soundtrack for the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla expansion The Siege of Paris (before moving on to The Dawn of Ragnarök). In a lengthy interview on the French publisher’s website, she explains:
Ubisoft offered me to compose a 5-6 minute demo based solely on the synopsis of the game. That’s one of the challenges of video game music: you have to be creative and have a great imagination because even after you get a job, you risk composing for a long time without having anything to hand other than statements of intent and preliminary sketches.
Inspired by the works of Sarah Schachner, Jesper Kyd and Einar Selvik, the composer gradually manages to absorb the atmosphere of the saga. In order to respect the atmosphere of Valhalla, she decides to throw herself into lengthy research as she would for a film or series. Fascinated by the cultural and regional peculiarities of musical trends and their development over the course of history, she then imagines strong themes.
With animal skin drums, any wooden box to which we would have attached strings that we hit, pinch, rub… opens up a lot of possibilities.
Then she is confronted with the codes of video games and the trap of the “Loop”. That’s the biggest challenge I’ve had to face as I got into the middle of film and television where the music is linear. I had to fundamentally change my creative process. Most of my compositions for Assassin’s Creed work in layers like this. For example, there will be a base layer adapted to an exploration phase, on top of which I’ll add a layer with more tension in the event of a fight.
Thanks to modular music, it manages to bring to life the musical atmosphere of the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla expansions. Her remarkable work has just been recognized with a Grammy Award, but it’s no big surprise to see her name at this level, she was the collaborator of a certain Harry Gregson-Williams, well known to amateurs for his music for Metal Gear Solid 2 : Sons of Liberty.
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