Hello all, I hope you’re well. So we’ve looked at the story, the characters and the art of Diggs Nightcrawler and today it’s the turn of the music. My name is Jim Fowler and I wrote and arranged the score for Diggs – and a lot of fun it was too.
The idea with the music was that it should add to the atmosphere of Library City as well helping tell the story and enhancing gameplay. Working with Moonbot, the idea came up pretty early on that the best way to go would be a jazz-based score, which then led to the idea of doing the whole thing with a live big band. We also wanted to make the music seamless, so although it’s pretty interactive (changing to match your progress and actions through Diggs’ case) – it should sound like complete cues. As if the score was written to your specific playthrough.
Because the music is the soundtrack of the story, the city, its jazz haunts and alleyways, I wanted the score to not just reference classic Film Noir but big band and jazz bands of the ’50s as well. As part of that we put together an incredible band of some of the best players in the UK – and we were even able to include some improvised solos for extra authenticity (and awesomeness!).
And in keeping with the ’50s sound, the only digital element of the live session was the computer we recorded to. All the audio processing was done through hardware (valves and all) and we even mixed through ½” tape.
Putting together the music for Diggs Nightcrawler was great fun. The characters and story that Moonbot have come up with gave me all kinds of opportunity for interesting musical moments, from a trad-jazz stomper through to a hard bop blow-out. I hope you enjoy hearing it as much as I did working on it.
So sit back and enjoy this video diary about the approach to the music and (as an added bonus) have a listen to the track Hump’s Dump from the soundtrack (featuring an ace piano solo from Tom Cawley).