Halo Anniversary Disneyland Adventures | Music Centerstage in Game Releases

Jan 1, 2012 9:00 AM, By Blair Jackson

PYRAMIND, SKYWALKER SOUND UP THE MUSICAL ANTE WITH HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED ANNIVERSARY, KINECT DISNEYLAND ADVENTURES

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VIRTUAL DISNEYLAND
Kinect Disneyland Adventures was perhaps an even more complicated and involved project for Pyramind and Skywalker. The game, created by the UK’s Frontier Developments, is the latest to employ Microsoft’s proprietary Kinect technology (introduced a year ago), an interactive motion-sensitive gaming environment along the lines of Wii Remote Plus and PlayStation Move, but requiring no controller other than a moving body. The Disneyland game allows players to experience many cherished attractions at Disneyland—the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, the Jungle Cruise, et al—and interact with some 40 Disney characters, as well as conduct the Disneyland Parade. It also features wall-to-wall music—more than 300 minutes of newly orchestrated and performed versions of numerous beloved Disney themes, along with new music composed in the spirit and style of classic Disney.

The <I>Kinect Disneyland Adventures</i> team with the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra. From left: André Zweers, Leslie Ann Jones, Lennie Moore, Janet Ketchum, Laura Karpman, Gregory J. Gordon, Michael Roache, Paul Lipson, Mark Griskey, Peter McConnell, Wataru Hokoyama

The Kinect Disneyland Adventures team with the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra. From left: André Zweers, Leslie Ann Jones, Lennie Moore, Janet Ketchum, Laura Karpman, Gregory J. Gordon, Michael Roache, Paul Lipson, Mark Griskey, Peter McConnell, Wataru Hokoyama

With a fiendishly short 75-day window to work within, Mellroth turned to Pyramind and charged Lipson with being both the producer and lead composer. To meet the tight timeline to complete the mammoth task of creating the music for Kinect Disneyland Adventures (KDA for short), Lipson assembled a team of five additional composers. There was some overlap with the Halo team, including Lipson, Wataru Hokoyama and Lennie Moore contributing various pieces, along with established game composers Laura Karpman, Peter McConnell and Mark Griskey. Lipson carefully matched each composer’s talents (and preferences) to the myriad styles required—after all, this music spans the entire history of Disney films (and theme park attractions), from the late 1930s to the present, and styles ranging from lush orchestral pieces of the first “Golden Age” to modern pop nuggets by Alan Menken, Randy Newman and others, as well as sometimes whimsical diversions into bluegrass and various ethnic music styles for specific rides.

“Everyone had to be able to compose idiomatically,” Lipson comments. “When you’re touching some of these franchises that have been around for years, for decades even, everybody’s looking and you have to get it right. But that’s the trust we had from Disney and Microsoft. And that’s why I called the people I did. They understand the idiom, and I knew I could trust them to do this without over-coloring it.”






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