This week we got a chance to talk with Gareth Meek, the musical prodigy behind Driftmoon's soundtrack.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Gareth Meek: Heya my name is Gareth Meek I am a 20 year old film, tv and games composer from England.
How did you hear about Driftmoon?
GM: I heard about Driftmoon after by chance stumbling across Notrium one summer after playing it (several times) I kept checking back to the website in the hope that a new game was going to be released and then to my pleasant surprise I read about Driftmoon.
What is your main ambition?
GM: My main ambition is to become a highly proficient composer for film, tv and games and perhaps (if I am very lucky) listen to my music being played by a real orchestra and then hearing it on the silver screen.
What are your main influences?
GM: My main influences come from many genres of music from the soundtrack side. I love Hans Zimmers work along with that of Harry Gregson Williams, Danny Elfman and of course the great John Williams. Outside of that I really enjoy classical music particularly that of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Vivaldi, Johann Strauss jr and Chopin. My other favourite style of music is that of symphonic metal I particularly enjoy the music of Nightwish, Epica and Within Temptation. Being a guitarist as well has led me to like the music by great players such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and my personal favourite Andy Timmons.
What are your favourite instruments?
GM: I love listening to musicians perform on pretty much any instrument however, my personal favourites are that of the Guitar, Piano, Violin, Cello and Flute. I also really like to hear a good percussion or drum solo.
Do you have musical education? What instruments are you able to play and have in your collection right now?
GM: Yes I do have a musical education along with having an A level in music also have a HND in music technology. My first instrument is that of guitar which I play both classical and contemporary style rhythm and lead. My second instrument is that of piano which I primarily use for composition. I can also sing and I am studying in conducting.
Where do you find your inspiration?
GM: That’s an interesting question because if I knew I wouldn’t panic every time I have a new project I think the fact that I live very close to the a forest and can walk in it whenever I need always help. Also listening to other composers works helps, along with being exposed to any form of story dealing with myth, magic or fantasy whether that story be in book, game or film, my personal favourite being that of The Lord Of The Rings. I also have a very over active imagination which tends to conjure up stories, pictures and ideas which really helps the process of composing.
What's your process of creating a new composition, and what tools do you use?
GM: I have never really had or found a set method for composing, sometimes I can just hear an idea in my head and have to scribble it down quickly (quite often this happens late at night when I’m about to fall asleep ). Other times I come up with an idea on the piano or guitar be it melody or progression and just extend that. One device I often use though is coming up with a story to write about also, if I am already writing for a story like that in a game or film, I shall try to place myself in that world to help me write. However, sometimes I sit at my piano and have to work out an idea over several hours or even days, it’s worth it though. As for the tools that I compose with I use my digital piano and guitar along with Pro Tools, various synthesisers and orchestral samplers.
Could you estimate an average time you spend for creating a single composition?
GM: It differs piece to piece, project to project. I can sometimes compose a piece in a few hours, other times it can take me a day or two. It’s strange though as I never like to say that a piece is ever finished, as if I do it always feels as if it is going to be missing something. However, if I think that it won’t ever be finished then there is always the possibility that it could have turned into something incredible
How long have you been making music?
GM: I have been composing ever since I first picked up my sister's guitar when I was in high school so perhaps 8 or 10 years
What kinds of music will we hear in Driftmoon?
GM: Hopefully good music At the moment I am trying to compose music that conjures up thoughts of a fantastic world that is very natural and organic sounding but also grand and powerful. I think some of the music could be akin to that of what you hear in the great old Walt Disney films like Snow White.
Have you given thought to possibly putting together a Driftmoon soundtrack?
GM: I have, I shall be selling a soundtrack for the game. After its release the music shall be available for download, and I am also playing with the idea of composing a Driftmoon suite to go at the end of the album which will be many of the compositions all gathered into one piece so the listener can go on a mini journey through the land of Driftmoon.
What kinds of computer games do you like? Do you have any all time favourites?
GM: I like any game with a fantasy storyline. My personal favourite has always been that of Final Fantasy VII with VIII very close behind. I found that everything form the story to the game play and the music was perfect although I will admit that I was never all that good at them and had about a million saves on my memory cards. Other games included Ultima VII and VIII and games like Baldur's Gate and the Elders Scrolls Daggerfall and Morrowind.
Do you have other hobbies or interests besides music & composing?
GM: I very rarely have any free time for hobbies but when I do I really enjoy walking in that forest I live next to, or if I’m feeling particularly lazy at least go for a drive through it.
Finally, do you have anything you would like to add?
GM: I would really like to thank both Ville and Anne for giving me the opportunity to work on this game with them, I am very much enjoying the process. The game is giving me great inspiration and I believe that if it is half as good as Notrium (though I’m sure it will be better) then we are all in for a real treat.