What the legendary musician brought to the table
Marty O'Donnell is one of the more recognizable names from Bungie, and really in the videogame music circle, up there with Nobuo Uematsu, Akira Yamaoka, and the like. He's the man responsible for all of the amazing Halo music, and this time around, he's heading up the Destiny soundtrack with the assistance of some major star power.
While Bungie was only just skimming the surface in regards to what they were willing to reveal of Destiny to the press, Marty and his team really opened up and revealed how Sir Paul McCartney, of Beatles fame, joined the project and what he brought to the table.
A talent agency who normally connects Bungie with voice talent asked Marty a simple question one day: "'Hey, we've gotten some interest, how would you like to collaborate with Paul McCartney?'" To which Marty replied: "'Of course, I mean, why not?' But I said that's insane, that's not gonna happen. And he says, 'No, I think there's some interest -- we're going to open a channel and dialogue.'
"So that ended up happening pretty quickly and I got to meet with Paul. Paul's very, very interested. I think his interest was really piqued when he worked on Rock Band Beatles Edition. I think he saw how big the videogame industry is and he is the kind of person who wants to create wherever he can contribute. He likes contributing, and creating in places he's never tried before. My very first meeting with him he was very interested in the technology and the way we do interactive music, just the whole attitude behind what our world of Destiny was going to be."
Marty stressed that Paul "didn't only want to do Paul McCartney kind music and just look for a new vehicle for him. He actually wants to get involved in how themes are worked into the game, how melodies and motives can be an emotional touch point for people as they're playing the game, and we're really collaborating on this."
Paul is known as an incredible artist, composer, song writer, and as a great collaborator. Marty asked Paul how he wanted the working relationship to play out and Paul's instant reaction was "'Oh no no, I want to collaborate! Some of my melodies, and some of your spooky bits is going to be great! It's going to be our music.'
"We were able to get going and from that point forward we've really had a great relationship. I've met with him many, many times -- he's got a studio, I've met with him at Capitol Record recording studio at Abby Road, couple of other studios in L.A. -- we're just having a great time."
It was obvious how much of a fan Marty is of Paul while speaking of the relationship, and as it turns it out it was "like a dream come true for me [with] my generation," Marty told us. "I don't know about the rest of you, but the idea of every working with Paul just seemed insane."
Marty also shared a story about how Paul hugged him one time: "I actually thought this was really special when he hugged me," Marty said. "And then I saw some documentary, he hugs everybody." Some of audience members laughed at this revelation, to which Marty smugly replied with "Have you been hugged by Paul McCartney?! Okay, there!"
During Marty and team's almost hour-long talk, they shared several music samples of what we can expect from the soundtrack. My first thoughts upon hearing the music were that of Star Trek or Star Wars, really anything that involves a Hollywood sci-fi space setting. While some of the songs had echos of Halo to it, they were different enough to have their own identity too. You can get a taste of the songs in the ViDoc above.
It was all sounding pretty solid but those unique feels you get when hearing songs from Halo weren't quite there, at least not without experiencing it with full in-game context. However it turns out, seeing Bungie continue to have a major focus on their original music was, well, music to my ears.