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TotalAudio Questions & Answers

Originally published on the HBO Music page, 1999

We (HBO) asked TotalAudio a few questions about their soundtrack for the Macworld Expo NY'99 Halo preview, and Marty O'Donnell (MO) was kind enough to answer them for us.

HBO: We're very curious about the music itself. Where did the inspiration for this come from? And who actually did it?

MO: I wrote it, Mike and I produced it. Mike, 3 other guys and I sang it. String players from the Chicago Symphony and Chicago Lyic Opera Orchestra played on it, as well as our synths and samplers. Recorded in Studio Vision and Pro Tools - all Mac. Finished at Hinge Recording Studios Chicago.

HBO: The Gregorian Chant, especially, seems very apropos, but a rather unusual choice... what factors influenced its inclusion?

MO: Joseph Staten and I discussed the track less than a week before MWNY. I had worked on all the sound design used in the secret E3 demo (which rocks!) so I was familiar with the game. We decided it needed to be big, exciting, and unusual with a classical orchestra touch to give it some weight and stature. We also wanted it to have some sort of "ancient" feel to it. We worked on it over the weekend and did the final recording on Monday morning. It went to NY that night. No one at Bungie had heard it until Monday afternoon - I'm glad they liked it.

So...I figured Gregorian chant, string orchestra, percussion and just a bit of a "Qawwali voice".

HBO: Will this music be used in the final version of the game, or was it made up to complement the teaser?

MO: How much of this track ends up in the final game remains to be seen, but whatever it is it will be cool.

Thanks Marty.