Writing music for videogames is so much more than just cranking out a few awesome action tunes and throwing them at the development team. To get things right, a composer has to have an intimate knowledge of the game, the characters, and the world they inhabit, in addition to their musical talent. As the story unfolds, understanding the drama in each scene is fundamental to being able to convey emotional nuances musically, thereby making those scenes feel that much more real and powerful. Sometimes a poignant elegy makes a more compelling statement during an epic battle than the typical breakneck bombast, but knowing the difference takes some careful study.
For over a decade, Bungie audio director Martin "Marty" O'Donnell has been immersed in the Halo universe, learning everything there is to know about the series, and breathing life into it musically.