Sound Byte: Meet the Composer Behind Dead Space 2 - Jason Graves

Find out what it takes to create a bone-chilling soundtrack for a horror game.


No Caption ProvidedMost of you probably wouldn't have guessed it, but award-winning composer Jason Graves began his musical career as a jazz drummer. As a classically trained percussionist--who is also proficient with the guitar and piano--Jason found his calling when he worked on the video game, King Arthur. Previously known for his work with live orchestras extensively in film and television, Jason says that since then, he has never looked back because he prefers the creative freedom found working in games.

Horror games rely heavily on atmosphere, sound design, and music to create a spine-tingling experience for the player. Dead Space did just that, and while some game soundtracks might not do much for your ears outside of their original purpose, the soundtrack to Dead Space and Dead Space 2 is worth listening to on its own. While the harsh dissonant sounds may not be the most ear pleasing for someone looking to relax, the second album has some thematic elements that draw you into the music. Dead Space 2 takes a more emotional character-driven approach, with the tender sounds of the string quartet's melody woven carefully into the tracks. And if you're like me (who is too chicken to sit through a horror game), there are moments as the tension builds when even I begin to feel anxious--and I have no visual reference.

Find out, in our interview below, how Jason pieced together the music for Dead Space 2. And here's a fun fact for those who are interested: Jason has a thing for anagrams. Track 4 - Canonical Aside is an anagram for Isaac and Nicole. Enjoy!

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Sound Byte is GameSpot's game music blog, which covers every aspect of music in games, including interviews with top game music composers and discussions of new and classic game soundtracks. Have a question or suggestion? Leave us a comment below. For a list of previous Sound Byte features, click here.

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