As a preamble, let me apologise for the lack of reviews in the month of December, and the majority of November. We’ve been waiting on reviews from two naturally very busy Bungie employees, and we are very happy to announce that we have had one returned from the musical maestro, [url=/Inside/MeetTheTeam.aspx?Person=odonnell]Marty O’Donnell[/url]. If you’d prefer to skip the usual drivel, you can skip to the second post and read it immediately. Otherwise, the Week in Review follows. For a start, the Bungie.net [url=/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=5369927]Art Contest[/url] (as derived by [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?memberID=13968]Excalibur[/url]) has come to a close. After a month and a half of accepting top-draw entries (judging by those on public display), the judges ([url=/Account/Profile.aspx?memberID=1064982]Butane123[/url], [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?memberID=454515]ODST1125[/url] and [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?memberID=125218]GodsProphet[/url]) are finally narrowing them down and will soon announce the winner and runners-up, who will receive prizes from the sponsor ([url]http://www.bungiefansonline.com[/url]). Good luck to all those who entered, and if you wanted to but didn’t get chance – the opportunity will arise again later in the year, so don’t fret. Another community competition (again hosted by BFO, in conjunction with [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?uid=356854]sir_brilliant[/url]’s [url=/fanclub/officiafanficgroup/GroupHome.aspx]FanFic Group[/url]) drawing to a close is the [url=/News/Story.aspx?link=199F2658-CE71-4749-B8CD-5236E8C03B72]FanFiction Contest[/url]. It’s all over on the 20th, so read up, get writing and get submitting. Prizes are also available for the winners/runners up of each category (all from the [url=http://www.bungiestore.com]Bungie store[/url]), so it’s worth making the best effort you can. Once more, the best of luck to all participants, and a big thanks to [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?uid=219812]snowmanaxt[/url] for volunteering to purchase and distribute the prizes (as well as for maintaining BFO). As of late, the Flood has received a tightening up on the rules. In case you haven’t already, you should check out the [url=/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=92401]updates to the Flood rules[/url] (and maybe read the rules themselves!) to make sure you know what still goes. Something that may not catch your eye is also the general policy that moderators will ban not only trolls, but also those who respond. Be careful if you don’t want to depart on bad terms with the banhammer. On a lighter note, [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?memberID=76974]Kritz[/url] and [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?uid=116591]kd5shw[/url] have collaborated to proudly present [url=/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=5824112]the Flood RPG[/url] to all Bnet users. What is it? Basically an online role-playing game where you can interact with other users of the website. It’s still basic, but certainly has potential, and if you’re up for an alternative way to pass a few hours, it’s worth your while. They’re not the only members hard at work in the realms of programming, as [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?memberID=2426]littlerat[/url] puts your Bungie.net knowledge to the test in his [url=/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=5849868]commitment test[/url] – come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough! Also lurking around will be various beauty contest threads, allowing you to judge play-offs between the mugs of community members. If it floats your boat, vote and you could help to make somebody’s ego that little bit bigger. Moving on to the Septagon, [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?memberID=104]stosh[/url] posted that the [url=http://www.mozilla.com]FireFox[/url] extension [url=/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=5813453]Yakalike[/url] allows users on the same website to chat to each other. Unfortunately, we say goodbye to two of Bungie.net’s earlier moderators, [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?uid=76]Reiginko[/url] and Sigma. The former decided to resign; the latter, after a long period of inactivity, had his account automatically deleted by the system. Their contributions will be missed, as well as their notable wit and charm. Happy hunting to the both of them, whatever course their life may take. On the subject of Bnet leavers, I’d like to point out that there is no official confirmation on whether the return of yeroen is/was a hoax – it appears his “new” profile has been deleted, but more on this as it develops. Please don’t make any wild assumptions. As far as new people go, let’s all give a warm welcome to the Bungie employee [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?uid=1163243]Kuniklo[/url]. His mysterious project is already underway, and details are scarce. Who is he? What does he do? Nobody knows, but spamming his inbox isn’t likely to help either. Not that anyone would do that, right? Chapter of the week goes to [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?memberID=7162]impurity[/url]’s [url=/fanclub/1571/Group/GroupHome.aspx]Elite of Elite[/url] – big things are coming to the madhouse, and the half-crazed drunkard at the helm maintains a fun and entertaining atmosphere for all. You should certainly check it out if you just love Halo 2 and want to discuss/play it with other fanatics. Don’t mind the jerks, though. Being shut away from the rest of the world for so long can play terrible tricks on the mind. And with that, I’ll sign off and leave you with the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the Marty interview. Enjoy! [i]This article brought to you by [url=/fanclub/109/Group/GroupHome.aspx]Chapter Founders[/url], the original hawt spot for help with Chapters and all things concerning them. Come visit us for the most in-depth help you can find anywhere on the 7th Column.[/i]
[b]The Marty O’Donnell Interview[/b] [i]Many thanks to [url=/Account/Profile.aspx?uid=1219944]Kilroy[/url] for organising this article, and to Marty for taking the time to reply.[/i] [B]Q.[/B] How's it goin’? Life as a composer good? Life is good. Composing is hard. [B]Q.[/B] When did you move to the US of A? At the precise moment I was born. [B]Q.[/B] The big question on everybody's mind, is when is the Halo 2 Soundtrack Volume 2 coming out? Any news on it? Good news. It’s coming out soon. [B]Q.[/B] So you're a master Etch-a-sketcher? Got any drawing from it that are particularly awesome and you'd like to let us all see? Yes, but I’ll let Rob and Lorraine show it to you. [B]Q.[/B] How did you get the name "Lance?" And is it true that Achronos changed your bnet username from "Marty" to "Marty The Elder?" “Lance” comes from the handle I first used playing “Dark Castle” back in 1986 and I never wanted to change it. Achronos has a lot of power, but I chose the name “Marty the Elder”. It’s a combination of obscure roman history and the fact that I’m the oldest person working at Bungie. [B]Q.[/B] What is your favourite musical genre, artist, song, etc? It depends on my mood. I like a lot of music. I don’t like Hawaiian or Rap music. [B]Q.[/B] Tell us all the details about your Uber Roxxorz sound system you have. Pretty much all we know is that it's huge. Genelec speakers (the big ones), DigiDesign D-Command, Pro-Tools, Mac G5, Digital Performer, Peak, Avalon Pre-amps, blah blah blah (this isn’t that interesting). [B]Q.[/B] Do you really smoke 30 cigarettes a day? Or was Frankie referring to himself when he was doing his impression of you in the video update October 2004? And were you angry at Frankie for going in your office when you weren't around? It’s hard to get angry with someone who has the kind of handicaps that Frank deals with. Oh, and I don’t have a British accent either. [B]Q.[/B] Whatever happened to the 'Ask Marty' database/thread? Will we ever see it again? Ask Achronos. He made the site so that it’s more difficult to do that kind of database. [B]Q.[/B] What is your new office like and does it have a "NO FЯANKIES ALLOWED" sign on the door? My new office/studio is so large that Frank could be doing work in the corner and I wouldn’t even notice (if Frank actually did work that is). [B]Q.[/B] What game did you enjoy doing the music for the most? I think I enjoyed Halo 2 the most so far, but Halo 1 was also a lot of fun. [B]Q.[/B] Where are your G-PHORIA Best Original Soundtrack and Best Sound Design awards? Are they in your office, or do you have to "share" them with the rest of the crew? Do you still have them? Are they dusty? I let Jay keep the sound design one in his studio (not quite as big as mine of course) and the soundtrack one is on the Master Chief statue in the lobby. [B]Q.[/B] What brought you to Bungie and the video game industry? While I was working on Riven, the Sequel to Myst, I emailed a guy at Bungie Studios (Tuncer Deniz) and told him we should get together and talk. He emailed back and the rest is history. [B]Q.[/B] When you were in college working on your music degree did you had a slight idea that you would be composing for video games? Not in a million years. [B]Q.[/B] When did you first discover your musical talents? I was one of those toddlers that couldn’t keep their hands off the piano. My mom started teaching me when I was 4 and I started formal piano lessons at age 7. [B]Q.[/B] Tell us all about Video Games Live. Was it really awesome? Boring? Mediocre? I thought it was totally awesome! The first concert was in front of almost eleven thousand people at the Hollywood Bowl and performed by the LA Phil! [B]Q.[/B] Tell us about Total Audio. Why did you found it? What did/do you do there? Mike Salvatori and I started a music production company called O’Donnell/Salvatori back in the early 80’s. We were known for doing movie scores and TV commercials and so in 1996 when we decided to go after producing audio for games I started TotalAudio to differentiate it for our clients. [B]Q.[/B] Who are Jay Weinland and C Paul Johnson? What do you do with them? Besides carry them? Just kidding. Jay is Bungie’s Audio Lead and C Paul is Bungie’s Sound Designer. Actually the three of us make up the audio team for Bungie Studios. They are both talented hard working guys that make me look good. Jay started working with me soon after Bungie was moved to Redmond and helped with Oni and then came on full-time to do Halo 1. We hired C Paul after he interned for us (from Berklee) during early Halo 2 production. He makes both of us look good. [B]Q.[/B] What are your favorite songs from the soundtracks of Halo: CE and Halo 2? I like “Under Cover of Darkness”, “Peril”, and the second movement of the High Charity Suite (Volume 2). [B]Q.[/B] Will you truly never be a grizzled ancient? Yes, I’m pleased to report that I am an official Bungie Grizzled Ancient as of the summer of 2005. [B]Q.[/B]What did you do with the microsoft lawyers that kept postponing the Halo 2 volume 2 soundtrack? I wined and dined them and plied them with sweet nothings until they bent to my will. [B]Q.[/B] What do you have in your refrigurator right now? Left over Christmas goodies. [B]Q.[/B] Are you a Warren Sap fan? I’m a Bears fan. Period. [B]Q.[/B] How many songs have you written for Pimps at Sea so far? Countless. [B]Q.[/B] How much of the stringed music (other than in the main theme and Earth City) is sampled, as opposed to actual recordings? Same with percussion. Wait for Volume 2. There is a lot of real orchestra on there. I’ll sometimes combine sampled strings in addition to real strings. Same for percussion, although I use most samples. [B]Q.[/B] Was Peril done mainly by yourself or Mike Salvatori? And is there a way to tell by the sound of a certain piece which one of you wrote it? Like, do you do certain things that Mike doesn't, or vice versa? We’ve collaborated for so long that it’s even hard for us to tell sometimes. I wrote and performed Peril, but that doesn’t mean Mike couldn’t have, he just didn’t. (That doesn’t make sense). [B]Q.[/B] Do you want to write the music to the Halo movie yourself, or would you rather have someone else like Alan Silvestri or Hans Zimmer do it, but using your themes? Of course the third (and most likely) possibility is to have someone else compose an entirely new score for Halo the Movie. [B]Q.[/B] What instruments do/can you play other than the piano? Flute, recorder, and sing. [B]Q.[/B] I remember seeing a picture that had a framed picture from Yoshi's Island in your office. Is there a story behind that? I went to the Nintendo museum in Redmond and a woman I knew there gave it to me. It’s an actual cell from the production of that game. I liked Yoshi’s Island. [B]Q.[/B] How come with Halo 2, you chose to make the music much more angelic sounding? I really like that. I’m glad you like that but I’m not sure what it means. [B]Q.[/B] Which of Jerry Goldsmith's scores is your personal favorite? Alien. [B]Q.[/B] The music in Halo seems to have its own distinct style. When Bungie next works on a game outside of the Halo series, will you give it its own style? Or is this style just yours in general, not just Halos? I’d try to give each series or game its own style, but I probably can’t get away from certain signature compositional preferences of my own that creep in. [B]Q.[/B] Do you watch the USC games? Do you think they'll win this year? Texas. [b]Halo53 asks:[/b] He went to USC? Ask him how in the name of Bungie did they pull that win off against Notre Dame. I have never seen a guy's mistake end up winning the game for his team. If their QB didn't fumble, ND would be number one right now... [/bitter irish fan] Well, I’m Irish so I have mixed feelings at times. However, as a USC alumni I have to go with them. There’s no such thing as luck. Obviously God wanted the Trojans to win. Lastly, I asked a friend of mine who's not a member of bnet what he'd ask you. He says: "How'd he do it?" So, how'd you do it? Practice, practice, practice.