Episode #227: Billy Martin

March 12, 2015 · 20:14

Sometimes not getting what we want is the greatest stroke of luck.

In the mid-90s, Billy Martin was living and working in southern California. A lot of his time was spent playing gigs, so when the opportunity to compose for a video game came along, he was afraid to sacrifice playing time. Several years and game soundtracks later, he realized that he loved composing more than he ever did playing. Which is a good thing, because he keeps getting work.

Billy composes for many styles of game, but arguably his best-known soundtracks contain a comedic element. Composing for comedy is hard, he says, because you can pretend to be serious… but you can’t pretend to be funny. You either are, or you aren’t.

Jazz is another one of Billy’s signature influences. He often plays the saxophone and flute (among many other instruments) in his soundtracks, and hints at jazz rhythms and melodies are ubiquitous.

In this episode, Emily and Billy explore his two latest releases – the orchestra-centric Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue and the much darker Open War League.

(NOTE: here is a short article Emily wrote about Billy back in 2014 for his work on the GANG-winning soundtrack for Rayman Origins.