Paul McCartney has taken a break from love and peace to lend his composing ability to Destiny, a first-person shooting video game for the Xbox and Playstation systems.
McCartney, 72, created the musical score over a four-year span in New York, Los Angeles, and at London’s Abbey Road Studios. He worked alongside Marty O’Donnell, who was then game developer Bungie’s in-house composer, and Mike Salvatori.
Last August, O’Donnell told the gaming website Edge that the trio wrote a 50-minute suite that they intended to release before the game. The video game composer reported during the time that McCartney even added some beatlesque touches to the score.
He (McCartney) brought out his old tape-loop machine – he said the last time he used it was on Sgt. Pepper,” said O’Donnell. “So he sent me an entire session where he was playing around with all these tape-loops. We were just thrilled. That [was] the same machine that was (used) on Revolver.
McCartney also contributes a theme song for the game and worked with a 120-piece ensemble at Abbey Road. Giles Martin, son of Beatles producer George Martin, directed the orchestra with the the song being produced by Mark “Spike” Stent.
O’Donnell’s rise to video game fame started at Mac World in 1999 when Bungie unveiled Halo for the first time. The three-minute scripted demo went on to take the game industry by storm.
O’Donnell told Edge that he likes to write music and that working with Paul McCartney gave all of them the opportunity to work on a whole bunch of music with a lot of themes.
“So we have this really great start on many, many pieces of music that all seem to work together well,” says O’Donnell. “Most of it hasn’t been heard yet. I feel like we have really iconic stuff that at some point will rise to the top and become the iconic theme.”
O’Donnell was able to get McCartney interested in the project thanks to this unique approach to scoring Destiny. “I came up with this idea of music of the spheres,” says O’Donnell. “I came up with eight pieces, a suite, it turned out to be 50 minutes long, we’re going to be releasing it before the game. That’s the thing that I got Paul interested in working with us on.”
For fans doubting McCartney’s interest in violent video games, O’Donnell said he had that fear, too – at first.
“That was one of the things we were quite worried about: Would Paul even be interested in a sci-fi shooting game?” he told Edge last year. “But he seemed excited about it. He’s played Halo with his grandkids. I think he’s pretty excited that he’s stretching into an area he hasn’t stretched before.”
Destiny will be released September 9. Watch the trailer below.