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Composer Ilan Eshkeri Talks Ghost of Tsushima and Creating Great Music

Composer Ilan Eshkeri Talks Ghost of Tsushima and Creating Great Music

Nate talks with the acclaimed composer about creating music for film and games, collaboration, and Big Macs.

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On this dulcet episode of the Popzara Podcast our own lowly Nathan Evans talks with Ilan Eshkeri, an award-winning composer whose music has filled concert halls, cinemas, television and, increasingly, gaming headsets, thanks in particular to his work helping compose the soundtrack (with Shigeru Umebayashi) to Ghost of Tsushima, the new historical action-RPG game from Sucker Punch Studios.

It’s an epic adventure where you’ll help conflicted samurai Jin Sakai seek revenge while uniting clans during the first Mongol invasion in feudal Japan, one needing an appropriately epic soundtrack. Eskheri, whose only previous gaming credit was EA’s The Sims 4, proved more than up to the challenge, creating a lush, orchestral landscape worthy of the game’s stunning visuals.

Together, Nate and Eskheri talk the differences and unique challenges between composing for film and games, how 2005’s Layer Cake changed his life, thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic, the magic of John Williams, being in the same company as fellow film / game composers Harry Gregson-Williams and Michael Giacchino, the Biwa and crafting period-accurate music meant for 13th century Japanese instruments, frequent and important ecological collaborations with historian David Attenborough, and why great music has more in common with a Big Mac than you ever thought possible.

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