As Composer Gordy Haab Games a ‘Star Wars’ Universe, Could He Be John Williams’ Heir Apparent?

He has combined some-more than 15 hours of song for 9 Star Wars games.

When composer John Williams in Feb told KUSC that 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX is a final entrance in a mythological authorization he skeleton to score, it triggered an attention guessing diversion as to whom a mythological conductor would pass a baton. If apportion factors with quality, diversion composer Gordy Haab might have an edge. Haab has combined some-more than 15 hours of song for 9 Star Wars games. The many new — Electronic Arts’ Star Wars: Battlefront II — was available with a London Symphony Orchestra during Abbey Road Studios, earning him a video diversion measure of a year during May 23’s ASCAP Screen Music Awards.

“I got unequivocally shaken when we listened your stuff,” Solo: A Star Wars Story composer John Powell was overheard revelation Haab during a ASCAP event. And while it was mentioned from a theatre that Powell was a initial composer to write a thesis for Chewbacca, Haab had indeed combined a thesis for a bushy Wookie as partial of his 2015 Battlefront chores. “I also wrote a thesis for [Rodian annuity hunter] Greedo, and to my trust no other thesis for Greedo has ever been written,” says Haab.

“Gordy is one of a few composers in a universe on [Star Wars creator George] Lucas’ brief list,” says Steve Schnur, worldwide executive and boss of song for Electronic Arts. Marquee characters combined by Lucas for a films seem in a games accompanied by their strange themes and about 120 mins of Williams’ song is featured on any of a Battlefronts, with credits reading “Original Star Wars film song by John Williams. Original song stoical and orchestrated by Gordy Haab.” It presented an engaging plea for Haab, who, for a Battlefront games and enlargement packs, combined about 3 hours of song that contingency live alongside that of a conductor though feeling derivative.

Haab, 42, grew adult in Virginia, outward of Richmond. His relatives took him to see Star Wars in a museum when it was expelled in 1977 and, nonetheless he was usually 1 years aged and too immature to remember, he cites this as a initial in a fibre of events that had “the song of John Williams apropos partial of my DNA before we knew anything about component music.” It wasn’t until Haab was 6 when he saw another film with a Williams score, Steven Spielberg’s ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, that he began to act on his low-pitched passions. “I picked adult my dad’s guitar and started plucking out a tune to E.T., perplexing to figure it out. So my father said, ‘Let’s get this child guitar lessons!’” As a teen he wore out 3 copies of a measure to The Empire Strikes Back though also desired all from Led Zeppelin to Duke Ellington.

He warranted a bachelor’s degree in jazz combination during Virginia Commonwealth University where he schooled to write song a aged fashioned way, by hand. “A lot of people fought it, given record apparently creates a routine a lot easier,” he says. “Notation software, sequencers, synthesizers, samplers — all of that allows we to hear your song roughly immediately, though in sequence to hear a song in your conduct we have to get divided from something that can play it behind to we and give we that evident trial-and-error feedback. It unequivocally teaches your mind to qualification music.”

While a video diversion attention final use of a latest technologies to broach discerning mock-ups for publisher approvals, and he schooled all about digital gadgetry while earning his master’s degree in scoring during University of Southern California, he says, “I still write with a pencil and paper, sitting during a piano, with no mechanism shade staring me in a face. Then we give my publishing sketches to my assistants to do synthesized mock-ups. Once they’re authorized we harmonise all by hand.”

One can’t assistance though feel Williams would approve. Although a 86-year-old fable peppers his interviews with sad remarks about how he wishes he’d take a time to learn some-more about technology, it’s mouth use given a results. Williams has won 24 Grammys and 5 Academy Awards, with his 51 nominations creation him a second-most nominated particular after Walt Disney with 59.

It was Schnur who plucked Haab from a carol line of 8 composers on 2011’s Star Wars: The Old Republic and done him solitary song masculine on a 2013 Xbox follow-up Star Wars Kinect. Battlefront was to be a initial Star Wars recover underneath an disdainful understanding with Lucasfilm’s new owner, Disney, and there was a lot roving on it. Schnur recalls a 2014 assembly with developers during EA’s DICE studio in Stockholm, Sweden, where they were evaluating song from about 100 composers auditioning for a gig: “We got down to dual — one was a man that constantly writes with John Williams and a other was Gordy Haab.”

Analyzing Haab’s tracks, Schnur says he “didn’t trust Gordy indeed wrote it. we couldn’t suppose anybody was that good.” Back in Los Angeles, he organised an inquire session. “We met during a Coffee Bean Tea Leaf on Santa Monica [Boulevard] and in walks this 40-something, artless guy and a initial thing we pronounced to him — and we didn’t meant to be bold — was ‘there’s no proceed we wrote this! we don’t trust it.’ And he kind of smirked, and he said, ‘Well, we unequivocally did.’”

Schnur says, “My initial suspicion was John Williams needs to know who this man is, immediately.” Although a dual have nonetheless to meet, Haab is — at slightest insofar as EA’s tellurian craving is endangered — Williams’ successor apparent and “a universe category composer during an rare level.”

Among Haab’s categorical hurdles in Battlefront II was essay a thesis for a new executive character, Imperial warrior commander Iden Versio. “We wanted to have a thesis for her that was secure in that Empire darker sound though also have a grandeur, given a gamer is potentially personification as Iden. We indispensable a thesis that could simply interpret from one mood or romantic standpoint to a next. We wanted to have something singable and tangible — as iconic as a ‘Imperial March’ is to Darth Vader.”  (Hear a Iden Versio Extended Suite exclusively here.)

Halo Wars 2 also had a clever womanlike lead. “I removing asked a lot as to ‘how do we proceed that? Do we write a delicate theme?’” says Haab. “And a answer is, no, we write a hero’s thesis and it doesn’t matter if a favourite is masculine or female. The arc is a same: someone has to go by a vital story change and come out clever and heroic. That translates gender utterly easily.” 

Whether Haab’s video diversion career will interpret to film scoring stays to be seen. Schnur, for one, is optimistic.

“The initial composer EA hired for strange song was Michael Giacchino, who did [1999’s] Medal of Honor,” he says. “Michael went on to win a Academy Award for Up and he became a initial chairman other than John Williams to measure a Star Wars movie, with [2016’s] Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Gordy is a subsequent generation.”

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