Mark Griskey

Composer / Highlighting

That man there, that guy in the picture smiling at you, that guy is a musical genius.
I’m not talking about a great user of some music creation program.
I’m talking about a composer of music – not soup either.

And if he happened to read that, he’d hate it and ask me to delete it – what do you bet? Don’t bet, I win – I should point out that I don’t know him at all. I’ve listened to his music and some of his very rare interviews.

It’s normal: his job is to compose music, not to throw flowers at himself.

Not many of you must know his name.
You must be much more numerous to know his artistic work.
So, Mark Griskey is an absolutely incredible composer.

He is a contemporary composer: that means he is never highlighted.
You’d almost think that the world of artistic creation stopped in the 1930’s, if you look at the press and the nonsense that is being spouted by everyone.

It must be said that a composer, nowadays, it is not by composing for the stage that he will earn his living.
So they compose for movies and for games – and they are right.
But of course, their names are drowned behind the other names for movies – and completely lost under the major license for video games.
So here is Mark Griskey – like his comrades – completely unknown to the general public.
Perhaps this is a blessing for the artists, who can work without the pressure of: will he do better this time? how could he do better? Is he capable of renewal? – pressure that would drive anyone crazy.

So composers, musicians, those who love music and not just pop or rap or the latest trendy movement, turn to other media.
Griskey shined – frankly shined – in Kotor II.

Okay – he is not completely unknown – he is known by the fans and by the professionals – that’s something – he won the “Best Original Soundtrack Album” award in 2012:

If you listen, you’ll see all the weapons of the “classical” composer in action, and there are choirs, and all the instruments you want.
I know, it’s narrative –
It’s even a little epic.
So it would be sub-music.

I’ve already mentioned OSTs for programming a theatre that would finally be open to contemporary artists and their audiences. I largely stand by that position.

Besides, he must be tired of always being brought back to the music of Kotor II.
But still – he has done for this game a work of an absolutely magical finesse, he has literally blown soul into the game – a game that deserved it by the way.

I have deliberately chosen excerpts without the associated game – you will see that this music is worthwhile in itself.
Just close your eyes and let him take you into the world he has imagined, a world where you will meet gigantic shadows that will squeeze your heart, a world where sometimes the world laughs, a world where the strings are there to guide you and invent colors, moods, puffs of courage and pride, terrors too – a beautiful true world of man.

If you have the time, listen to him talk about his work – you’ll hear that he really loves the ‘together’ creation aspect that is the rule in video games, he seems to feel freer there than in film music.
And if you always listen, you’ll see that he’s a real artist – because he’ll spend his time explaining to you which major artists he’s in awe of, and he doesn’t pretend to be anything at all – he just does his best.

So, because I really like the Kotor series of games, because Kotor II is, from my point of view, a major step in the history of video games – Mark Griskey is the first of my new series: Highlighting.

I often talk about the artists of the games – I was talking about a complete series of artists linked by games and by a theme.
But in fact they deserve, one after the other, to be highlighted and listened to – without a game – without a movie – without anything at all other than their music.

If Altair is to be invented, we’ll have to think about “highlighted” programming – a Mark Griskey’s day –
It’s quite fashionable – I discover every day that every day of the year has been assigned to honor something.
Why doesn’t Altair do the same, by regularly honoring a contemporary artist?

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9 Thoughts

  1. I won’t miss your new series! I like the title you gave : Highlighting

    Additionally, i’d like to thank you for introducing the gentleman to the rest of us. You’re right, many artists are never highlighted.

    Well done, dear!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ah, you reassure me a lot about the word in the title – I wasn’t very sure if it works on its own and if it means “highlighting a person” – or more or less that meaning.
      Yes, in my great struggles, there is preventing that we forget the very great contemporary artists, who are for the most part “great” arts, drowned in a river of people, quite anonymous – and that is a great shame.
      So here is my new series – and I’m really really glad you are the first fan ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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