David Wise (composer)

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For other people named David Wise, see David Wise (disambiguation).
David Wise
Also known as Dave Wise
Born (1967-09-13) 13 September 1967 (age 49)
Origin Leicestershire, England
Genres Various
Occupation(s) Composer, musician
Instruments Synthesizer, saxophone
Years active 1985–present
Associated acts Robin Beanland
Eveline Fischer
Ben Cullum
Grant Kirkhope
Graeme Norgate
Steve Burke
Website davidwise.co.uk

David Wise is an English video game music composer and musician. He was a composer at Rare from 1985 to 2009, and was the company's sole musician up until 1994. He has gained a cult following for his work on various games, particularly Nintendo's Donkey Kong Country series. Wise is known for his atmospheric style of music, mixing natural environmental sounds with prominent melodic and percussive accompaniment.

Career and influences[edit]

Wise has said that he has had a wide range of musical influences, though the first instrument he learned to play was the piano, before later learning the trumpet, and then learning to play drums during adolescence. He played in a few bands during his youth, and was still active in a band as of 2004. His career at Rare began when he happened to meet its two founders, as he explained in response to a question posted on its company website: "I was working in a music shop demonstrating a Yamaha CX5 Music Computer to a couple of people, Tim & Chris Stamper. I'd written and programmed the music for the demonstration material. They offered me a job."[1]

While working at Rare, Wise soon gained wide attention and acclaim for his work on the Donkey Kong Country game series. In addition to the percussive and ambient 'jungle' influences that serve as a thematic undercurrent for much of the series, the games feature a wide variety of different musical styles that are reflective of the various areas and environments they appear in. In the January 1996 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, Wise stated that his travelling experiences largely shaped the sound and mood of each Donkey Kong soundtrack, further saying that the music for Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest was composed during what he called his "experimental Paris phase". He has also composed the soundtrack for the Game Boy Advance port of Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!.

In late October 2009, it was announced by the OverClocked ReMix community that Wise was remixing a track for Serious Monkey Business, an unofficial Donkey Kong Country 2 remix album. Grant Kirkhope and Robin Beanland also collaborated on this track, playing guitar and trumpet respectively.[2][3] On 15 March 2010, Serious Monkey Business was released and Dave Wise's track, 'Re-Skewed', was featured as Track No. 33. Much like his contribution to Serious Monkey Business, Wise later remixed his own composition, the GBA version of "Jungle Jitter", for an unofficial Donkey Kong Country 3 remix album titled Double the Trouble!, which was released on 1 December 2012.[4] Wise also provided a saxophone solo for another remix, in addition to mixing and mastering the track.

On 30 October 2009, Wise announced his resignation from Rare and his intention to work as a freelance composer/sound designer.[5] In December 2010 Wise created a personal studio called the 'David Wise Sound Studio'.[6] In June 2013 it was announced that after eleven years without composing for a major console title, Wise would be returning to the series that made him famous with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

For the game company Playtonic Games, Wise's name is listed under the staff members list as a "Music Man" and is composing for their future game, Yooka-Laylee.[7]






















  • Star Drift (iOS)[12]



  1. ^ Rare: The Tepid Seat – Rare Music Team (December 2004)
  2. ^ OverClocked ReMix Presents 'Serious Monkey Business' (March 2010)
  3. ^ ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest 'Re-Skewed' – OverClocked ReMix
  4. ^ Donkey Kong Country 3: Double the Trouble! | OC ReMix
  5. ^ MundoRare | David Wise, composer since 1985, leaves Rare (November 2009)
  6. ^ http://www.squareenixmusic.com/features/interviews/davidwise.shtml
  7. ^ The Team So Far...
  8. ^ Greening, Chris. "David Wise Interview: Revisiting Donkey Kong Country". Video Game Music Online. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Rare: Scribes (December 21, 2005) at Internet Archive "Robin did Funky's Fugue, Eveline did Simian Segue, Candy's Love Song, Voices of the Temple, Forest Frenzy, Tree Top Rock, Northern Hemispheres and Ice Cave Chant, and the rest was the doing of Mr. Wise."
  10. ^ Rare: Scribes (February 9, 2006) at Internet Archive "…everything is by Eveline except for Dixie Beat, Crazy Calypso, Wrinkly's Save Cave, Get Fit A-Go-Go, Wrinkly 64, Brothers Bear and Bonus Time (along with Bonus Win and Bonus Lose), which were by Dave."
  11. ^ "Tengami Soundtrack". nyamyam. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "Former Retro Studios Developer Opens Squarehead Studios". IGN. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 

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