Gareth Coker

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Gareth Coker
Coker in 2019
Coker in 2019
Background information
Born (1984-05-07) 7 May 1984 (age 37)
United Kingdom
Genres
Occupation(s)Composer
Years active2009–present
LabelsMateria Collective
Associated actsAeralie Brighton
Alexander Rudd
Philharmonia Orchestra
Websitegareth-coker.net

Gareth Coker (born 7 May 1984) is a British composer. He has composed work for video games by Moon Studios, Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Halo Infinite.

Life and career[edit]

Coker learned the piano at a very early age. In school, he joined the orchestra and a jazz band and later studied at the Royal Academy of Music pursuing a major in musical composition. He traveled and lived abroad in Japan for three years where he taught English[1] and studied various ethnic instruments.[2] He later moved to Los Angeles, where he juggled between composing for video games and the University of Southern California's film scoring program.[3][4] Coker cites Alan Silvestri's score for Forrest Gump and Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter as inspirations to becoming a composer.[5]

Ori and the Blind Forest[edit]

In 2011, Coker composed the accompanying music to the game's prototype after studio director Thomas Mahler had stumbled upon his work. Speaking about the game's musical approach, Coker was given free rein by the studio to experiment with the music and scored the game mostly based on the visuals.[6] He worked with the idea of using instruments that would represent the area. For example, using wood-based percussion instruments for the Ginso Tree area. He also worked closely with the game's programmers to balance the pacing and timing of the music. Coker recorded the score at Ocean Way Nashville Recording Studios with the Nashville Studio Orchestra.[7]

The musical score was praised by critics and fans,[8][9] garnering nominations for several industry awards including a BAFTA Game Award for Best Music. Kirk Hamilton of Kotaku appreciated the score's orchestral approach, comparing it to the works of Joe Hisaishi on the Studio Ghibli films.[10] Yahoo's Ben Silverman called it "a wonderful score" and recalled how it was akin to the score of Howl’s Moving Castle.[11]

Works[edit]

Films and TV
Year Title Notes
2009 Nameless
2010 Unwound
Ellen
You Kill Me
What to Bring to America
The Incident
Laugh and Die
Homeland
George's 40th Birthday
2011 Buried Alive
Dysteria
Upon Release
Cab 57
InMomentum
Waking Up
The Silence Inside Us
I Am Rupert Caldwell
Good Intentions
August's Claim
2012 Call to Arms
All Up to You
Haven's Point
Dog-Eared
2013 Veritasium 1 episode
Rise
Diary of a Teenage Nobody 1 episode
The Plagarist's Game
Billy in Motion
Verax
United Grand Lodge of Queensland Grand Installation
Dark Power
Where the Sky Is Born
2014 Thrilling Contradictions
Rush
2015 Recoil
The Sweet Taste of Redemption
Let Go
2016 Emma's Chance
Mandroid
2017 The Labyrinth
Resistance is Life
Moving Art 1 episode
2018 Level Up Norge 3 episodes
Buoyancy
The Price
2019 Full Moon
The Teleios Act
2022 Ark: Animated Series
Video games
Year Title Developer Notes
2011 inMomentum Digital Arrow
2012 Primal Carnage Lukewarm Media
2015 Ori and the Blind Forest Moon Studios
The Mean Greens - Plastic Warfare Code Headquarters
2016 The Unspoken Insomniac Games
Minecraft Mojang Expansion Packs: Chinese Mythology, Egyptian Mythology, Greek Mythology, Norse Mythology, Battle & Tumble, Pirates of the Caribbean
2017 Ark: Survival Evolved Studio Wildcard
2019 Darksiders Genesis Airship Syndicate
2020 Ori and the Will of the Wisps Moon Studios
Dota 2 Valve The International 10 music pack
Immortals Fenyx Rising Ubisoft Quebec
2021 Halo Infinite[12] 343 Industries Composed with Curtis Schweitzer and Joel Corelitz
2022 Ark II[13] Studio Wildcard

Awards[edit]

Work Year Award Note Ref
Ori and the Blind Forest 2015 D.I.C.E. Award for Outstanding Music Composition Won [14]
Golden Joystick Award for Best Audio Won [15]
BAFTA Game Award for Best Music Nominated [16]
HMMA Award for Best Original Score - Video Game Nominated [17]
2016 SXSW Gaming Award for Excellence in Score Won [18]
Ori and the Will of the Wisps 2020 The Game Award for Best Score and Music Nominated [19]
2021 The IFMCA Award for Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media Nominated [20]
SXSW Gaming Award for Excellence in Score Won [21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Johnson, Odhrán. "404 - With Gareth Coker: Creating Music that Enhances Player Experience". Media.wmv. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  2. ^ Parkes, Cassie (26 July 2017). "Interview: Composer Gareth Coker Talks Minecraft, Ori and more". Cultured Vultures. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  3. ^ "A Conversation with Gareth Coker". Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  4. ^ Butler, Mark (17 October 2017). "How video game music is finally getting the appreciation it deserves". iNews. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. ^ Brinkley, Vance (21 August 2017). "Gareth Coker Is A Name You Should Know In Video Game Music". Bandcamp. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  6. ^ Dealessandri, Marie (17 July 2019). "The sounds of… Gareth Coker". MCV Develop. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  7. ^ Wingler, Matt (10 April 2020). "The Emotion Of Sound: Chatting With Ori And The Blind Forest Composer Gareth Coker". The Sixth Axis. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  8. ^ Gies, Arthur (9 March 2015). "ORI AND THE BLIND FOREST REVIEW: THE PLACES YOU'LL GO". Polygon. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  9. ^ Reparaz, Mikel (10 March 2015). "Ori and The Blind Forest - Review". IGN. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  10. ^ Hamilton, Kirk (1 January 2016). "The Best Video Game Music Of 2015". Kotaku. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  11. ^ Silverman, Ben (12 March 2015). "Review: Beauty Meets the Beasts in Mesmerizing 'Ori and the Blind Forest'". Yahoo. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  12. ^ ""I am happy to announce that I'm scoring @Halo Infinite alongside @cschweitzer"". Twitter. July 24, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  13. ^ "Two very different tracks, both of which you heard in the @survivetheark II trailer shown at @thegameawards . Presented here in full". Twitter. December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  14. ^ "2016 AWARDS CATEGORY DETAILS". Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  15. ^ Blain, Louise (October 30, 2015). "Ori And The Blind Forest wins Best Audio at the Golden Joystick Awards". GamesRadar+. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  16. ^ "Games - Music in 2016". British Academy Games Awards. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  17. ^ Feinberg, Scott (10 October 2015). "Hollywood Music in Media Awards: Sam Smith, Lady Gaga, Brian Wilson Among Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  18. ^ Dornbush, Jonathan. "SXSW Gaming Awards 2016 winners". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  19. ^ "Best Score and Music I Nominees". The Game Awards. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  20. ^ "IFMCA Award Nominations 2020". IFMCA International: Film Music Critics Association. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  21. ^ Ankers, Adele. "SXSW Gaming Awards 2021 Winners". IGN. Retrieved March 23, 2021.

External links[edit]