Richard Jacques is a composer of film, television and videogame soundtracks. A leading composer in the field of interactive entertainment, his music has been heard by audiences across the globe and he is fast becoming recognised outside of the gaming world with recent credits extending to high profile media campaigns and film. Richard is able to write in many styles of music but since he is classically trained his greatest passion is to work on orchestral soundtracks, including the highly acclaimed interactive title Headhunter for which MusicFromTheMovies concluded, "This guy is a rising star."
Born into a musical family in Warwick, England, Richard Jacques began learning the piano from the age of 5, followed by the trombone three years later. His fascination with composition began at school when he wrote his first piece, a piano duet, at the age of 9. Having been awarded a scholarship to the Junior Royal Academy of Music in London, he was exposed to many different musical experiences in a diversity of genres largely through playing in ensembles ranging from symphony orchestras and wind ensembles to jazz and rock bands.
He continued his studies by following a traditional classical music education, specialising in composition, orchestration, performance and music technology, while also pursuing studies in percussion, drum kit, and guitar. This eclectic background and multitude of influences has provided him with a uniquely acute ear for musical style.
Richard began composing game soundtracks when he joined Sega Europe, following the completion of a B.A. (Hons) Degree in Music, in which he specialised in 'Performance, Composition and Arrangement, and Music Technology'. As lead composer for Sega Europe for seven years he worked with some of the world’s most successful game developers including Sonic Team (Sonic R), Travellers Tales ( Sonic 3D), Smilebit / Wavemaster (Jet Set Radio, Jet Set Radio Future) and Bizarre Creations (Metropolis Street Racer).
In 2001 he embarked on his most ambitious project yet called Headhunter, a cinematic game released in Europe on Dreamcast (November, 2001) and PlayStation 2 in both Europe (March, 2002) and North America (May, 2002). Headhunter remains one of the most ambitious game soundtracks produced to date, utilising an orchestra and a recording studio often used for feature film soundtracks, and set the benchmark for others to follow.
Jacques composed, arranged and orchestrated all the music for the 67-piece London Session Orchestra performing the Headhunter soundtrack, assembled especially for the project, and made up of some of the finest session musicians in Europe. Each member of the orchestra has either held a principal seat in one of the major London orchestras, or has enjoyed a successful soloist career on the concert platform. The orchestra’s long list of credits include recordings for Robbie Williams and All Saints, as well as the film soundtracks to The World Is Not Enough and The Mummy.
The soundtrack was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in January 2001. Since its conception in the 1920’s and subsequent opening in 1931, Abbey Road has been at the forefront of the recording industry. Over the years it has attracted artists, producers and engineers of the highest calibre, The Beatles making it a household name. Studio 1, the venue for the recording of Richard Jacques’ Headhunter soundtrack, is one of the largest purpose-built symphonic recording studios around and it has some of the best symphonic acoustics in the world. It was the obvious choice for Jacques who would make an identifiable mark on the concept and realisation of the use of a live orchestra and recording studio of the highest calibre for a game soundtrack. He also worked on Headhunter’s cinematic approach to the overall feel of the soundtrack with Dom Gibbs (Noisebox) who is the sound designer for the James Bond movie, Die Another Day.
The score itself is as thematic as it is incidental, providing key moments with action, suspense, and emotion. "From the bold French horn motif that makes up ‘Jack’s Theme’, to the delicate oboe and string setting of Angela’s theme," says Jacques, "the soundtrack is intended to provide the gamer with an emotive experience and a sense of familiarity, identifying specific characters and settings through the score".
Headhunter’s music has since become one of the most celebrated game soundtracks in recent years, receiving extraordinary praise from game critics, music journalists and soundtrack fans alike. Demand for a separate album release has been unrelenting and Jacques’ popularity as a freelance composer has attracted interest from the film and television industries.
Most recently Jacques has scored the short CG animated film "Pandora’s Closet" written, directed and animated by Industrial Light & Magic modeller Steven Aplin (The Mummy Returns, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Harry Potter, Men In Black). He is also currently working on the film short "One Previous Owner", (Dir., Giles Greenwood). Other film credits include "Three In One" (Dir., Mick Pantaleo), "Lullabelle" (Dir., Gemma Page & Tanya Ludyga). His composing is also recognised in the UK and European television advertising industry where his scores are featured in numerous premier media campaigns for some of the world’s leading ad agencies (Saatchi, McCann Ericsson) including top name brands such as Audi, Bacardi and Stella Artois.
Always surprising his audiences by turning his hand to any given style and media, Richard Jacques is one of the most prolific composers in his field today. His music for games was celebrated at The Barbican Gallery in London for "Game On" in 2002. Currently his music is exhibited at the Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh (12th October 02 - 2nd February 03) and "Game On" will then tour venues in Europe, North America and Japan. He is currently working on a number of orchestral scores for major game releases in 2003 (and beyond) and "Lullabelle" has been submitted for the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
Contributed by Richard Jacques (5) on Nov 10, 2002.