Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

CD REVIEW - The Da Vinci Code Game Score

The Da Vinci Code
Music by Winifred Phillips
9 Tracks 45:00 mins

Following her award-winning score for her first game God of War and then her equally deserving follow-up score for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the multi-talented Winifred Phillips was asked by Collective Studios to score the Da Vinci Code game from 2K Games.
With a brief to come up with music that was "drastically different from what could be heard in any other video game on the market," Winifred was given complete artistic freedom and came up with "a combination of classical and liturgical techniques, with an aggressive contemporary edge and all the orchestral power of the modern-day thriller." All this freedom was thanks to the demo she initially provided that convinced The Collective to put their faith in her - a demo that showed her ability to incorporate The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown's puzzles and mysteries directly into her music - music that is brimming with clues and hidden meanings, which can be especially appreciated by those of you who understand the Latin lyrics being sung by the choir in the game.
And as with her previous game scores, that choir is again amazingly all her own work, being a classically trained vocalist as well as a composer. Winifred sang all the parts, employing a recording technique pioneered in her score for God of War, so that you really will believe that there are male as well as female voices performing on the game's soundtrack.
So, what of the score? Well, first off I have to say that whereas Hans Zimmer's music for the film, beautiful though it may be, is pretty static, with surprisingly very little excitement to be had from a score to what is billed as a pretty exciting thriller, even in the more mysterious and suspenseful moments of Phillips' score, there is movement, as is of course necessary in a game score, either with or without choir. In fact, one of the more exciting tracks "Bank of Zurich" omits choir, but is nevertheless a fine piece of contemporary action scoring. That's not to say that Phillips doesn't provide beautiful moments of liturgical scoring, as in the opening track on the disc "The Louvre" and in "St. Sulpice Church," as well as the concluding "Rosslyn Chapel," but much of the music is indeed propulsive, with some pretty menacing choir-driven moments.
In conclusion, the game score is quite a different animal than the film score, though both are very valid in their own right. There is as yet sadly no news of an official CD release of Winifred Phillips' music for The Da Vinci Code game, so you'll either have to play the game to hear it or go to her site at to hear samples.
My thanks to Greg O'Connor-Read of Top Dollar PR for making this review possible.


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