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Whisper of the Plains ~ Tom Salta Interview on Prince of Persia

Last week we talked to Tom Salta about his Red Steel 2 soundtrack, this week we finish off the interview with a quick chat about his latest work, Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands…

Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands is another soundtrack that has that East meets West fusion that you do so well. What key elements were there for you in finding out exactly how your going to approach making the music for the game?

I like to describe this score as Persian/Fantasy.  We wanted to keep all the instrumentation and vocals all within that world.  I listened to a lot of different music and experimented with several diverse approaches. There were many discussions that I had early on with the team to figure out the overall aesthetic we wanted for the music.

Had you listened to the previous soundtracks for any reference points at all and if you did were there any bits of those soundtracks you really enjoyed?

I was familiar with The Sands of Time score when I originally played the game.  I’m familiar with the music from some of the other Prince of Persia games as well.  I very much enjoyed The Sands of Time score but in the case of Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands there was a decision by the team not to go exactly in this direction. and avoid the use of modern elements or orchestral sounds.

Were their any particular challenges for this soundtrack compared to others that you’ve done before?

Certainly, every score has its own unique challenges.  With Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands, the challenge was to keep it sounding rich, powerful and dynamic without using any orchestral sounds or modern instruments like electric guitar; two elements that were in many of the previous Prince of Persia scores.  I’m very happy with the way the score turned out.  I find that quite often, defining limitations upfront can force you to come up with more creative options.

As a composer does the fact that this is a Wii game have any limitations or positives over say, the more power consoles, or can you blanket score for all consoles the same way?

The console does play a role in deciding the way the cues are put together.  For example, in Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands for Nintendo Wii, we decided on always having two simultaneous stereo streams of music playing that could be mixed by the game engine.  For every cue there was a second layer of music that could play along with it, increasing the intensity or adding another key element to it. On a console like the 360 or PS3, the audio engine is capable of doing more. So that means you have more options if you need them.

Will you be going to see the Prince of Persia film when its released….

I will definitely see it… but with my schedule, it might have to wait until Blu Ray. {laughs}

…and will you be asking to score the seemingly inevitable sequel as soon as you can?

{laughs} I’m pretty sure the Prince of Persia teams know how much I’d love to continue working on the series.  The possibilities are endless with this series and I would love to continue the journey, constantly evolving and trying new things.

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