From the spare violins of a city beneath the sea to the choral hosannahs of hell and a comically symphonic alien Armageddon, Garry Schyman has proven himself as one of the most impressive scoring voices in the genre of videogame music with his acclaimed scores for such series as “BioShock,” “Dante’s Inferno” and “Destroy All Humans!” But that’s just one stylistic facet of a composer whose work encompasses prime time television, mini-series and feature films, adding to a decades-long body of work that has seen him conduct orchestras at sound stages the world over from Hollywood to London’s Abbey Road as he has scored some of pop culture’s most iconic characters.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, Garry Schyman began his scoring career in 1980’s as part of the composing team of renowned TV maestro Mike Post, contributing to such hit shows as “Magnum, P.I.” and “The A-Team” before becoming a prolific composer for such films as “Horseplayer,” “Spooky House” “Lost In Africa” and “Tornado!”.
While he’d score the live action “video games” of1993’s “Voyeur” and its 1996 sequel, Schyman’s music for this arena entered a new animated realm with 2005’s “Destroy All Human!” with a score that combined a knowing salute to 50s sci-fi B-movie music with vibrant, contemporary action energy. But it was 2007’s “BioShock” that burst onto the video game scoring scene as a full-fathom dive into unique musical terrain. Taking its cue from modernistic classical music, Schyman created a unearthly atmosphere for an undersea dystopia. Melodically haunted strings turned to frenzied dissonance, violin solos became odes for paradise and innocence lost, while the chilling arrival of the monstrous diver Big Daddy struck terror into the player with pounding, rusted percussion.
Schyman has since used powerful combinations of orchestral melody, fierce percussion and rock and roll chords for such fantastical action games as “Resistance: Retribution,” “Front Mission Evolved” and “Dante’s Inferno”. Most recently, his music went in completely unexpected dimensions for the sunnily sinister cloud city of Colombia in “BioShock Infinite,” taking a stripped-down, turn-of-the-century musical approach for this globally acclaimed entry into the franchise’s ever-expanding world, where ironically genteel harmonicas, strings and bells mixed with berserk percussion for the game’s aerial battles.
Schyman’s video game scores have brought him critical acclaim and industry recognition, including the Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, the Best Original Score from the Spike TV Games Awards for “BioShock” and Game Audio Network Guild awards for “BioShock,” as well as their nominations for “Destroy All Humans!” and “Destroy All Humans! 2,”
Garry Schyman now returns to 2K Games, the company who developed “BioShock,” as they make a brave new leap into next-gen console technology, and music with “The Bureau: Xcom Declassified,” which will debut in August of 2013. The composer lives with his family in Los Angeles.
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