Member Name: TiLT

Full name: Espen Gatzschmann

I'm from Norway and have been composing music for over 15 years, starting with OctaMED on the Amiga, moving through Scream Tracker and Impulse Tracker on the PC, then migrating to Reason, and finally Pro Tools which I still use today. I don't limit myself to any particular style, but I'm fond of composing soundtrack-oriented music.

Websites

http://www.medievalfuture .com
http://precursors.medievalfuture.com
http://www.battlepawn.com

Favorite music editor

Pro Tools. I love Reason as well, but I've sadly outgrown it.

Musical inspiration

Doom, 24, Mark Morgan (Fallout comes to mind), The Matrix, the Total War games, various film trailers, Hans Zimmer (most notably The Rock), Enigma,

 
An inteview with TiLT
 
roncli:   First off, who is TiLT?  
 
TiLT:   My real name is Espen Gatzschmann. I am 27 years old and live in Norway. I work as a game developer and part-time game music composer and sound designer. I like sushi, board games, and sunbathing (despite my pale complexion). I've been composing music for over 15 years, starting with tracking and lately moving into the VST world with Pro Tools LE. The first TiS was a big part of my life back when it was at its peak, and I was part of the Reviewers Overseeing Committee, something I enjoyed tremendously.  
 
roncli:   Any board games you enjoy in particular?  
 
TiLT:   My favorite all-time board game is Twilight Imperium, all editions. I find myself really enjoying the epic diplomatic game play, with the threat of full-scale warfare always lingering too close for comfort. I'm generally a big fan of board games, to the point where I made it my day job. These days I work at converting popular board games into computer format, so that people can play them online. I'm currently working on converting Descent: Journeys in the Dark, which I still think is fun even after working on it for 2 years!  
 
roncli:   These games clearly have a strong influence on your line of work. How long has your interest in these games been a part of your profession?  
 
"Even if my stuff sucked (which it did) there was always some- one I knew who'd enjoy it in some way or another."
 
TiLT:   Well, I got out of school only 4 years ago, and immediately started establishing my current company. Outside of a few part-time jobs I've taken to let ends meet, I've never worked on anything else.
 
roncli:   You mentioned that you also do game music part time. Are the two professions related any, or do you work with other game developers? Or both? :)
 
TiLT:   I compose all the music for the board games we convert, which is a lot of fun. I've done some minor work outside of this as well, but the biggest was my contribution to the free remake of Star Control 2 called The Ur-Quan Masters. A lot of people came together to remix the music for that game. I did a lot of collaborative work there with VOiD, who I've been composing music with pretty much since the very beginning of my musical "career".
 
roncli:   One which spans over fifteen years! How did it start?
 
TiLT:   It started with OctaMED on the Amiga, and hearing Dr. Awesome's Tranze Seven. I had pretty much zero musical talent, keeping myself going thanks to the great support from my friends. Even if my stuff sucked (which it did) there was always someone I knew who'd enjoy it in some way or another. I later moved on to Scream Tracker on the PC, and stayed there for a few years, still barely knowing what I was doing. I jumped on the Impulse Tracker bandwagon when that one got stable enough, and stayed there for the rest of my tracking career. Fun times!
 
roncli:   Any old tracks you have laying around that you're fairly proud of?
 
TiLT:   Good question. I rarely listen to my tracked music any more, but when I do, there's a small selection I turn to. My magnum opus at the time was probably Kraneira, a nearly 13 minute long track going through a lot of different, mostly unrelated melodies. I'm also pretty fond of Aurora Australis, one of the final tracks I made in Impulse Tracker. For *really* old stuff, I'd go with Dark Future. I don't know if I ever released that one.
 
roncli:   How long was it before you started collaborating with VOiD?
 
TiLT:   VOiD and I exchanged musical ideas and gave each other feedback since almost the very beginning, but we didn't really collaborate on anything that I can recall until we started working on The Ur-Quan Masters. We did some music I'm really happy with there. For anyone interested, you can find the entire remix soundtrack freely available at http://precursors.medievalfuture.com.
 
roncli:   Is it a coincidence that both of your handles use the lower case "i"? ;)
 
TiLT:   Not at all, and it's not just our nicks either. Several other people did the same with their nicks at the time. To make a long story short, we were a bunch of friends who wanted to make a demo group together, and we decided to go for an overall theme in our nicks with 4 letters (one of us broke that "rule" though) where they were all uppercase except for the "i".
 
roncli:   You mentioned being a part of the Reviewers Overseeing Committee for the first Trax in Space. How did you get to become a part of that? Also, any good memories you care to share from the ROC?
 
"One of its most admirable aspects was that [the ROC]... didn't fall back into elitism as is so usual on the Internet. This feeling of community was one of the things that really made TiS great."
 
TiLT:   I was always quite involved with TiS, writing reviews and releasing music. Then I had to leave for a while because of the army, so I was gone for 6 months. The day I got back, I was immediately given a position in the ROC, much to my surprise. There are a lot of good memories from the ROC, mostly because I got to know a lot of people through it. Some people I remained in contact with for years after. One of its most admirable aspects was that it (from what I can recall) managed to be an administrative part of the site that didn't fall back into elitism as is so usual on the Internet. This feeling of community was one of the things that really made TiS great.
 
roncli:   So you are currently involved in quite a bit with your work in the game industry. Do you do any composing outside of that?
 
TiLT:   I try to, but I rarely find the energy to do so. It's becoming harder and harder to actually finish a piece of music, especially since there's so much more involved these days. Back in the tracker days, I could just whip up a short piece of music and be done with it. Now I have to spend hours just to get one minute of music to sound good, and then I have to mix and master it until it shines. And despite all my years of composing music, I still haven't mastered even the most basic things like coming up with an entire melody before starting to put it all together. Sometimes it's a bit daunting, but when I feel that way, I just force myself to do something. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm currently working on several pieces of music at once. One is a Hollywood-esque piece reminiscent of the Kingdom of Heaven soundtrack. Another is an atmospheric, synth-based track that sounds a lot like a modern version of X-Com. These are not the only things I'm fiddling with either, but much of it will probably not see the light of day. You could say I'm too critical of my own stuff, which is a weakness of mine.
 
roncli:   One of my personal favorite songs of yours on TiS is Snowfall. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind that track?
 
"I just force myself to do something. Sometimes it works, some- times it doesn't."
 
TiLT:   Snowfall is one of my favorites as well. Everything just clicked into place when I made it. The initial inspiration came from a track by Darkhalo called Midnight Snowfall (Snowfall was just a working title for my track, but it stuck). His track alone wouldn't have been sufficient for me to get started on my own track however. The catalyst came when I was fiddling around with a softsynth one day and stumbled upon a really soothing, ambient instrument ideal for arpeggiation. I played a little bit with it and ended up with what you can hear during the first few seconds of Snowfall, then everything escalated from there. This is a recurring theme with my music, in fact. I often start out simply by playing around with my synths and samplers until I find something that inspires me. I rarely start out with a clear idea of what I'm trying to accomplish until the right sound appears.
 
roncli:   Another of your more popular tunes on the site, Into the East, sounds as though it has the same methodology to it, starting with a single instrument and developing from there. Is that how it worked out, or was there a plan in place for this one?
 
TiLT:   Into the East was composed for a music competition held by East West. These contests almost always have some kind of restriction to them, and this time the contributions had to be of the ethnic genre and could only use East West instruments. I knew I wanted to make something Asian, and the koto was a natural choice for that kind of music. I have some really nice sounding ethnical instruments through East West Ra, and that was what I used. The purpose was to draw upon the entire spectrum of sounds the koto could offer me, and the rest was filler. So yes, you could say I started with a single sound and worked my way from there, although this time it was a little more planned than usual.
 
roncli:   Which musicians would you say have influenced your music over the years?
 
TiLT:   Quite a lot have. In my early years, I was most influenced by Enigma, even though I was nowhere near able to recreate that kind of music. Bobby Prince's music for Doom has always been a major influence on me, as has Mark Morgan's Fallout soundtrack. Hans Zimmer inspires much of my orchestral music these days. Vangelis inspires my ambient, melodic music. Enya with mellow, relaxing themes. I look to Xerxes when I want to make more "classical" tracker music. I tend to take a lot of inspiration from all kinds of music and sound around me. Even though I've listed a couple here that have been pretty significant, there are many, many others that have also contributed in their own ways.
 
roncli:   What future goals do you have for you music? Where would you like to be as a musician in, say, 5 years?
 
TiLT:   I've spent considerable time and money improving my home studio lately, partly because I want to be sufficiently equipped to handle the full orchestral scores for my current game projects, and partly because I want to be prepared for future projects down the road. A dream of mine is to be financially capable of building myself a career within game and film music in the next few years. It's a really hard business to get into, but once you do there are a lot of fun jobs to take. In 5 years I hope to be a good enough musician that I could score a feature film.
 
roncli:   The most ambitious goals are often the most self-rewarding when they are achieved, good luck to you. :) Any last words of advice you'd like to give?
 
"No matter if it's been years since you last made music, no matter if you feel your skills are really sub-par, persevere and you will find yourself reaching heights you never thought you would..."
 
TiLT:   Thank you! If I were to give only one piece of advice, I would give one that is personally very significant to me: No matter if it's been years since you last made music, no matter if you feel your skills are really sub-par, persevere and you will find yourself reaching heights you never thought you would be able to. I almost lost my will to make music after my time in the army, but I got through it and grew stronger through the experience. And as a final plug for my game company: If you're interested in knowing more about my game projects, please visit www.battlepawn.com. :)
 
roncli:   Some great advice. :) Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing more of your music!
 

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