PETER MCCONNELL – “GRIM FANDANGO” soundtrack (1998)
My knowledge of video games pretty much starts and ends with the arcade/NES axis from my youth. I was never a PC gamer, neurologist nor do I have any of the newer systems like the Wii, Xbox or Playstation. So it came to me as a surprise that one of the discs I would be listening to most often in the past few weeks would be a PC game soundtrack! But this one’s a great set of swing and big band jazz, as well as South American sounds and orchestral musings.
The game “Grim Fandango” was released in 1998 by LucasArts, and was considered not too successful financially, but it’s got quite a legacy as one of the more complex and unique games to have come out of that era of computer gaming. I’ll take the fans’ word for it. Wikipedia sez:
Grim Fandango’s world combines elements of Aztec beliefs of afterlife with style aspects of film noir, including The Maltese Falcon, On the Waterfront and Casablanca, to create the Land of the Dead, which recently departed souls, represented in the game as calaca-like figures, must travel through before they reach their final destination, the Ninth Underworld. The story follows travel agent Manuel “Manny” Calavera as he attempts to save Mercedes “Meche” Colomar, a newly arrived but virtuous soul, during her long journey.
The game’s music…was composed at LucasArts by Peter McConnell and inspired by the likes of Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman as well as film composers Max Steiner and Adolph Deutsch. The score featured live musicians that McConnell knew or made contact with in San Francisco’s Mission District, including a mariachi band.