Recently Chance6 Studios released their psychological horror game “COLINA: Legacy” on Steam. The game follows a young man named Alex who woke up alone in his grandmother’s house and realizes that things are not right. The story calls back to survival horror games from the past and mixes it with escape room puzzles all the while facing the unknown.
One thing can make or break a good movie or video game, the soundtrack. When you want the best for your music you go to the best to get it done, this is where Hexany Audio comes in. You may not know the name but you most likely heard their work. Hexany Audio has done sound design, music composition, and voice-over recordings for companies like Disney, Google, Apple, SONY, Nike, Ubisoft, and Activision just to name a few!
I was honored to interview two of Hexany Audio’s composers who worked on “COLINA: Legacy”, Matthew Carl Earl, lead composer and co-owner of Hexany Audio, and composer and sound designer Jason Walsh.
Horror Fuel: “What (or who) inspired each of you to get into music?”
Matthew: “It was originally my mother who taught me a bit of piano when I was young, but it wasn’t until I started listening to metal and classical music around the time I was 14 that I really started focusing on music. And then, later on, it was actually ‘World of Warcraft‘ that made me want to be specifically a video game composer.”
Jason: “I’m fortunate to be a part of a musical family. Growing up they gave me every opportunity to pursue music. It’s always been a big part of my life.”
Horror Fuel: “How did your paths cross with Hexany Audio?”
Matthew: “Actually, it was just a totally random job application. I was just starting out as a professional game composer and sound designer and I saw that Hexany was looking to hire their first employee. So, I applied and I’ve been with the company ever since.”
Jason: “I knew of a couple of the people that were a part of Hexany early on. When I moved to LA, I was doing a lot of freelance mixing and music production but was looking for opportunities to expand my skillset. When I saw there was an opening here at Hexany, I jumped at the opportunity.”
Horror Fuel: “Listening to the ‘COLINA: Legacy‘ soundtrack (yes, I listened to the whole thing!) I get a hint of Akira Yamaoka’s work from the “Silent Hill” games. Have video game composers like Yamaoka influenced how you compose music?”
Jason: “Absolutely. His work throughout the ‘Silent Hill‘ franchise covers such a wide spectrum of music found in horror. It’s hard to not be inspired by composers that have helped define the sound of the genre.”
Matthew: “Bold move! It’s not exactly easy listening, haha. ‘Silent Hill‘ was absolutely an inspiration for not only the music but also the gameplay. The thing we really wanted to take from those games musically was the sparseness of the music. It exists only to guide the player through the game and feed their emotions along the way.”
Horror Fuel: “You guys are not only passionate about music, but you like video games as well. What’s the one game you’re playing a lot of recently and is ‘COLINA: Legacy‘ on your ‘to play’ list?”
Jason: “As soon as ‘Colina: Legacy‘ released I played through the game! Right now I’m figuring out what game I want to tackle next, but I recently just finished ‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider‘.”
Matthew: “Totally, writing game music and playing games are inseparable in my mind. Currently, I’ve been playing a few things; ‘Prey‘, ‘World of Warcraft‘, and the new ‘Mario Party‘ that just came out. I tend to go all over the place with game genres haha. As for Colina, yes! Actually, I just played through the game with a group of friends a couple weeks ago.”
Horror Fuel: “Have you ever watched a movie or played a game and thought, ‘I would have done this instead…’?”
Jason: “I like seeing other people’s approaches to sound and music. It’s an awesome opportunity to dissect their work, learn from it, and get inspired.”
Matthew: “Yes, I’ll have that reaction all the time. But usually, it’s less of the thought, ‘the composer made a mistake and should have done it my way’ and more, ‘that’s an interesting way of doing it, I wonder if I can incorporate that into my own work.’. Playing games as a game composer forces you to view the music and sound as objectively as possible. You get to hear all kinds of things that don’t work very well, and also what works great that you might have never thought of before.”
Horror Fuel: “What’s your favorite Horror Movie(s)?”
Matthew: “Hmm, I’m really not too sure. I love a lot of the classics like ‘The Shining‘ but more recently I enjoyed ‘A Quiet Place‘. My favorite kinds of horror movies and games for that matter are the ones that create a frightful and dark atmosphere. The ones make you feel uneasy and part of the world; you are constantly looking out for the characters without knowing exactly what is about to happen, almost as if you are there. Usually, too many cheap jump scare tricks will turn me off of a film.”
Jason: “‘A Quiet Place‘ and ‘Get Out‘ were both great.”
Horror Fuel: “Any upcoming projects we should keep an eye out for?”
Matthew: “I’m constantly working on my usual titles like, ‘Kingdom Craft‘ and ‘Arena of Valor‘, updating them with new music for upcoming content. As for new stuff, I’ve been working recently on some new games with some pretty recognizable IPs that I’m really excited to share with everyone.”
Horror Fuel: “Where should our readers go if they want to listen to your work or to learn more about Hexany Audio?”
Matthew: “You can find my music pretty much on whatever platform you like to use; Youtube, Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud, etc. But, if you want a condensed version of some of my more recent work, you can check out my website at matthewcarlearl.com. Additionally, the Hexany Audio website can be found at hexanyaudio.com”
Thank you, Matthew and Jason, for taking the time to answer! You can listen to the “COLINA: Legacy” soundtrack HERE.