Interview with Nolan Markey

An interview with the man behind the Cosmic Frontier theme music, as first published on our Kickstarter page

One of the biggest contributions made to this project so far has been its new theme music, which you can hear on our trailer video. Its composer is Nolan Markey, who has agreed to answer some questions for us about the music, his career and his love of EV.

What impact did the original Escape Velocity games make on you?

Nolan: The original games had a huge influence on me. EV: Override was actually the first video game I ever played. My family didn’t have a computer at the time, so when I went over to a friend’s house and he showed the game to me it absolutely blew my mind. When Nova came out it became my new favorite, and I must have played through all of the mission strings at least a dozen times. Escape Velocity sparked a massive interest in science fiction.  Once I discovered Star Trek and Dune, I was all in.

Nolan at work
Nolan at work

How did you become involved in the film music business, and where else might people have heard your work?

I actually went to college to study composing music for film at CSU Northridge – one of very few schools that offer that as an undergraduate major. My first real music job was as an intern for Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, and a trillion other incredible projects).  Eventually, through circumstance, I started working for Kevin Kiner as an orchestrator for Star Wars: Rebels and The Clone Wars and that’s where things really started to take off! You can actually hear some of my music on the final season of Clone Wars. I was honored to get the chance to write for such a fun show and with such an incredible team of people.

Can you tell us about the process of composing and recording the new Override theme music?

Well, when I saw that Override was going to be rebooted I about jumped out of my seat. The EV games have a history of using licensed music instead of original compositions, and this seems like a great opportunity to help give Override a distinct musical identity. I know it should be big and orchestral and heroic, and that was my starting point. I played around with a few melodic ideas, and finally came up with a main theme, as well as a more sinister motif for the Voinians.The new theme was recorded a while back in Hungary with Budapest Scoring. I’ve been working with them for years, and I knew they’d be able to handle something tough like Override. We actually got the entire theme recorded in less than 30 minutes, and the rest is history! I usually work with them remotely via internet stream, which tends to save a lot on airfare.

Aside from Cosmic Frontier, what future project are you most excited about?

If only I was allowed say! I have a handful of very exciting projects in the works that I can’t announce yet, but they’re all wildly different and run the gamut from games to animation to live action films. Most recently, I was fortunate enough to write a main theme for Beyond the Western Deep, an ongoing fantasy comic written by my good friend Alex Kain.

Thanks again to Nolan, and Budapest Scoring, for contributing such a stunning theme, and good luck with those top secret future projects!