Brian LaGuardia


Composer, Orchestrator, Arranger

GDC Developer's Concert

One of the many wonderful things about working for Austin Wintory is being along for the ride when he invariably and anually makes history. This year was no exception: he was the mastermind behind the first-ever GDC devleoper’s concert!

I had the privelage of working on four of these charts: the two big medleys, God of War and Celeste (the last of which was my arrangement featured at the World Soundtrack Awards, but paired down to a smaller ensemble). The biggest challenge was Austin’s insistence on keeping the big opening medley brutally short in its callouts, which made the transitions extremely challenging to pull of for both myself and the musicians! A lot of these charts proved to be fun challenges, some of my favorites being the ones that weren’t already orchestral. The stand-out in that regard is the Modern Warfare 3 theme, where I have the orchestra immitating the wonkey, harsh synths in the beginning with quarter-tone ad-lib slides in the strings and flutters in the brass.

Speaking of musicians, the ones onstage simply crushed it in a very demanding setlist and with only 2 brief runthroughs! The concertmaster was the legendary Paul Cartwright, someone I’ve greatly admired ever since he did a lot of solo work on Bear’s Battlestar Galactica score many years ago. So it was a particular treat to get to meet him backstage! Also worthy of mention was Laura Intravia, pulling triple duty on Flute, Piccolo and a suprisingly amazing operatic voice! Also Kristin Naigus, traditionally accompanied by her small army of winds.

The section players were all conservatory students, if you can believe it! San Francisco Conservatory. They did every bit as well as a group of professionals would have in their place. I was actually worried in a couple of spots that it was a bit too technical for so little rehearsal time, but they just crushed it.

Dallas Crane, Austin’s assistant, handled the Bioshock chart at the end and did an amazing job closing out the concert, featuring an inceredible vocal solo from Troy Baker. I had heard his voice before on my time working with Stray Gods, but I had no idea he could really open up like that. He absolutely brought the house down, with a fantastic improvised fiddle solo from Cartwright.

Here’s hoping this becomes a regular event, because it was easily one of the highlights of GDC for me!

Full concert on youtube below!