Scoring Helsinki, an indie sound company in Finland, houses a small studio. In fact, it's slightly larger than the average bedroom. But listening to Scoring Helsinki's music for The Legend of Grimrock II, you wouldn't be able to tell. Thanks to the magic of multi-tracking, as well as back up samples, the team has found a way to mimic the wall-of-sound tone of classic adventure movies.
The game itself is a type of classic: It's a dungeon-crawler, a style once popular in the 1980s and '90s, but now just a niche in the gaming market. In these games, a player explores and conquers their world, while noticeably constrained by some sort of physical barriers (originally dungeon walls). Grimrock II takes place on an island, and its composers maintained an aura of maritime adventure throughout the soundtrack.
For Grimrock II, Scoring Helsinki only used nine live instruments: six strings and three horns playing to a click track. Because of the constant tempo, they were able to replay the takes simultaneously, creating the illusion of a much larger ensemble.
As is the case for all successful collaborative composing groups, each member of Scoring Helsinki is open about his strengths and weaknesses. Luckily for the other three members of the crew, Perttu Vänskä knows a fantastic contact who is more than willing to give advice — his father, Osmo Vänskä; Minnesotans know Osmo as the Music Director of the Grammy-winning Minnesota Orchestra.
Enjoy Grimrock II and the incredible sound coming from a small studio in Finland.
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