Composer Olivier Derivière talks Capcom’s Remember Me OST (Interview)

olivier deriviere feature remember me

Capcom’s Remember Me is already out, and if you’ve played it, you may have noticed the unique soundtrack attached to the game. You can thank composer Olivier Derivière for the unique blend of techno and orchestral sounds. We had the chance to interview the composer about his contribution to the game. Deriviere’s work also includes Alone in the Dark and Obscure 2, and both soundtracks are definitely recommended (Just listen to the OST. Don’t actually play Alone in the Dark. Trust me).

John “Spartan” Nguyen (Nerd Reactor): Hi Olivier, please give us a little background about yourself before you got into the music business.

Olivier Derivière: I’ve been studying music since a young age because my parents wanted me to. Luckily I had a lot of fun, mostly with hitting things with sticks so they sent me to a classical percussion class. I also had to study piano and, later on, learn a lot about theory, harmony, instrumentation and counterpoint. At home the only thing I was obsessed with was computers and games. I was playing a lot of games and I became really fascinated by them.

Nerd Reactor: And your interest for music has continued on ever since.

Olivier Derivière: I always wanted to create games and I studied science to do so except that I was not very qualified, and I felt the best way to enter the video games industry would be with music. It was a real journey to get a first job at Hydravision and to do all the audio for their first game named Obscure. It took me a year of perseverance to finally convince people, and frankly, I was lucky one of them bet on me.

Nerd Reactor: What made you want to compose for video games?

Olivier Derivière: From my first experience with games on C64, I always liked the way music would transfer me to this new world of gaming. The first time I played and heard Shadow of the Beast on an Amiga, I felt the music was so incredible that I wanted to do the same. You see, at that time, music for games was special, not very sophisticated maybe, but genuine and unique. The way people were producing and using it in-game was just incredible and subsequently it gave so many memories to a whole generation.

Olivier Deriviere

Nerd Reactor: You recently completed work on Remember Me. What made composing for this game different than your previous scores?

Olivier Derivière: For every game I work on I try to make something unique, to fit the best as I can with the identity of each project. As for Remember Me, the setting puts you in a futuristic Paris where memories can be digitized and shared but some people, such as the main character called Nilin can hack and change these memories. The music had to reflect those elements, that’s why we went to record a live orchestra (in London) and then we digitized it and manipulated the recording. The result is a unique sonic sound that would be paired with the game quite nicely.

Nerd Reactor: What’s your process like when you start to create a track?

Olivier Derivière: My process since the beginning of my career is always to talk and follow the creative director’s intention. He owns the vision of the game and I have to capture and enhance it. When we are on the same page I can start writing the most dramatic pieces and the most interesting part is when I have to adapt my music to the gameplay mechanics. I think this is where we need to push the bar to enhance the player’s experience. Music might be considered as an emotion for most people but in games it can be much more.

Nerd Reactor: What’s your favorite part from beginning to end when composing?

Olivier Derivière: The best part is when you think about the music for the first time, and lots of times I hear it in my head, but I really don’t know how to make it. Remember Me was a real challenge for the music production, lots of risks were faced along the way and I’m really grateful to DONTNOD and CAPCOM to have taken them with me. And when you hear the result, you just remember the first time you thought of the music, and to finally be able to share it with people is quite a treat, mostly when they enjoy it!

Nerd Reactor: What’s your favorite track in the game?

Olivier Derivière: I don’t have a favorite track but I’d say my favorite part of the music is the fact that people think when they hear the orchestra and the electronic sounds that they come from a synth, but they are not; the electronic sounds are coming directly from the orchestra being manipulated. It’s a very selfish satisfaction for me as nobody else knows how the music sounds without the manipulation, as I do, and it is very different.

Nerd Reactor: Do you play video games?

Olivier Derivière: I’m a hardcore gamer…lately I’ve played Tomb Raider, Crysis 3, BioShock Infinite, Proteus, Bit Runner 2 and many more. I always play the games I score to figure out what worked and what didn’t so I can improve for the next game. In any case I always play the game while in production. It is really essential to feel what the players will experience, to support that the best I can.

Nerd Reactor: You have composed for the Alone In The Dark game. I must admit that the game isn’t good, but the best thing that came out of that experience was discovering your music. Do you have experiences where you enjoyed music from a movie/video game you didn’t like?

Olivier Derivière: I know…As a composer you give everything you have even if you know the game/movie won’t be that good…However, few people know my music and I totally understand it. I’m still waiting to score a big hit, maybe one day, but this is not my final goal. My main objective is to support the player as much as I can and give him or her a greater experience with the game. It is a rare thing to play or watch something that is bad and still remember the good parts. Right now, I can only think of The Last Temptation of Christ, the music was so much better than the movie.

Nerd Reactor: What’s on your music playlist right now?

Olivier Derivière: Lorn, The Knife, Au Revoir Simone, Kettel, Aphex Twin, System of a Down and many more.

Nerd Reactor: If you were stranded on an island with one musical instrument, what would it be?

Olivier Derivière: My voice and something to hit…or maybe a game controller to fantasy play the PlayStation 8!

Preview samples of the music are available on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/olivier-deriviere/sets/remember-me-ost-excerpts.

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