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Coming to PSN this Week: Flower Soundtrack

Randall Lowe's Avatar + Posted by Randall Lowe on Apr 05, 2010 // Associate Producer, SCEA Santa Monica Studio for Flower

Hey, everyone. I’m excited to be back to talk more about the Flower soundtrack originally teased on February 12, the one-year anniversary of the game’s release.

The soundtrack will be coming out this Thursday on PSN, and features eight tracks from the game and over an hour’s worth of music, all for $2.99. So be sure to pick it up when it comes out. I also have a very special treat for you. I spoke with Vincent Diamante, the award-winning music composer and audio designer behind Flower’s wonderful soundtrack, and he graciously agreed to putting together some thoughts on creating the soundtrack. Enjoy!

Looking back, a year-plus removed from working on Flower, it’s hard for me to remember anything but wonderful times with Sony and thatgamecompany. Then I think a bit harder and remember: the fights. Not fights amongst us developers, no. Besides, that comes part and parcel in the process of game development. Rather, the fights happened within the music. All-out brawls between themes, lines, instruments, harmonies as the music struggled to find identity when Flower was just this bud of a game.

Ostensibly, I was the one in control, penning each note in my music synthesizer as environment after environment demanded score. Not just any score, though; an ambitious score where the number of instruments present in the music ultimately dictated a different perspective on the game. From that simple directive, I codified a way of writing the music that would result in the interactive score I dreamt of.

Flower Still 2

In the beginning, however, there was nothing but fights. Instruments weren’t just masking or overshadowing their orchestral mates, they were outright demolishing them. French horns knocking bassoons to the floor, violins contorting cello lines, trumpets trampling over pianos. When I first started working on the music for Flower, I saw myself as being much like a conductor, gently urging sections of the orchestra into the space needed to fit the game. Instead, I felt like I had brought a conductor’s baton to a knife fight.

And then I started playing the game. And playing it. And playing it some more. I believe there were a few days in that year of working on Flower when I drove over to thatgamecompany and “worked” by playing the game for eight hours straight. Yes, I was having fun with the game, but I was also meditating, internalizing the rhythm, shape, and color of the world.

Vincent Diamante Flower composer

And somewhere in the process, I started writing Flower. There was no real struggle; just, suddenly, it didn’t feel like work to pen line after line of music. Each instrument in the score seemed to love each other, raising each other up even as they were added to the increasingly complex mix. Looking back on it, I can see exactly what changed in my approach to the music.

At the time, though, it all just felt magical.

It’s nice, now, playing Flower as just another player, reliving those bits of magic. That amazing exhale when you leave the canyon in the wind level. The drive that pushes you through a darkened city. The serenity of night that accompanies the post-game credits.

Flower Still 1

And while those magical parts were carefully composed and scripted for effect, the parts where the computer dictates the order of notes for a flower’s melody continue to floor me.

I remember one time, while playing the color level, a series of flowers set before the beginning of the third section of music played a melody so full of longing that I had to drop the controller to catch my breath.

When people speak of game development, they often describe it as a process of discovery. Though I’ve worked on video game scores before Flower, working closely with Sony and thatgamecompany was probably the best experience I ever had writing music. The music, ostensibly coming from me, seemed to keep on revealing itself to us from everywhere in the development. From level design, art, and mechanics to little things like the time needed to load a level and even the heft of the Dualshock 3; all of these had such an impact on the music composition that I couldn’t help but feel joy that the music was springing up from some space beyond myself.

And here I am, a little more than a year later thinking: I can’t wait to take part in that experience once again.

Watch for the Flower official soundtrack, coming this Thursday to the PlayStation Store for $2.99. And if you missed it, check out the Flower dynamic theme as well, also only $2.99.

//Add Your Own

63 Comments   1 Reply

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1

+ Naustradamus on April 5th, 2010 at 9:03 am said:

Awesome!!

When announced, couldn’t wait, and I still cant!

I do have a time machine, but since it only goes at one speed: normal, I’ll haft to =(


2

+ Danny_Death on April 5th, 2010 at 9:03 am said:

awesome!


3

+ KloqWerk on April 5th, 2010 at 9:07 am said:

I’m so stoked for this.
I play Flower all of the time when I need to relax, now I can take the music with me.
Awesome, just awesome.


4

+ Callahan09 on April 5th, 2010 at 9:12 am said:

Thank you for this. Flower is the most perfect game ever made. Everything about it fits. I never get tired of playing it. It’s one of the most relaxing things I can do at the end of a long day. Just sit down and let it wash over me.


5

+ Kenshin71 on April 5th, 2010 at 9:13 am said:

Really pleased to see Sony are adding more game soundtracks to PSN and hope they continue this trend. At $2.99 this is great value.


6

+ Sindred on April 5th, 2010 at 9:14 am said:

Really ProblemSolver? I mean, Really?

Anyway, great news. I need this soundtrack for work. Great price too, count me in.


7

+ cactuar94070 on April 5th, 2010 at 9:15 am said:

I’m glad the soundtrack is coming, but I still can’t get the trophy of unscathed. I’ve made it at least 10 times without getting burned, and it STILL will not give me that trophy.

=(


8

+ SarshelYam on April 5th, 2010 at 9:19 am said:

$2.99? You have to be kidding me? How can you afford to just GIVE this away? :)

I have to say, Flower wouldn’t be half the game it is without Vincent Diamante creative inspiration included. I loved every moment of this game and I mean no disrespect to Jenova, Kellee and the rest of the creative geniuses at ThatGameCompany…you’re gods of your craft, but Vincent just took your already beautiful gift and wrapped it nicely with this extravagant bow. The music needs a game, true, but the game NEEDS this music…it remains a masterful and interactive voyage of the senses.

Day one purchase without a doubt!


10

+ PanixATK on April 5th, 2010 at 9:30 am said:

is it coming to EU PSN Store? if so, when and how much in UK pounds?

I love their soundtracks


11

+ Sindred on April 5th, 2010 at 9:30 am said:

@TheMissingLink

If it’s anything like other music on PSN, it should be as easy as copying the tracks from your PS3′s music library to an USB and then whenever you want.


12

+ MattyMc13 on April 5th, 2010 at 9:31 am said:

I’m loving these soundtracks that are being released off of PSN! I’ve already bought both Pixeljunk soundtrack and it is really nice that they are both DRM free, so that I can listen to it on my computer or MP3 player.
Will the Flower soundtrack be DRM free as well?


13

+ magnus2009 on April 5th, 2010 at 9:32 am said:

cool isit comming flower 2


14

+ PanixATK on April 5th, 2010 at 9:32 am said:

nevermind, it is coming to EU Store! found it on EU PS Blog :P


15

+ KSPRAYDAD on April 5th, 2010 at 9:33 am said:

Bought.

Dear SONY….now that I’ve had to give up my Linux (and thus proper media player)…how about giving us something on the XMB that deals with music PROPERLY and isn’t part of your ‘premium’ plan. Thanks.


16

+ MLZ911 on April 5th, 2010 at 9:39 am said:

so good. made my day! thanks


17

+ netdata on April 5th, 2010 at 9:42 am said:

I’m not sure if just me, and while I enjoy this soundtrack coming out, I’m curious if anyone else has noticed a similarity between flowers soundtrack and music from the game Cloud by the same company?


18

+ BlooodyCow on April 5th, 2010 at 9:47 am said:

Sweet. I personally love the soundtrack in Flower and I cannot wait to buy this


19

+ jimmyfoxhound on April 5th, 2010 at 10:02 am said:

Great news! Can’t wait to pick this up. Thank you!!!!!!


20

+ VehicleDestroyr on April 5th, 2010 at 10:02 am said:

Cool, the soundtrack to Flower was really good. Sony should get more game soundtracks on PSN (I want the SuperStardust HD soundtrack).


21

+ maddymad on April 5th, 2010 at 10:05 am said:

I really love the game and the soundtrack also.


22

+ Carlos_Gabranth on April 5th, 2010 at 10:09 am said:

Awesome, I can’t wait.


23

+ nokedimyo on April 5th, 2010 at 10:14 am said:

Considering that the Heavy Rain Soundtrack cost 9.99, this is an amazing price. Definitely getting this, since Flower is one of the best games EVER!


24

+ Kirkpad on April 5th, 2010 at 10:17 am said:

This is priced a little better than the Heavy Rain soundtrack. I can get a new PSN game for $9.99, why would I buy music from Heavy Rain when it is free to put in the disc and play?

This is the same for flower, but in a different way. The music for flower would be nice mp3 player music. (Yes, when you buy the soundtrack you buy the rights to use the music for personal use, which means you can copy it off of the PS3 just like the Pixeljunk soundtracks)

Heavy Rain however, has these huge string filled tracks that make we want to sit on the sidewalk and cry. Still an amazing soundtrack however.


25

+ megamixer on April 5th, 2010 at 10:17 am said:

I thought this was already out because an ad in PS Home said it was? But now that I think about it I didn’t notice it in the store. Consider it bought!


26

+ NightHawk17 on April 5th, 2010 at 10:28 am said:

Bought! can’t wait to get this:)


27

+ FritoZ on April 5th, 2010 at 10:29 am said:

this is great, i love this game, still have some trophies to get, maybe this will give me the motivation to get the last few!


28

+ lobotomies4free on April 5th, 2010 at 10:29 am said:

Flower is quite possibly the best reason to have a PS3, and is just an amazing experience all it’s own. Wouldn’t have been close without the great music work. Good job, and I’ll be picking this up thursday


29

+ Fallen_Guardian on April 5th, 2010 at 10:35 am said:

I know at Sonys TGS09 press conference they had a list of games that will support Playstation Move and Flower was one of them, but i was just wondering if you could confirm this.


30

+ chaosgrid on April 5th, 2010 at 12:03 pm said:

it’d be nice if it was also available in an actual cd with a cool mini art book…


31

+ Crotin on April 5th, 2010 at 12:37 pm said:

I love the music for the last level when you’re restoring the city, I’ll definitely buy it


32

+ COMBATCSOLDIER on April 5th, 2010 at 1:02 pm said:

Will you please tell me that we will get LBP and Soul Calibur for 50% off please.


33

+ poweredbyzen on April 5th, 2010 at 1:28 pm said:

MARAMING SALAMAT!


34

+ angelspawn77 on April 5th, 2010 at 1:33 pm said:

cool, but I cant really recall any music in flower besides a few soothing melodies, its been awhile since I played it though, ill have to check and see if there is music variety in there, i know they’re are all relaxing tunes, but how many are there? Ill have to check. Great game btw, this is truly like an interactive piece of art, I wish there was more levels though :/ maybe through dlc :). I love the night levels where the grass glows with neon colors. Damn it! now i want to play it again! lol


35

+ CrimsonFox13 on April 5th, 2010 at 1:47 pm said:

Great! I was waiting for this!

Though, what about Flow?? When will the soundtrack for that be released? Also, is this coming out on iTunes? I’d prefer that because it’s easier.


36

+ Lord_Orpheo on April 5th, 2010 at 2:12 pm said:

Cool, definitely picking this up. Question: Will the song from “Flower’s” trailer also be included with the soundtrack?


37

+ Azira013 on April 5th, 2010 at 2:28 pm said:

Nice!


38

+ dragon_frost on April 5th, 2010 at 2:45 pm said:

How about some down loadable game play content for flower now or possibly a sequel?


39

+ Jedah_PR on April 5th, 2010 at 3:23 pm said:

Sign, first day purchase for me too. I love the music in this game.


40

+ MaDogNik96 on April 5th, 2010 at 3:38 pm said:

YES!!! I’ve been waiting for this since Flower’s RELEASE! 8 tracks and over an hour of music, for $2.99! I like long songs :), and if they’re soothing and lifting tracks from the masterpiece of a downloadable game, Flower, it’s going to be awesome. I think many would agree, Flower is one of those titles that anything thatgamecompany would release related to it, they would buy it to support the creators.


41

+ cybershinigami87 on April 5th, 2010 at 4:33 pm said:

Took you guys long enough


42

+ Zarxce on April 5th, 2010 at 5:30 pm said:

Relaxing music is relaxing.


43

+ Sven_Viking on April 5th, 2010 at 5:48 pm said:

“working closely with Sony and thatgamecompany was probably the best experience I ever had writing music…

…And here I am, a little more than a year later thinking: I can’t wait to take part in that experience once again.”

Is this possibly hinting that he’ll soon be working on a new game or Flower-related project from thatgamecompany?


44

+ plaztiksyke on April 5th, 2010 at 8:26 pm said:

I was extremely disappointed with the quality of the Heavy Rain soundtrack. MP3? seriously? for $10? All the audio tracks in the Video Store are AAC!

While the Flower soundtrack is more appropriately priced, I am not paying for MP3 quality.

Let me know if it’s FLAC, or otherwise lossless, and preferably 24-bit. That’s what I’ll pay money for.

Thanks!


45

+ Onarum on April 5th, 2010 at 8:29 pm said:

@Sven_Viking

well, given he did a fantastic job with Cloud and Flower it’s only natural TGC would go to him for their next game, but not necessarily Flower related, since all TGCs games got that dreamy fell to them he would always be the perfect choice I think heh.

Man I really want a Cloud ps3…


46

+ Pierce2019 on April 5th, 2010 at 9:23 pm said:

Hi there!

Before buying, I would like to know what will be the quality of the encoded files. MP3 or AAC? What bitrate?

Thanks!


47

+ purplestream on April 6th, 2010 at 12:35 am said:

can you guys put the game on sale again? lol


48

+ BalramRules on April 6th, 2010 at 2:46 am said:

YAY! Yepee, Finally, we get the soundtracks! =P


49

+ Egz-Onine on April 6th, 2010 at 3:00 am said:

Awesome. Another great soundtrack to add to my collection.


50

+ Redd75 on April 6th, 2010 at 6:50 am said:

Thanks TGC! And thanks Sony for making these game soundtracks readily available to us gamers. Now if we could just get the Pixeljunk:Shooter soundtrack…


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