MI6 caught up with "Nightfire" and "Everything or Nothing" composer Jeff Tymoschuk...

Jeff Tymoschuk Interview (2)
14th July 2005

Continued From Part 1
What type of technical equipment did you use when creating the music? Did you get to create the music to visuals or was it concept art?

I work out of the studio at my house, where I've got a Pro Tools system, all my samples, keyboards, guitars, etc. For the most part I had visuals, either animatics of the cutscenes, or sometimes videotape of the level being played in rough stage.

Above: Concept art of James Bond and Mya Starling in "Everything or Nothing".


Did you work with the sound mixers when they tied the music to the game?

A little. Jennifer Lewis was the Audio Director on both games, and so I was in close contact with her for the duration of the project.

I also worked a little bit with Jason "Olo" Ross, who did a great job of making it interactive, and I spent a couple of weeks mixing the cues with Francois Lafleur, who took my little home studio recordings and made them sound huge.

The EA folks were fantastic to work with, great people, and completely on top of their craft. I actually wish that I'd had a little more time to spend working with them directly, I learned quite a bit.

What are the main differences with composing music for a recognised franchise game compared to an un-franchised game? How challenging does it make the process?

In many ways it's easier, because you have such a well-defined palette to work with. After (at that time) 19 movies, you pretty much know what a Bond score sounds like, in the same way you know what a Beatles record sounds like, even though there's been quite a lot of variety within the scores.

On the other hand, you don't have quite the freedom to go nuts and do something completely out of left field, because it still has to sound like Bond, or at least not unlike Bond.

Above: Composer Jeff Tymoschuk

When writing the music for the game, did you relate to any pieces written by previous Bond composers, e.g. John Barry, David Arnold?

Absolutely. I knew all of the Bond scores really well, and so when I could sneak in a little reference without crossing the copyright barrier, I'd try to do it. There's hints of themes and moments from several of the films, more so in Nightfire, but also sprinkled through EON.


Everything Or Nothing

How did your contribution/the creative process differ between "Nightfire" and "Everything or Nothing"?

The experiences on the two were quite different. I spent close to six months on Nightfire, and pretty much took the approach that I was trying to approach the David Arnold sound from the last few movies.

With EON, not counting the E3 stuff I had around two weeks to do it, and I was trying to blend with Sean Callery's style much more, so the cues weren't as orchestrally heavy. I also ended up doing less music for EON than Nightfire.

How were you approached to return to work on the next game, "Everything or Nothing"?

I was asked to do a couple of the missions for the E3 Expo presentation of the game. Sean Callery was on board at that point, I think, but he was tied up with his work on 24, so I got the call. And then after his work was finished, they added a couple of missions to the game, so I got to come back and add some supplemental stuff.

Did you work directly with Sean Callery? How involved was the process?

No, unfortunately I didn't get a chance to work with him at all. I did have access to some of his tracks, percussion beds and so I got to use them on the New Orleans mission and the opening Peru bit, which was a lot of fun.

I was watching the first season of 24 while mixing Nightfire, and so getting the chance to work, even indirectly, with Sean, was pretty cool.

Were you given any direction on the work, or was it more of a free role?

Basically I was trying to match what he was doing as best I could. There was still room for me to sound like myself, but it was a little more specific than on Nightfire.

How did your E3 Expo work differ from that used in the final game?

The E3 music was for the opening missions of the game, all the Egyptian levels, and although I knew at that point that Sean was going to be doing the game, I just went for broke on it and did whatever I felt like.

Of the music for E3, only the gunbarrel and the Train Chase made it into the final game, with the Train Chase cue being reworked to fit in more with Sean's stuff and getting moved to later in the game. It was a great surprise to see my gunbarrel bit when I finally got to play the game!


Above: Katya Nadanova

At what stage of the game's production was the "Everything or Nothing" score created and completed?

I did the E3 versions of the music in the spring of 2003, and then did all the additional music in late November.

Which of the seven EON tracks are you most proud of? Did they turn out exactly as you imagined when you started work on them?

Everything or Nothing Track Listing:
Train Chase
Train Fight
Helicopter Chase
Big Truck
New Orleans
To The Rally Car

I really liked the Big Truck tune, it had some of the Bond theme in it, but it was kind of slow and funky. The original Train Chase tune from E3 was also a lot of fun in a drive-like-hell sort of way.

Jeff Tymoschuk Official Website (click to listen to the above tracks)


Do you prefer to score the more story/character driven sequences, or full on action?

Well, I didn't really have much of a chance to do the story/character stuff this time around, it was pretty much all driving and chase music. Both are a lot of fun, it's really nice when you can have a mix of the two.

If you could choose any James Bond film to score for a game, which would you choose and why?

Probably On Her Majesty's Secret Service. It had a great theme (that was the speeding ticket one), good story, a sad ending, and lots of action in the snow, which I always think looks really cool. .

If approached to score another Bond game in the future, do you think it will be more difficult to come up with new original ideas?

I don't think it'd be too much of a problem. It's such a rich musical world to play in, there's so many things that can be done, and I've learned an awful lot with the first two that I'd love the chance to apply to another one.

Many thanks to Jeff Tymoschuk. Images copyright EA Games.

Related Articles
Jeff Tymoschuk Interview (1)
MI6 "Nightfire" Coverage
MI6 "Everything or Nothing" Coverage
Jeff Tymoschuk Official Website