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Staff Members :: Steven Kennedy

Site Role


Email Address


Joined Site

March 2010

Favourite Game Music Artists

Blizzard Sound Team
Olivier Deriviere
Greg Edmonson
Michael Giacchino
Jason Graves
James Hannigan
Wataru Hokoyama
Gerard Marino
Ko Otani

Date of Birth

August 11, 1966

Place of Residence

Minnesota, United States


CYF Director, Freelance Composer & Writer

General Interests

Film Music
American Music
Science Fiction
Music History
CD Collection


As one of the "older" crowd here, I actually grew up playing pinball and remember the day Pong showed up at the arcade. Breakout was my favorite arcade video game (a modified Pong game that involved keeping a little ball bouncing against a brick wall — later morphing into Arkanoid) followed by many of those old Atari standards and later Tetris. Video games have come a long way since those days. I do not find myself drawn to the role-playing games, since I just do not have the patience to devote to them. I managed to succeed at the old Loom game for Mac, but never got far on any of the Lucasfilms Mac games back in their early days. Give me a pinball anytime, or my new Wii.

I am a trained composer and musicologist and once dumbly turned down writing for a new video game company — at the time I did not feel like writing a bunch of blips and bleeps (which is what was going on at the then). My interest in American symphonic music, coupled with an avid film passion, united in 1977 with Star Wars like so many people in my generation. It was not until the mid-1990s though when I sort of fell into film music rediscovering John Williams' scores. I began reviewing for Film Score Monthly and soon ended up being asked to write for The Music Buff's Web Pages/American Music Preservation Society. I debated starting my own website but settled for blogging instead here, which allows for the occasional audio posting of my own music. The site garners some 400-500 views a week and focuses on current reviews of film, classical, and video game music, as well as picks of "new" CDs of my own purchase that stood out in the midst of everything else. My writing for FSM, including an interview with Richard Jacques, led to some freelance work for the now defunct site, Music4Games.

Being involved in freelancing means that you get some pretty odd opportunities. Among them have been email interviews with "new" video game and film composers as well as tons of new music to hear. I even managed to get tickets to a Final Fantasy concert in the Dallas area once. Freelancing also allowed me to write very early about a now more famous name, Michael Giacchino, whose score for Secret Weapons Over Normandy was the first I had heard of him. I have had a few composers personally request reviews of their recent scores as well. I once received an "advance copy" of what turned out to be the wrong edits of a video game score and which I was able to let the composer know about before the thing was mass produced! And it still is weird to see my name as a "reviewer" on composer websites or on CD websites. All from wanting to help improve the writing of a personal favorite magazine and to get free music!

As a reviewer, I try to be as honest as possible about the music. If you think about it, what actually makes it to a physical CD, or even digital download, takes a lot of work. There is a need for some respect there. In the video game industry, there are a host of factors in play of which the music is such a small, but vital part. The hope for me is to communicate somehow in prose what I hear in a given score and to try to get the reader to at least draw enough from the commentary to decide if they want to pursue purchasing the music themselves. If something is bad, I generally will say so, even to the point of writing the publishing site to consider not running a review. Most of the time a score arrives for review with nothing more than a disc and a photo of the game on the front cover. I can usually tell when a composer is using samples, but they are getting better every day (one time, I film score disc arrived that I was sure was electronic but the way the instruments were handled was so amazingly real that I was not sure &— quick email to the label proved my suspicion that the recording was from samples!).

It is probably my science fiction interest that draws me into video game music. Though it feels a bit like the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons to say it, I am a real fan of series like Firefly, Futurama, Farscape, Space:1999, and British comedies. But, a re-read of a Dickens' classic, or my favorite novel, Moby Dick, and I recover some of that esoteric focus.

Contributed Reviews

Album Title Catalog No.
Alan Wake Original Score SE-2081-2
Alone in the Dark, Music from M2-36378
Alone in the Dark Original Soundtrack Promotional
Assassin's Creed Original Game Soundtrack iTunes
Assassin's Creed II Original Game Soundtrack iTunes
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Original Game Soundtrack iTunes
Brothers In Arms -Road to Hill 30- Original Soundtrack iTunes
Brothers In Arms -Earned In Blood- Original Soundtrack iTunes
Brothers In Arms -Hell's Highway- Original Soundtrack SE-2043-2
Brothers In Arms Orchestral Selections Promotional
Dead Space 2 Original Videogame Soundtrack iTunes
Destination Treasure Island Original Game Soundtrack KMRCD-010
Dragon Age II Original Videogame Score iTunes
Freedom Fighters Original Soundtrack NANOCD01
Halo Trilogy - The Complete Original Soundtracks SE-2047-2
Headhunter Redemption & Headhunter Original Soundtrack Recording LLLCD-1023
Hitman Codename 47 & Hitman 2 Silent Assassin Original Soundtracks LLLCD-1030
Hitman 2 Silent Assassin Original Soundtrack LYNCD011
Hitman 2 Silent Assassin Promotional Soundtrack LYNCD011
LittleBigMusic - Musical Oddities From and Inspired by LittleBigPlanet iTunes
Prince of Persia The Sands of Time Original Soundtrack SCDC-00383
Prince of Persia Warrior Within Original Soundtrack KDSD-00081
Prince of Persia The Official Trilogy Soundtrack 992189-BCK
Secret Weapons Over Normandy Original Soundtrack Recording LLLCD-1013
Spore Hero Original Videogame Score iTunes
Star Wars The Force Unleashed Original Soundtrack Promotional
Uncharted 2 -Among Thieves- Official Soundtrack SE-2075-2
Uncharted 2 -Among Thieves- Original Soundtrack iTunes
World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King Physical Soundtrack S2210331
World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King Digital Soundtrack iTunes