A conversation with renowned composer Michael Bross

We have had the honour to meet with renowned composer Michael Bross. If you are in this world, it is impossible not to have heard of him. 

We know Michael Bross for his compositions for video games such as Ratchet & Clank, and his work for the cult Oddworld franchise, but the inspiring artist has more than one string in his bow and has just released an impressive EP entitled “Journeys 1”. 

“Journeys 1” is a musical beauty and a journey through sound where each note is a haunting feeling, an outstanding album that must be lived. 

Listen to the full project right now and read our conversation with Michael Bross below.

It is a real pleasure to have you today. For the people who don’t know you, could you tell us how you started to do music?

I began playing music at the age of 7 when my parents gave me a second-hand trumpet that was probably from the 1950s. Or maybe even older than that. In university, I studied classically and after years of hard work, I began making a living composing music for video game soundtracks and had the opportunity to work on several major projects, including Ratchet & Clank (with 35+ million units sold), Oddworld and also Honor of Kings, the latter being China’s current biggest game with over 200 million people playing per month.

Besides soundtrack work, I have several of my own music releases under my belt, with the style tending to lean toward an electronic, atmospheric sound.

You have such a huge experience, what keeps you inspired to write music?

Music is a way to express emotions and energy in a way that words or any other form of communication are unable. And it’s a way to connect with other people and bring people together. All that is powerful.

Do you have a specific creative process?

It depends on the project, but I start out by experimenting with sounds and concepts. Exploration mode is my starting point. Over time, I create a lot of ideas and build and refine on tracks over a long period. It’s a delicate act of balance and feeling around in the dark. It feels uneasy but it’s also exciting. I spend a lot of time finding the right sounds that will all come together to make a cohesive track. A lot of work gets thrown away, but eventually, the track comes into focus as I sculpt.

Your latest release “Journeys 1” is a musical pleasure. We love the experimental approach and atmospheric sound design. Could tell us more about this EP?

Journeys 1 is interesting because this contains material I began all the way back in 2015, but back then I became too busy with soundtrack work and had to set the music aside and then I completely forgot about it. In 2019, I was traveling and in Hong Kong and rediscovered them in my archives. And I continued working on these tracks on another trip through Asia and Europe in 2020 until I got back home to California.

I experienced strange world events during this work such as the protests and violence in Hong Kong and I was in Asia during the beginning of the COVID-19 spread. There were times I was in the middle of it or slightly one step ahead of its spread. Wherever I went, countries were either considering or actually closing their borders. It was a tense time. Perhaps the music reflects that tension.

We would love to know about your plans for the future!

This latest release, the “Journeys 1” EP, is the first in a series of music releases I have planned over the next several months. More is coming and I’m very excited to continue to share this music with the world.