SoundWorks Collection Interview Series - Composer Jack Wall - Call of Duty: Black Ops III

November 30, 2015 11:05am

This week we talk with Composer Jack Wall about his work on the critically acclaimed Call of Duty: Black Ops III video game.

podcast subscribe


Jack Wall’s distinguished musical career includes composing for film, television, video games and concerts as well as his early years producing and engineering albums for recording artists. Renowned for his rich, cinematic scores for popular franchises such as Call of Duty, Mass Effect, Myst, Splinter Cell and Jade Empire, Wall’s repertoire spans a diverse range of musical styles and influences, while working with the world’s top orchestras and musicians.

Wall is celebrated among a Hollywood elite of composers invited to score one of the most successful entertainment properties, Call of Duty. His score for Black Ops II delivered in grand fashion an adrenaline-fueled, deeply emotional and adventurous musical palette that took the blockbuster series in new sonic directions. In 2013 Wall received Best Video Game Score at the ASCAP Film and TV Music Awards.

Collaborating with the world’s leading game studios, Wall is widely recognized for composing some of the most iconic scores for the medium. Wall created the distinctive musical signature for BioWare’s sci-fi epic Mass Effect, combining ’80s electronica, synthetic instrumentation and futuristic atmospheres. The soundtrack won numerous accolades, achieving cult status with fans. In 2011, Wall received British Academy (BAFTA) and Spike TV VGA nominations for his work on Mass Effect 2.

Composing for and conducting a full symphony orchestra and master chorale, Wall first garnered attention with his dramatic score for Ubisoft’s MYST III: EXILE, receiving universal critical acclaim including several Soundtrack of the Year honors. For the climactic sequel, Myst IV: Revelation, Wall was awarded Music of the Year at the Game Developers Conference.

With Jade Empire, Wall crafted a Chinese and Asian instrumental palette incorporating an “East meets West” approach. Working with authentic Pan-Asian instruments Wall crafted an exotic, percussion-driven score to enhance the mythological Chinese setting. Jade Empire was voted Best Original Soundtrack Album by the Game Audio Network Guild.

In addition to his composing achievements, Wall served as Music Director and co-producer for composer/librettist Cindy Shapiro’s PSYCHE: A Modern Rock Opera, an innovative modern retelling of the ancient Greek. He also co-created Video Games Live and served as its Music Director/Conductor from 2005 through 2010 performing with more than 50 of the world’s finest orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and London Philharmonia Orchestra.

Among his latest projects Wall is scoring the next installment in Activision/Treyarch’s flagship franchise, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, and additional music for CW Television Network’s historical fantasy drama series, Reign. His second entry in the Call of Duty legacy, Wall’s score displays the hallmarks of an epic, sophisticated narrative and explores new musical territory for the record-breaking series including big band and swing. Call of Duty: Black Ops III arrives Nov. 6, 2015.