The Falconeer Vinyl or How I fell in love with work.
I’m Steve the senior community manager at wired productions. You may know me from tweets such as…
I joined the Wired family in June this year and one of the first things that struck me was everyone’s passion for working on all the projects we have running. Even during my interview, I was questioned on what I was passionate about. I mentioned I am an avid collector of video game vinyl and I saw a twinkle in Leo Zullo’s eye. “How about a range of soundtrack records featuring our games?” He asked. “That’s a nice idea.” I replied. Little did I know that this small conversation would start the ball rolling on what has turned into my proudest achievement of my working life.
Within days of starting. Leo came up to me and said “I want you to take control of making the Wired vinyl range a reality.” I was gobsmacked? “Me!” I thought “Why would they get me to do it?”. “But…but I don’t know how.” I stammered. “Don’t worry. You will learn.” And with that comment. He was gone.
Now, I have bought records, listened to them and collected them, but I have NEVER helped get one made. Where the hell do you even start? Well, the easy answer to that was the game and one Wired game had become my obsession during lockdown. The Falconeer.
If you haven’t played THE BEST LAUNCH GAME ON THE XBOX SERIES X yet. What are you waiting for? Tomas Sala’s Bafta nominated game has World War one inspired aerial dogfights as you ride a huge falcon. Whats not to love? As I played through the game. It wasn’t just the exhilarating action or the calming landscape of the game I was loving. It was also the MUSIC. A soundtrack that went from transcendental moments to high octane drama. This was the one.
With my thoughts settled on which game. I now had to find out who made those sounds. After some asking questions and back and fourths. I was introduced to Benedict Nichols.
Within minutes of speaking to Benedict I knew I had made the right choice. His passion for music is infectious and I could have listened to him for hours talking about the inspirations he used to create an evocative intimacy in the music, with swells of grandeur. I had to put his music on wax, but how do you do that? This is where Leo stepped back in and introduced me to Eugene from the pressing plant and a flurry of email conversations began.
How many records?
When do you want them?
Who is mastering?
The questions were never ending, but after weeks late nights and galleons of coffee. We had a plan of how the vinyl should be.
Leo had one more question though “…and what artist are you commissioning for the artwork?”. The truth is I hadn’t got one. I knew I wanted it to be a striking cover image with no text. Something you could display as its own piece and would summon up the music contained within.
I scoured the forums, Facebook groups, discords and reddits to find someone who would be able to put my thoughts into art. After several false starts and a few disappointments. I knew I had found the artist that would be the final piece of the puzzle.
Haley “BBanditt” Wakefield was the one. Immediately I knew she was in tune with my vision. She sent sketches, ideas, colouring ideas over and we talked through all the details I needed.
Then she went quiet for a week, but then I got an email. “Let me know what you think of this?”
To say I was stunned and amazed was an understatement. This was it. This was the cover of The Falconeer. This made the whole thing real for me. Now I just had to put this all together and let it fly free.
The Falconeer vinyl soundtrack
They say “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”
It should be “if you give a Steve a record, He listens for a day. If you teach a Steve how to how to get a videogame soundtrack produced on vinyl, He will catch the bug and want to do more and more.”
So that’s the story of how Wired stoked a passion in my heart and I never want it to stop.