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Winifred Phillips's Blog   Expert Blogs


BAFTA nominated composer Winifred Phillips is one of the most successful and accomplished composers for video games. She is known for her compositional skill and stylistic diversity. Her dramatic large-scale works convey an “epic cinematic sound” (ScreenSounds) that “drives her music forward in grand orchestral fashion” (Film Score Monthly), while her more lighthearted scores are “captivating” (Washington Post).

Phillips has composed iconic music for titles from six of the biggest franchises in gaming: Lineage, Assassin’s Creed, LittleBigPlanet, Total War, God of War, and The Sims. She was most recently nominated for a BAFTA award for music she composed for the smash-hit game Sackboy: A Big Adventure. To date, Phillips has composed music for over fifty video games.

Phillips’ scores have received numerous awards, including the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Award for Outstanding Music Composition, six Game Audio Network Guild Awards (including Music of the Year), and three Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Her work has also been nominated by the NAVGTR Awards and the International Film Music Critics Awards.

Her television work includes PBS' NOVA, Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown on CNN, the network sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia starring Danny Davito, and the long-running Nature series on PBS. Her music has also been featured in trailers for such blockbuster movies as Avengers: Endgame and Disney’s The Jungle Book.

Phillips has released fifty nine albums. Her soundtrack album for the Legend of the Guardians video game was the first video game soundtrack album released by WaterTower Music – the film music record label of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Phillips is the author of the bestselling book, A Composer’s Guide to Game Music (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press), which won a GMA Book Award Gold Medal from the Global Music Awards, a National Indie Excellence Book Award, a Nonfiction Book Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association, and an Annual Game Music Award from Game Music Online in the category of "Best Publication." Singling out Phillips’ book for praise, film composer Harry Gregson-Williams said, “Winifred Phillips’ passion and understanding of this medium comes to life on the page and is a direct result of her vast experience and accomplishment in composing for video games.” Jon Burlingame, the film music reporter for Variety, hailed Phillips’ book as “a beautifully organized, intelligently written book about music for games,” and Film Score Monthly praised the book as "a touchstone academic achievement.”

As a recognized expert in the field of video game composition, Phillips has given lectures at the Library of Congress, the Society of Composers and Lyricists, the Audio Engineering Society, the Game Developers Conference, and the Montreal International Game Summit, among many others. Her music has been performed in celebrated concert halls around the world as a part of the Assassin’s Creed Symphony World Tour.


Expert Blogs

The 3rd installment of a 6-prt series. Composer Winifred Phillips shares content from her GDC 2021 lecture, "From Spyder to Sackboy: A Big Adventure in Interactive Music." This discusses pure vertical layering examples from the Sackboy and Spyder games.

Posted by Winifred Phillips on Wed, 15 Sep 2021 09:37:00 EDT in Audio, Design, Production, Console/PC, Indie, Smartphone/Tablet
The 2nd installment of a 6-part series. Composer Winifred Phillips shares content from her GDC 2021 talk, "From Spyder to Sackboy: A Big Adventure in Interactive Music." This article explores more complex deployments of the horizontal resequencing model.

Posted by Winifred Phillips on Mon, 16 Aug 2021 11:20:00 EDT in Audio, Design, Production, Console/PC
1st installment of a 6-pt series: Composer Winifred Phillips shares content from her GDC2021 lecture, "From Spyder to Sackboy: A Big Adventure in Interactive Music." In this article: the use of song structure as a guide for horizontal resequencing.

Composer Winifred Phillips shares insights into her process composing music for two Sumo Digital games featured in her GDC 2021 lecture, "From Spyder to Sackboy: A Big Adventure in Interactive Music." Topics supplement the content of the upcoming lecture.

Posted by Winifred Phillips on Mon, 14 Jun 2021 11:18:00 EDT
Leading up to her lecture during the upcoming GDC 2021 event, composer Winifred Phillips offers highlights from her Ask-Me-Anything session from GDC Summer. Topics include looping strategy, composer workflow, team dynamics, recurring themes, & networking.

GDC Showcase 2021 featured composer Winifred Phillips' talk, "Homefront to God of War: Using Music to Build Suspense." This article includes a partial transcript from the online Q&A, along with additional content expanding on topics from that Q&A session.

Winifred Phillips's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 04/17/2019 - 10:32]

Thanks very much, Ron Glad ...

Thanks very much, Ron Glad you enjoyed the Q A, and I really appreciate the kind words about my music

Comment In: [Blog - 04/16/2018 - 09:50]

Hey, Mike You make an ...

Hey, Mike You make an interesting point. Like music, silence can be a powerful tool for both composers and sound designers. Last year I wrote an article here on Gamasutra about using silence as a way to enhance suspense: video game music to build suspense part 5 semi silence.php

Comment In: [Blog - 12/11/2017 - 02:58]

Very interesting, Tim We can ...

Very interesting, Tim We can all definitely compensate for any localization issues by cocking and rotating our heads until our brains get used to the aural input that the game is delivering. Comfort and wearability are definitely the first barrier that users will notice right away, so that has to ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/12/2017 - 09:47]

You 're welcome, Pieter Happy ...

You 're welcome, Pieter Happy to help :