By Published on .

It started out as just another :30 touting a videogame, but now it's spearheading an album. So it goes for New York music house Pull, led by producer Scott Brittingham and composer Mitch Davis, which is living up to its name, at least among videogamers, who are a very acquisitive bunch. The game in question is Panzer Dragoon Orta, for the Xbox, and the spot in question is called "A Girl Torn," out of McCann-Erickson/New York. It features a dragon-riding warrior hottie seen in game footage, with a serious-sounding voiceover backed by music that is a touch reminiscent of one of those ominously tuneful Cirque du Soleil contortionist's ditties. "The agency wanted us to treat the spot for the launch of the game as a :30 trailer," explains Brittingham. "We were asked to create a musical world that was as beautiful and aggressive as the game itself, and it should be both modern and epic. There are all these beautiful, classic images in the game, while at the same time it's all high-tech graphics, and we wanted to mirror that dichotomy in the score. So we wrote the music and we had a live string section come in and perform the piece. Then we added electronic synth and drum sounds, and to push the old vs. new idea even further, we used a combination of vintage analog and modern digital synths."

So far, so good. "A few days after the spot aired," Brittingham continues, "we got a call from Sega to get all of the credit information, because the poor PR guy was getting swamped with requests. As soon as the origin of the score was made public, we started getting 35,000 hits a month to the site requesting the track." Res Freq Recordings is a label the Pull pair started, where they were planning to sell an eponymously titled "Dirty electronic mixed with acoustic and electronic instruments" record, as it's described on the web, under the name Bones Domingo - when it was ready, which it wasn't. But suddenly, notes Brittingham, the Orta track "became a cult favorite among gamers, the talk of tons of gaming forums. Some of these people actually bought an Xbox console and the game hoping to hear the music again. Unfortunately, the piece is only in the commercial. But it's really opened a lot of opportunities for us in the gaming world."

It also presented an instant marketing challenge. Since the piece "actually originated from some ideas we had for the upcoming album we were working on," Brittingham explains, "the immediate popularity of the version heard in the spot really expedited the production of the album. The demand for it forced us to push up the release date a few months. The frantic part was to get it mastered, but somehow we got it done." The Bones Domingo record began selling on the Res Freq site on April 28, according to Brittingham, and it sold "hundreds" of copies almost immediately. (It's an extremely reasonable $6.98, for a 13-track CD, on which the Orta track is titled "Violet"; the disc also includes Pull's music for The Dead Zone TV series trailer.)

So the big question is, why did this particular track drive so many gamers wild? "We have no idea," shrugs Brittingham.

Most Popular