Striking a Chord: The Iconic Music of ‘Jurassic World Aftermath’

Oculus Blog
December 2, 2020

The iconic theme song for the Jurassic World film franchise is one of the most recognizable movie scores of all time. We sat down with the composer for Jurassic World Aftermath, Vince Webb, to get his insights on making music that sets the tone for the thrilling new adventure.

Vince Webb (Shadow Point, They Suspect Nothing) composed the music for the game, taking inspiration from John Williams and Michael Giacchino’s scores.

To kick things off, please introduce yourself.

Vince Webb: Hi, I’m Vince! I’m a composer, usually based in London but currently working from my home in leafy Oxford due to COVID-19. I’ve composed music for a number of VR games including Shadow Point, They Suspect Nothing, and Augmented Empire. In the past, I’ve made music for kids’ animation and TV advertising, but VR has recently become my focus. It’s such an exciting medium.

What was your first thought when you were asked to compose the music for Jurassic World Aftermath? Have you touched this iconic music before?

VW: I have a lot of fond memories associated with the Jurassic World film franchise and its beautiful musical themes. The grandeur, fear, and wonder of dinosaurs is something I really connected with as a child. I was drawn to dinosaur toys, films, stationery. ... Flash-forward a few years and, as a young musician, I remember performing John Williams arrangements with my school concert band. That iconic theme couldn’t help but resonate.

When I was first asked to score an early prototype, I was thrilled. Even though the gameplay was at a very early stage with just one Velociraptor patrolling a corridor, I knew immediately what a great fit the premise was for VR.

How have you paid homage to the original scores and iconic composers while still making the music in Jurassic World Aftermath your own?

VW: We established early on that we wanted to stay true to the tone and spirit of the movies, and music is part of that core. I was given access to a complete library of musical material from the films, including the 1993 classic. Fans of the films will definitely be able to spot familiar melodies sprinkled throughout, especially during the more serene ‘dinosaur moments’ that the Coatsink team were keen to create. However, I wanted the game to have its own identity and ensured whatever I was writing served the story and tone first and foremost.

There are moments that call for music that is intimate and subtle—for example, when you’re with the Velociraptor, deep in the heart of the abandoned facility. But there are times that call for something much bigger. One of the most enjoyable aspects was working with a live string orchestra, which really helps cement us in that cinematic experience.

The game is filled with dynamic music, which I hope most players won’t consciously notice, but actually feel in their bones!

Cymbals were an important part of the source material for the game’s soundtrack, providing drones, washes, and textures on the boundary between music and sound design.

What are you most proud of with the music for Jurassic World Aftermath?

VW: As a composer, I love exploring new territory, finding new sounds and processes, and being inspired. A huge part of that involves collaborating with fellow composers and musicians. Many sounds created specifically for this game wouldn’t have been possible without the help of some very skilled friends, many of whom are working from home with self-recording setups.

Bowed metals, overblown flutes, brass and woodwind multi-phonics, solo string grinds... these are all sounds which help to articulate the voice of nature and the fallen environment in which the player finds themselves on Isla Nublar.

What’s your favorite part of Jurassic World Aftermath?

VW: The atmosphere, the puzzles, and of course, surviving encounters with the deadly Velociraptors... these are all great reasons to dive into the world of Jurassic World Aftermath. Personally, I love a game with a good story—it’s the heart that makes it all feel worthwhile. This game will stick with players long after they finish.

Thanks for sharing, Vince! We hope to speak with you again soon.

VW: Thanks! And a huge thanks to Coatsink, Oculus, and Universal Games and Digital Platforms for making this game possible. Happy playing, everyone!

Jurassic World Aftermath is coming soon to the Oculus Quest Platform.