Spitfire: Westworld Scoring Competition

This is interesting … the result is causing a furore across the internets

Objectives were

  • Enhancement of the viewing experience
  • Creative Inventiveness
  • Storytelling

Personally I think the winner is great, courageous even; to have dared create something fresh and quirky.
I’ve admired soundtrack composers for a long time and have a few orchestral tools I just use for samples.
Many years ago I did some TV advert soundtrack work and it was very enjoyable how you can totally transform the narrative and mood by how you apply sound effects and musical colour.

The winner here seems to go beyond just laying on lashing and lashings of typical orchestral motifs we’ve heard a million times and either deliberately is instead in my view very inventive - or might even have been taking a humorous approach. But I think it works! Even if surprising at first it’s catchy and characterful.

Any thoughts? The backlash I’m seeing is interesting in itself. People seem to have a ‘should be’ mentality out there as to what a soundtrack should conform to (which might be reflected in the current contrived, stereotypical sameyness across so many games and movies of the last decade)


I liked the winning entry too and foolishly dared to say so.


Perhaps a stroke of marketing genius by Spitfire - who are no slouches in that department - in selecting the winner to not be yet another disney/fantasia/spielberg sounding wash of strings and slamming impact sounds, that add nothing to the story and float aloft of it; anticipating the controversy this would cause within the desktop soundtrack composer community.

Runner up Kacper was pretty good too I thought, but not as bold a departure as the winner.

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I think he did a good job. It was a bizarre scene (leading up to this part), with his whole trip and genres, I think it fits the context well, and was definitely a refreshing change from the usual dross.


I feel like although the winner was a little more experimental it didn’t really seem to fit the vibe of the movie, I suspect that the film is the issue though, predictable action dross needs a predictable, samey score and the other entrants provided that. Kind of depressing how little variation there was in the runners up, feels like nothing much changes.


I legitimately laughed when I heard the winner. Could argue for enhancement of the viewing experience and creative inventiveness, but in terms of storytelling… Uhh… Would still prefer it probably over the very generic runner ups…


I’m glad it won, but i hated it. It did make me laugh a lot.

I also found the other entries deadly dull.


I feel bad for the poor bastards that had to listen to 11000 largely identical entries.
That’s some Clockwork orange level torture.


This is some epic level trolling


Bad Dad alert, but because my little boy loves game music and film scores I let him watch.

I told him to listen to the music but without further comment from me he gave me the side eye and said “Daddy, that was terrible”


This was such a bizarre choice of winner - I think the majority were absolutely right here to criticise it. Not about being salty (I never entered) or resistant to experimentation or novelty (love hearing something different) but it was just such a jarring entry, distracted entirely from the scene in a way that just screamed ‘hey check me out for my bold and weird choice’. The chiptune style isn’t even especially original, and actively made me cringe.

A good soundtrack works in service of the picture, and if it ‘wows’ you it’s because it just ‘fits’ and enhances the experience, excites or moves you rather than completely taking you out of it.

I love Spitfire and see them as one of the most tasteful as well as forward-thinking creative companies out there… but this was a HUGE misfire and major disappointment.


World class !

Tbh I do not like his soundtrack musicaly speaking but he’s actually the one who made watching this “awfully slow paced bland anticipation techno car chase with random actors saying random pseudo techno bs in pseudo tension scene” worth watching…Kudos to him, trolling with style is a hard craft !


After listening to 10,999 Braaams and Zimmers I’d have picked that as the winner.


Think it all depends on what the goal was, if it was to stand out and be different the winner is given.

If it was to add to the scene, footage, grading, mood it failed miserably.

Being like Hans Zimmer isn’t a bad thing if you’r into scoring music for a living. May not be as unique as snowflake making your own music in your bedroom but it will put food on the table I’m sure. :slight_smile:

I liked the winning entry. It reminds me of something you would have heard in a 1980’s scifi TV show. The shot of the actor when switching “genres” was equally cheesey.

I’ve never watched Westworld, but I gather the show is not intended as comedic given how pissed off the youtube commenters are.

The runner-up entries are fine, but they sound to me like every other soundtrack for this type of show.

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I mean I feel like it keeps up the trope of using bad fake video game sounds in tv/movies. So many old arcade games had amazing sound design, so its maybe a bit of a bummer to see it win a contest in that regard. Seemed more interesting than the others though, although if I came across this scene with that music flipping channels in a hotel room, I would certainly have changed channels quickly, thinking wtf was that fake video game bullsh#%*&%$# :sweat_smile:


I guess it all depends on the context. Idk what was happening before this scene sooo iunno :man_shrugging:

I will say it makes me laugh and it makes me not take this scene too seriously. If that’s what the directors and writers want then he did a good job. Somehow though, I don’t think that’s what they wanted.

Whatever. As others have said I’d have voted for it if I had to listen to 11,000 BWAAAAMS and BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM sub drops and dotted quarter note minor string motifs.

Oh and as others have said it is brilliant marketing because I wouldn’t be in this thread talking about it. In fact, I hadn’t heard of this competition until this very thread.

“All publicity is good publicity” sort of thing. I’m sure a lot more producers will be googling spitfire’s name and looking at their products after all this.

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Bold move to go “cinematic chip tune”, but yea, in the context of that point of the plot, in that particular episode, it actually works on some level.

Watching the scene in isolation makes the scoring choice sound far more odd.
Dude was tripping pretty hard after being drugged involuntarily.

Not saying it should have been first place, but it was a bit more bold and imaginative than the runners up.
I’d hate to have to sit through the bottom 4,000 entries.


Came across this in other social media - granted, it’s MusicRadar, the National Enquirer of music technology (except when Scot Solida is writing):

No doubt a lot of the bitterness is fueled by the stress of the pandemic era. Still I’m delighted the winner used a chiptune touch.


Thanks for cross posting that.

Hard to argue with Hans Zimmer.