On 24 June the London Mozart Players and Timothy Henty premiere a live performing version of Jessica Curry and Jim Fowler’s Little Orpheus¸ their multi-award nominated videogame soundtrack. The performance at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, will be accompanied by live actors and an hour-long cut of the gameplay.
Curry and Fowler’s score for the 2020 game, which was released on Apple Arcade, has been nominated for multiple prestigious awards, including the D.I.C.E and the Ivor Novello Awards. The soundtrack is available to purchase through Bandcamp and as a vinyl double LP, produced by Black Screen Records; the sleeve features new original artwork by Nathan Anderson. Fowler is published by Manners McDade, acquired by Faber Music earlier this year.
Curry and Fowler’s music brings to life the story of Russian cosmonaut Ivan Ivanovich. In 1962 the space race is on, and NASA is trying to shoot a man to the moon. But rather than heading up and out, Ivan journeys in the opposite direction to centre of the Earth in an atomic-bomb fuelled vessel, Little Orpheus. On his journey he traverses prehistoric lands, dives into undersea kingdoms, and dodges the occasional tyrannosaurus rex.
May and June saw Eimear Noone conduct Jessica Curry’s acclaimed music from Dear Esther and So Let Us Melt in concerts with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (their first-ever concert of videogame music, which they will reprise next summer), and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The latter will perform music from both scores at the Royal Albert Hall, where they performed both last year as part of the 2022 BBC Proms season, in the first ever videogame prom.
The art, music and narration are all top-notch, enlivening the voyage with humour, beauty and the odd moment of wonder. It's been a while since I had such a positive time staring at my phone. The art is top-notch, with vibrant colours that recall old sci-fi adventure novels; and a jaunty, orchestral score adds cinematic verve to Ivanovich's antics.
The Guardian (Keza MacDonald), 18 June 2020
Fuses cinematic, orchestral harmonies with quirky, colourful musical storytelling that strikes the perfect tone with the narrative of the game.
Scala Radio, November 2020
The Little Orpheus soundtrack emerges as a serious contender for best orchestral game score of 2020. This is music that is far more sophisticated than your average orchestral game score, such is Curry and Fowler’s superlative command of the ensemble’s tone colours and expressive capacities. Like exquisite water colour paintings coming alive to constantly change their outlines, orchestrations morph from one fascinating mix of emotions to the next…masterful.
Little Orpheus is a visual and auditory feast of the like that Apple Arcade – and even the App Store at large – has rarely seen. Its artistry is apparent from the first. Equally essential is Jim Fowler and Jessica Curry’s score, which complements the gameplay with well-timed cues, such as plucks of a violin as Ivan dons an egg shell to sneak past a tyrannosaurus rex…This isn’t a game that works just as well with the sound off.
IGN (Leif Johnson), 16 June 2020
Jessica Curry - the BAFTA winning composer - is joined by Jim Fowler to compose another stellar soundtrack in Little Orpheus, crafting gorgeous orchestral arrangements that add tension, mystique and wonder to every corner of the beautiful subterranean world.
The Sixth Axis (Thomas Hughes), 12 June 2020