If you haven’t guessed it already, my name is Mattias Westlund. I’m a Swedish musician and composer specializing in soundtracks for computer games and other media. My main instrument is guitar — at least that’s what I started out on and I’m most proficient at on a technical level. But I also play keys, mandolin, bass, Irish flute and tin whistles. I sometimes do vocals when I can’t find anyone more skilled or fitting to do the job, but I would hesitate to call myself a singer.
Unlike most people who work in this genre, I have no formal training and my roots are in rock rather than classical. I got turned on to working with synths and MIDI in the mid nineties and did my first virtual orchestrations on a Pentium 100 with an Ensoniq Soundscape Elite card and an ancient version of Cubase. Over the last decade I have gradually moved from hardware to software-only, doing all my work “in the box” with samples, virtual instruments and plugin effects.
My influences are many and varied. My passion for game music was sparked by Lennie Moore’s incredible Outcast score back in 1999, and to this day it remains one of my favorite game soundtracks. Howard Drossin’s Baldur’s Gate II soundtrack also had a big impact on me, as well as Jeremy Soule’s work on Morrowind. John Williams has always been my hero when it comes to movie scores and I also love James Horner, Alan Silvestri and some of Hans Zimmer’s stuff. I’m not a classical music buff, but some classical composers I enjoy listening to are Dvorak, Holst, Grieg and Wagner.
As mentioned my roots are in rock, more specifically progressive rock like Rush, Jethro Tull, Kansas, Genesis, Marillion and IQ, and also progressive metal like Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Symphony X, Shadow Gallery and Queensrÿche.
I live in Gävle, a seaside town in eastern Sweden with my daughter and three cats.