About

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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.

6 Responses to About

  1. mARCELO RISSO says:

    hello Mattias; I found your theme “Over The Northern Mountins” and I think is really very good. I play the saxophone in the big band in my city called “Pergamino” in Argentina. Is it possible for us, get the complete orchestration music sheet, to play your beatifull work? Best Regards from Argentina

  2. Mattias says:

    Hi Marcelo. Thank you, I’m very flattered by your request!

    I will look into it, but I can’t promise anything. OTNM was created in a decade-old DAW (Cubase SX2) that will not run on anything above Win XP. And my only Win XP machine is presently serving as a media center and doesn’t have any music software on it, or even a proper audio interface. But I’ll see what I can do.

    Moreover, I don’t read notation so I have no way of telling whether Cubase’s score function will output anything that is actually useable in a real world scenario. So you will have to be the judge of that.

    I’ll drop you an email!

  3. Ritchie Staringer says:

    Hey Matthias, thanks for your work on orchestral positioning. It´s very focussed written. Even if there were no such new information for me I´ll printed it out and enjoyed reading. Thanks again and all the best for you and your work.

    cheers
    Ritchie

  4. David Hay(Sambo Rouge) says:

    Hi Matt, just to say I like your website. Nicely designed and easy to navigate.

    Are you still using Reaper?

    Regards, David

    • Mattias says:

      Thanks David! Yeah, still using REAPER but I’m still on v 4.78.

      • Johannes says:

        Hi Mattias,
        I’m kinda peer of you, however different media genre. I also use Reaper, however upgraded to 5 after waiting for a longer time to do so. Now notation is no problem anymore. I can highly recommend an upgrade.
        I just don’t have such a wide collection of libraries like you, hehe. Since I wrote my degree dissertation about recording orchestral strings with the help of Herbert Tucmandl from “Vienna Symphonic Library”, I always dreamed of being owner of that library. When I finally bought it, starting with the special edition Vol1., I hardly needed anything else. But it is pretty addictive. It’s an ongoing process of adding this library modul and that venue acoustics and so on, and so on.

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