When [Dan thinks] about factors that distinguish the best theme parks from the rest, background music ranks near the top. The best examples create the right sense of place and atmosphere. Some of my favorite places click because of the music. That effective sonic environment helps build a memorable experience. A perfect example is the Innoventions Loop that played at EPCOT for decades. Some of [Dan's] favorite memories of that park involve hanging out in that space at night. Composer Russell Brower created the music that helped make that area such a cool spot.
Russell Brower has composed music for EPCOT, Tokyo DisneySea, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and more.
Russell is [Dan's] guest on this episode of The Tomorrow Society Podcast to talk about his extensive career. He originally joined Disney when EPCOT was still under construction and worked in multiple stints for the company including as a principle media designer and music director. An important early project was collaborating with George Wilkins on the music of The Living Seas. Russell also produced the original soundtrack to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and wrote music and sound effects for Tokyo DisneySea. He’s also a lifelong Disney fan with a passion for the parks and how they work.
Beyond his role with theme parks, Russell has also found great success composing music for video games. His work includes massive games like World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Starcraft II. He has won three Emmy awards and received numerous accolades for his music. On this episode, Russell compares writing for video games versus theme parks. He also gives advice to aspiring young composers looking to enter the industry. It was great to talk with Russell and learn more about his amazing career.