It never ceases to amaze me how many people still listen to the music from the Banjo games after all these years, it really is very humbling.
When i started to write the music for the game i was just trying to write something along the lines of a Mario game, since Mario 64 had just come out and it was the bench mark for a platform game. The first tune i wrote was Click Clock Woods (Spring version) although it wasn't called that then, i was just trying to write a jolly tune that i thought would fit in a jolly platformer! As the characters of Banjo and Kazooie began to take shape and their quirky personalities started to emerge i realised that i needed something in the music that reflected that so i just started to mess around with odd chord sequences (at least i though they were odd!) i kept that first tune i'd written and it became the Click Clock Forest melody that i did different arrangements of for the different seasons, but i don't really think it fits in with that quirky feel that the rest of the game has.
I hit on the Cmaj - F#maj tri tone thing as the musical interval of the augmented 4th is the furthest point away from an octave, and i felt that Banjo and Kazooie were opposites in their personalities so that seemed to be a good starting point. I found that if i oompah'd it, it sounded pretty odd and quirky and if i could just get some melodies to work it would fit in with how i felt the characters were.
I did a couple of re-writes for Mumbo's Mountain and Treasure Trove Cove as i'd written them early on before i changed the way the music sounded and they weren't really in that quirky style and that was about it!
I really liked the channel fade thing that Lucas Arts' imuse system did in the Monkey Island games and tried to get it to work in our game. After some programmer nagging we got it going and i think it really added to the way the game sounded and it was great fun to do. I only had 16 channels to use in the first Banjo game so it was quite a challenge to allocate certain channels to different areas and make sure it didn't sound too bare in places.
When i see the games now i do have to admit to getting a bit teary eyed. That team of people were so great to be around and we had such a lot of fun making those games, i never wanted it to end!!
When Blake told me that he wanted to make some new fully orchestrated versions of the music from Banjo-Kazooie i was really flattered. I'd heard his work on other game projects and was just blown away at how good it all was. He sent me some links to the music and i just couldn't believe how excellent they were. I have to say that I'm really honoured that he's taken the time and effort to take those old rough sounding tunes and turn them into something that i think is fantastic ..... i hope you all agree!!
Thanks for listening!