Dream a Little Dream

I think by now everyone knows that Banjo-Kazooie started off its life as Dream, an RPG whose hero was a boy called Edison. The game was sadly scrapped in favour of a platform game starring Banjo. The music Grant had already made on Dream didn't fit within this new direction, so a more humurous approach was required. Grant has kindly uploaded some of the old work for us to hear, and he also gives some info on each track.

A lot of the music, or at least parts have been used in later games, so I found it best to listen before reading the notes so you can guess where you've heard it since.

In his blog post, he goes into a bit of detail of what was happening at Rare around the development of Dream. It's some interesting reading.

Main Theme

This piece took a long time to write. Tim Stamper was looking for a big main theme to have for the opening of the game and I wrote several pieces that he liked (or so he said!) but didn't feel captured the feeling of the game. I wanted to have a seafaring feel for the pirate element of the game and a grand sounding noble theme at the same time, and Tim wanted "Big Drums"...hehe! I remember I was in the shower thinking about this tune, I had the opening sea sounding section but no main theme after it, I was humming away and the first little section of the melody just came to me. I dashed to Rare still trying to hum it and managed to get it into Cubase before I forgot it. This tune eventually turned up in" Viva Pinata", I wanted to save it until I had a game that I felt it suited and I was really happy when I realise it would fit into VP. The way the orchestra played it for VP was fantastic, just as I imagined it sounding all those years ago.


Blackeye was of course the "baddie" in "Dream". He had a pirate ship called "The Mudplugger", I think I would've imagined it to be like "The Black Pearl" from "The Pirates of the Caribbean" films. I wanted to make him a little dark but also have some humour in there, so you can hear a bit of a shanty going on in the middle section of the piece. Also I wanted to get across the idea that he thought of himself as grand and honourable even though he was far from it! I actually wrote a song for him to sing, it was sung by one of the artists at Rare, who could manage a good pirates accent, and I had a pirates chorus that consisted of some of the team, I have to say we thought it was hilarious........sadly I don't seem to be able to find it anywhere, I'm hoping I'll be able to track it down, I'd love to put it up here for you all to have a listen too!


There's another tune in here that went on to appear somewhere else! This was going to be a chase sequence between some trolls and the hero in mine carts (similar to the mine cart chase in "Indiana Jones 2") I think. When I wrote the piece I was imagining the camera switching between the hero and the trolls and back so I tried to mix both themes together. You can hear the theme that eventually ended up in "Viva Pinata" as the hero's theme and the "Mad Monster Mansion" theme again for the trolls. I remember thinking this was going to be really hard to pull off but it all came together quite easily. I really like this piece, brings back alot of memories.


This was the first piece that I wrote for "Dream", there wasn't any area of the game for it to go but I just wanted to get started and thought of a beach scene. I really like this piece, there's something calming about it and you can hear how I was using much more traditional chord sequences than I eventually did when it changed to Banjo-Kazooie. I always think of Robinson Crusoe when I hear this piece......don't know why......Ah the good old days!


Hmmmmm.....I really can't think of much to say about this one, I'm not even sure if this is the right title, I was either Trolls our Elves. As you can hear they weren't really really bad, I was trying to make them more mischievous I think.


This tune is interesting (well I think so anyway!) as it eventually ended up as the "Mad Monster Mansion" theme. I remember tryng to think of a way to use dark chords and still make it light and humourous, I was listening to "Beetlejuice" quite alot at the time and I liked the style of the music that Mr.Elfman used in the movie. So I started playing with the "oompah" style, that ended being one of the signature styles in the Banjo games, and this tune was born. I really can't quite remember what the character of "Bully" was like, I seem to remember he was like the Troll guarding the bridge in the story of "Billy Goat's Gruff" but I could be totally wrong!

Big Belly

I had a lot of fun writing this one as I think you'll hear!! This character was a big fat drunken Pirate that liked to eat and drink way too much. I don't think we ever got to the stage of having an actual model to look at so he remained in our imaginations coupled with this tune to bring him to life .......well.....nearly! I remember I wrote the tune and then Greg(Mayles) suggested adding a few "effects", so of course I went overboard and added lots of stuff. Hearing this tune after all these years really makes me smile and reminds me of the fun we had dreaming up this stuff. I was really new at Rare and didn't know what to expect, and I was even newer to the team so I was really just finding my way. We all shared the same sense of humour and I think you can tell that when you play the Banjo games, the graphics match the sound match the humour!


Madeleine was the hero's (Edsun) girlfriend and I tried to write something that was light with a strong theme. This piece actually turned up briefly in Banjo-Kazooie as Tootie's theme. You hear it in the intro movie as she skips through the grass, it's only a small snippet but this is where it came from. Tim Stamper wanted to call all the characters in Banjo-Kazooie after instruments hence Banjo and Kazooie, Tootie was originally going to be called Piccolo so I thought the flute playing the main theme would suit her. I can't remember why we abandoned that naming convention, maybe there just wasn't enough instruments!


As the title implies this was a seafaring piece meant for when you transversed the map screen in the game, it was going to be a bit like Indiana Jones with an arrow and trail taking you on to the next area. I don't think we ever got as far as actually having the map screen in the game, a lot of the stuff I did for "Dream" was all in my imagination as I was working super quick being so excited just to be at Rare. I had a sheet of locations and I just started at the top and worked my way through.


This character was a good pirate and a bit of a mad professor so I tried to work in a bit of a noble theme sprinkled with some oddball bits to imply his madness! I don't think we ever got to an in-game character but there was concept art around for him. I added in a slightly pompus middle section for him and I was thinking of "Crown Imperial" by Walton, I thought it gave him that "stiff upper lip" kind of character.......bowler hats and umbrellas with a handlbar moustache!
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