From RPG To Anime: David Kates And Joshua Mosley On Composing The ‘Mass Effect: Paragon Lost’ Soundtrack

(l. to r. – David Kates, Joshua Mosley)

The animated “Mass Effect: Paragon Lost” will be out later this month on DVD and Blu-ray to provide viewers with a little backstory on the hotheaded James Vega who spends much of “Mass Effect 3” busting Commander Shepherd’s chops. But according to “Mass Effect” composers Joshua Mosley and David Kates, there’s more to the character than that–something they were able to explore in the soundtrack they put together for the first animated release for the RPG.

Kates is a series veteran, having worked on both the first and second “Mass Effect” games while Mosley–whose work can be found in “Splosion Man”–is new to the franchise. Both men have clear visions about the sounds of the “Mass Effect” universe and spoke answered a few questions for MTV Multiplayer about their work bringing that sound to animation. You can also check out previews from the “Mass Effect: Paragon Lost” soundtrack below.

MTV Multiplayer: Could you give our readers a little bit of your musical background?

Joshua Mosley: I grew up in a very musical family. My mother was and still is a jazz vocalist and vocal coach. My grandfather (on my mother’s side) was a professional bassist and arranger who played with the likes of Tony Bennett, Lou Armstrong, and Peggy Lee. So many strong musical influences as a kid. I started playing piano at a very young age and then picked up the trumpet at the age of twelve. At eighteen I fell in love with writing and producing songs and writing film cues. I connected with a writing partner friend of mine and started pursuing clients for scoring projects. After a year of decent success I went on to study under Hummie Mann at the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program in Seattle, Washington.

David Kates: Hey guys, Happy Holidays to you and everyone onboard checking us out. Let’s hope this is an awesome year for all of us!

I grew up studying classical piano, became interested in Jazz and played in bands for some time back in Philly, where I grew up. As a teenager I was turned on to progressive rock groups like Genesis, Yes, KingCrimson, Gentle Giant, and fell in love with what was going on in their music. When I came out to LA in the ‘80s I played the club circuit as keyboard player while I was studying film scoring at UCLA. I studied composition and orchestration with some very special mentors. I feel very blessed to be doing what I’m doing.

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