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Vocal Master Class with Halo Developer/Musician

Marty O'Donnell earned his Masters of Music Degree in Composition with honors from USC in 1981. He then founded the Chicago-based commercial music and sound production company, TotalAudio, writing and producing numerous film scores and jingles such as Flintstones Kids and Mr. Clean. In 1997 he created sound design for Cyan’s Riven, the Sequel to Myst, and created all of the audio for Bungie’s award-winning Myth series.

In the spring of 2000, ten days after Marty accepted a position as Bungie’s Audio Director and Composer, Microsoft purchased the studio and moved them to Redmond so they could focus their efforts on developing Halo for the launch of the Xbox. The highly acclaimed Halo series became extremely successful, with Halo 3 shattering entertainment records for both single day and first week sales. The total number of Halo games played now tallied in the billions and unit sales in excess of eighty-one million.

The audio and music for the Halo series has received numerous honors and awards, including the Game Developers Choice Award, the Edge Award, Rolling Stone Magazine’s Best Game Soundtrack, and Best Sound/Music from the AIAS, IGDA, GANG, TEC, and Spike TV. The critically acclaimed soundtracks, produced in partnership with Nile Rodgers, are also best sellers.

In July of 2007, Marty helped to lead Bungie in regaining its independence. His final project with them, Destiny, featured music in collaboration with Sir Paul McCartney. The stand-alone soundtrack, Music of the Spheres, was recorded at Abbey Road Studios. In addition to creating and overseeing sound design, music, and implementation, Marty also did the casting and directing of all the voice acting for Bungie’s games. The music and audio from Destiny have won several awards including Best Audio and Best Music from the AIAS. He was awarded GANG’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

Marty is co-founder and co-owner of Highwire Games in Seattle. Their first title, Golem, an exclusive title for PlayStation VR was released in 2019. He also composed and produced Echoes of the First Dreamer, the musical prequel to Golem. He has been happily married for 45 years, has 2 daughters and 2 grandsons.


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