On April 14, award-winning composer Martin O’Donnell joined TikTok, uploading a piano rendition of the iconic Halo theme accompanied by vocals from O’Donnell’s dog, Baxter. In the short clip, the former Bungie composer is seen grinning as he plays a few of the theme’s iconic notes while his dog howls along in the background. O’Donnell says he joined the popular video-sharing network after being encouraged by “folks on Clubhouse,” and shared his foray into the world of Gen Z dance moves over on Twitter along with a tweet asking, “so, how do I get followers on TikTok?”
From 1997 to 2014, O’Donnell worked alongside Michael Salvatori at Bungie, creating award-winning soundtracks for games such as Oni, Myth, Destiny, and, of course, the Halo series. Together, O’Donnell and Salvatori created the soundtracks for the first three Halo games as well as Halo Reach, the last Halo title Bungie worked on before leaving the series to create Destiny. Since the studio’s departure, 343 Industries has taken over development on the series, releasing several new games with a handful of different composers working on the various titles. For Halo Infinite, the next entry in the series coming later this year, Gareth Coker of Ori fame is in charge of composing the game’s soundtrack.
Following his work on Destiny, O’Donnell was fired from Bungie, marking the beginning of a year-long legal battle between him and the studio. Ultimately, the court sided with O’Donnell, stating Bungie violated his contract when they terminated him “without cause.” Since his departure from the studio, O’Donnell has founded his own studio, Highwire Games, which released the PSVR title Golem back in 2019 and is currently working on the controversial Six Days in Fallujah.
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