Award-winning composer and musician Rod Abernethy crafts authentic and memorable music scores for visual media including video games, advertising and television. His rich musical repertoire encompasses traditional acoustic and ethnic scores, unique hybrid soundtracks fusing electronic and organic elements, as well as dramatic music written for orchestra and choir. Rod's dynamic music productions enhance numerous high profile video games such as ALPHA PROTOCOL, TERA, EAT LEAD, WHEELMAN, DEAD HEAD FRED, THE HOBBIT and RISE OF THE KASAI as well as promotional trailers for DARKSIDERS, WARHAWK, LINEAGE II and PRINCE OF PERSIA. Rod's music has also been featured in programming for major networks including ABC, CBS, Discovery Channel, ESPN, Fox, G4, HBO, Nickelodeon, TLC and PBS. As a signed artist he has recorded in major studios around the world for record industry giants Warner Bros., Elektra, Atlantic, and MCA Records and collaborated with legendary producers Paul Rothchild (The Doors, Bonnie Raitt), John Anthony (Roxy Music, Queen) and David Lord (Peter Gabriel, Tori Amos, Tears for Fears, The Pretenders).
Rod's music-for-picture traverses multiple genres while maintaining an authenticity, originality and integrity which he customizes for each project. He is perhaps best known for his acoustic instrumentation combined with cinematic scoring. The edgy, action-driven score for WHEELMAN (Tigon Studios) starring Vin Diesel immerses players into the Barcelona setting with flamenco orchestrations. The eclectic and sublime atmospheric score for DEAD HEAD FRED (Soundtrack available on iTunes), inspired by the game's 'twisted noir' setting, blends cinematic orchestrations with a dark panorama of jazz, southwestern guitar, ambient, rock fusion and other seemingly disparate music styles into a cohesive and alluring listening experience. The critically acclaimed score for THE HOBBIT, combining traditional Celtic music with sweeping orchestra, won G.A.N.G.’s Best Soundtrack Award.
Rod's portfolio of orchestral productions features an array of popular franchises including STAR TREK: LEGACY, BLACKSITE: AREA 51, BLAZING ANGELS, SILENT HUNTER and TRANSFORMERS video games. He also helped develop the music and co-produce the live orchestral sessions with the Northwest Sinfonia in Seattle and Skywalker Symphony Orchestra at Skywalker Sound for EA's sci-fi survival horror opus, DEAD SPACE. More recently he recorded his epic fantasy orchestral score for the next generation massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) TERA with the Northwest Sinfonia.
A music graduate from the University of North Carolina, Rod maintains a cutting-edge recording studio facility centrally located in Raleigh, NC and boasts an extensive collection of vintage amps, guitars and mics. Rod is a voting member of The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS). He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.), the non-profit organization dedicated to promoting game audio, as well as a Peer Panelist for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (A.I.A.S). He is a frequent and prominent speaker at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.
Rod is currently composing the original score for id Software’s post-apocalyptic action first person shooter RAGE.
IGN's Best Overall Game of E3 2010 - RAGE
BAFTA for Original Score - DEAD SPACE Music Co-Producer
BAFTA for Use of Audio - DEAD SPACE Music Co-Producer
Game Developers Choice Awards 2009 - DEAD SPACE Music Co-Producer
G.A.N.G. 2009 Audio Of The Year - DEAD SPACE Music Co-Producer
G.A.N.G. 2009 Best Original Instrumental - EAT LEAD (Finalist)
G.A.N.G. 2007 Special Recognition Award - Dead Head Fred
G.A.N.G. 2007 Soundtrack Of The Year - Dead Head Fred (Finalist)
G.A.N.G. 2007 Best Original Instrumental Song - Blazing Angels II (Finalist)
G.A.N.G. 2007 Best Handheld Audio - Dead Head Fred (Finalist)
G.A.N.G. 2007 Best Handheld Audio - Transformers (Finalist)
G.A.N.G. 2006 Best Instrumental Of The Year - Star Trek: Legacy (Finalist)
G.A.N.G. 2006 Best Arrangement of a Score - Jaws: Unleashed (Finalist)
AIAS 2005 Awards-Outstanding Achievement for Original Music Composition - Rise of the Kasai (Finalist)
TeamXbox Editor’s Choice Awards – Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
G.A.N.G. 2004 Music Of The Year - King Arthur (Finalist)
G.A.N.G. 2004 Best Choral Performance - King Arthur (Finalist)
G.A.N.G. 2003 Soundtrack Of The Year -The Hobbit (Winner)
G.A.N.G. 2003 Best Original Instrumental Song -The Hobbit (Finalist)
G.A.N.G. 2003 Music Of The Year - The Hobbit (Finalist)
G.A.N.G. 2003 Best Live Recording -The Hobbit (Finalist)
G.A.N.G. 2003 Best Original Vocal Song -The Sims: Bustin’ Out (Finalist)
TeamXbox Editor’s Choice Awards – The Hobbit
TeamXbox Editor’s Choice Awards – The Sims Bustin’ Out
Three time winner The Telly Awards
Six time winner The Gold Addy Award
Finalist – The International Film & TV Awards of New York
PBS national advertising/marketing award
Two time winner Golden Reel ITVA Award