Gustavo Santaolalla is a musician and the composer for the Last of Us.
Born in Argentina he started music from the young age of five, when his grandmother gave him a guitar, he was taught music until the age of ten when his music teacher quit, “his ear is stronger than my music I quit” is what she said to Gustavo’s mother.
Gustavo started writing music at the age of ten, when he was twelve he already had a band and at the age of sixteen he signed his first record deal with band Arco Iris. His favourite instrument is a ronroco which is a small guitar type instrument made originally with armadillo shells.
Michael Man then called him asking for music for his new film ‘The Insider’ (1999, with Russell Crowe and Al Pacino). Alejandro González Iñárritu then contacted him to work on his production ‘Amores Perros’ (2000), Alejandro then introduced him to Walter Salles who needed a composer for Motorcycle diaries. This was the begining of his carrer as a film music composer, his work in film is what lead Creative Director Neil Druckman to ask him to do ‘The Last Of Us’.
The Last of Us was Gustavo’s first video game, the emotional quality and story of the game is why the team wanted someone like Gustavo to compose rather than a conventional games soundtrack composer. The music in films takes the audience’s attention and emotions and use them for the films own purposes, this power was what ‘NaughtyDog’ wanted, to make their game’s story amazing. Neil & Jonathan (the lead team members on the last of us) gave Gustavo complete freedom to experiment and create outlandish things, which they loved.