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McConnell was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He studied music as an undergraduate at Harvard University in the 1980s under Timothy Vincent Clarke, Curt Cacioppo and Ivan Tcherepnin. In Harvard McConnell befriended the future LucasArts composer Michael Land, who composed many of the company's titles, and worked with him at the audio company Lexicon. While beginning his career in the Sound Department at LucasArts, Land needed someone who would both compose and implement music into his second project Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge and McConnell stepped in. McConnell and Land co-invented iMUSE, LucasArts' patented interactive music system.
During his time at LucasArts, McConnell composed many soundtracks for games such as those in the Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and Star Wars series. Notable titles from this time include Grim Fandango, scored with unique Mexican influenced jazz, klezmer and traditional film score style, and Full Throttle, featuring rock soundtrack which McConnell scored with rock group The Gone Jackals. While composing music for these two games, McConnell worked closely with Tim Schafer, who later hired him to compose scores for the titles Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, and Costume Quest for his company Double Fine.
McConnell left LucasArts in 2000, but contributed to Escape from Monkey Island and special edition of The Secret of Monkey Island. Since then, McConnell has composed scores for Psychonauts, Sly 2: Band of Thieves, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves (about which McConnell says that he was influenced by Henry Mancini works), and Kinectimals.
McConnell is one of the founding members of G.A.N.G., the Game Audio Network Guild . He is also known live-action music performer, playing the electric violin.
McConnell has just completed work on Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, with the release of the game on February 5, 2013, along with the release of the soundtrack showcasing McConnell's work on the game.Wide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments