Jonathan Pardo is an award-nominated composer and vocalist who has been working in the video game industry for over a decade. He most recently worked at Harmonix Music as the Quality Assurance Lead on Rock Band VR. Jonathan was also the Audio Lead on the first musical virtual pet game, BeatNiks, which had a completely live-recorded jazz band soundtrack.
His music for the game Knee Deep was nominated for a G.A.N.G. award in the Best Original Vocal Song category. Outside of games, Jonathan is a singer-songwriter for the folk band Opal Puckett, a quartet focused on intricately arranged four-part vocal harmonies. He attended Berklee College of Music and the Hartt School of Music where he was trained in vocal jazz and opera, respectively.
With over 10 years of AAA development experience in audio for award winning games, and over 15 years as a professional musician/composer, Steve Pardo creates, produces, and directs emotional and expansive music and audio for games. As the Audio Lead for Rock Band VR (Harmonix/Oculus), he has become a leading audio designer for virtual reality, rethinking the music game genre and the possibilities for the franchise.
Steve co-founded SkewSound, a bespoke audio team for games, and composes rich soundtracks for a wide range of games for both indie and AAA studios. He also performs with his jazz trio, the Steve Pardo Trio, and is a professional saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist in the Boston area.
Jeff Hesser is a sculptor with expertise in both traditional and digital techniques. He currently works as an artist at the video game company Harmonix and was the Lead Environment Artist on Disney’s Fantasia: Music Evolved. Outside of Harmonix, he recently worked with a programmer and two musicians to create an interactive virtual reality installation that was featured at an event at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He has 15 years of teaching experience and received the Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2006.
In addition to RISD, he has taught at the New York Academy of Art, Rhode Island College, the University at Buffalo, and Hubei Normal University in China. He was an Artist Educator in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of art in conjunction with the exhibition, The Passions of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and has taught workshops in sculpture, anatomy and drawing at many companies and institutions. Jeff’s work has been widely exhibited and featured in exhibitions at the Dahesh Museum, the National Sculpture Society and the Parrish Art Museum.