Disasterpeace is the project of Rich Vreeland, a chiptune artist and composer best known for his soundtracks to the puzzle-platform game Fez and the indie horror movie It Follows. Growing up in Staten Island, New York, he was surrounded by music: his mother and sister were both singers, while his stepfather was the music director of his church. Vreeland began playing guitar as a child, and he joined his stepfather's band on the drums during practice. Inspired by Tool and Rage Against the Machine, he dabbled in recording his guitar-based songs before becoming interested in electronic and video game music. In 2004, while still in his teens, he came up with the Disasterpeace moniker, using the contrasts within the name as aesthetic inspiration. He began working on game music in 2005, when he got an offer to write music for cell phone games after posting his demos online.
After attending Berklee College of Music, Vreeland scored an internship at the Singapore-MIT Game Lab, gaining more experience with scoring and sound design with his work on the puzzle games Waker and Woosh. He went on to make a name for himself scoring games ranging from big franchises like Bomberman Live: Battlefest to independents such as 2012's Fez, which won acclaim for its innovative gameplay as well as Vreeland's 8-bit and ambient-inspired soundtrack. Vreeland also pursued projects such as 2013's January, a game where players make melodies by catching snowflakes on the playable character's tongue, and the music for 2014's transport simulation game Mini Metro, as well as stand-alone albums of chiptune music including 2006's Atebite and the Warring Nations, 2008's Level, and 2011's ZONR.
He began his career as a film composer when director David Robert Mitchell explained he was a fan of the Fez soundtrack and wanted to work with him on the music for his horror film It Follows. Drawing inspiration from John Carpenter's pulsating scores as well as the work of John Cage and Krzysztof Penderecki, his volatile yet slow-burning music for the film won acclaim upon It Follows' wide release in 2015. Disasterpeace's other projects that year included the music for the short film Loop Ring Chop Drink and the loop-based score for the video game Gunhouse. He remained busy in 2016, scoring works as diverse as the video game Hyper Light Drifter; the Adventure Time episode "Bad Jubies," and Mud Water, a theater project incorporating turf dancers, ballet dancers, and spoken word artists. The following year, he collaborated with several like-minded artists as Lexi & the Cheap Disaster on the album Ram Son, and worked with pianist David Peacock on Disasters for Piano, a collection of piano interpretations of some of Vreeland's definitive tracks. ~ Heather Phares