Alum

Christopher Niskala

Position
Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Chris is a composer/orchestrator specializing in video games. He got his start in electrical engineering with a master's degree from North Carolina State University. But being a musician, Chris wanted to do more than engineering. He then pivoted into producing EDM records, then into composing/sound design for a local game company (Cambridge Interactive Development Corp.), which led him back to Berklee Online to solidify his music education. As a result, he got placements in film, television, and advertising. However, Chris’s true passion lies in game music, which gave him a dedication for topics such as interactive scoring and audio middleware. These days, Chris is the audio director for a game startup called Sky Isle Studios, working on a game adaptation of the anime Oban Star-Racers.

Career Highlights
  • Film/TV/Advertising Credits: "Atlantis Rising" and "Drain the Sunken Pirate City" for National Geographic, "Don't Drive Here" and "Canada's Worst Driver" for Discovery Canada, and "Office Tragedy" for Citrix ShareFile
  • Game Credits: Everest Casino Slot Machines (Music/SFX), Raid (Music/SFX) [in development], and "Chance to Shine" for Oban Star-Racers (Music/SFX/Implementation) [in development]
  • Debut Album: Dreaming of Solitude (2021)
  • Instruments: Studying jazz piano under the tutelage of Robert Christopherson and basic proficiency in guitar, bass, and drums
Education
  • B.S., Electrical Engineering, North Carolina State University (2000)
  • M.S., Electrical Engineering, North Carolina State University (2004)
  • B.A., Music Composition for Film, TV, and Games, Berklee Online (2022)
In Their Own Words

"Having both a technical and art education gives me a unique perspective, and working in games allows me to operate at that intersection of art and technology. Here at Berklee, my goal is to help students fuse these two seemingly opposing elements so that their creativity isn't stifled by technology, but instead, improved by it."