Emily Reese – PA179

By | June 9, 2023

We’re joined today by Emily Reese; Minnesota Public Radio newscaster, VGM podcast legend and co-creator of the Level with Emily Reese and Top Score podcasts with Sam Keenan.

She is a trumpet player, and studied music education and jazz studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder and received her master’s degree in Music Theory from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Emily is an avid gamer (RPGs and FPS games are a favorite), and a lover of music with jazz and classical in particular.

Today’s show began as an interview with Emily but quickly turned into the three of us talking shop about the inner workings of creating the best possible podcast. All the discussion of audio editing and interview planning you can handle, as well as some career highlights from the trio. It’s not our typical show format, but we had a great time talking with a fellow podcast host and kindred spirit.


Emily started her radio career in 2005 and began working at Minnesota Public Radio in 2008, where she and Sam created Top Score in 2011. Top Score was one of the earliest and most prominent video game music podcasts which featured interviews with some of the most famous composers in the industry. It ushered in an era of mainstream game music appreciation, as well as being a huge inspiration to many aspiring VGM podcasters including us here at Pixelated Audio! After Top Score ended in 2015, Emily and Sam created a new podcast to carry the torch, Level with Emily Reese, which focuses on broader game audio topics including composers, sound designers, voiceover actors and performers. Her vast musical and audio knowledge make Emily’s interviews with composers and audio professionals some of the most in-depth around.

If you’d like to hear more, check out Level with Emily Reese, which currently has over 200 episodes and releases on an almost weekly cadence. The show can be found on their website, on YouTube, on your favorite podcast platform, or on their Patreon page.

To learn more about Emily and Sam’s other projects, check out their company page Joon Media.

Track List:

  • 0:00:03 “Towhee Grove” Oxenfree – by scntfc
  • 0:14:49 “Welcome Home” The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human – by Karl Flodin
  • 0:29:23 “Star Forge” Straylight – Rob Kovacs
  • 0:44:11 “Lauren Winter’s Theme” Heavy Rain – by Normand Corbeil
  • 1:08:32 “Anka” Signs of the Sojourner – by Steve Pardo

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