Without the convenience of a live orchestra at my whim, I spent a while trying out different string sounds and coordinating the best MIDI sounds I could to put this Skyrim sample together. It showcases the many queues that a video game goes through, and switches scenes multiple times.
I had a lot of fun putting this piece together, but had the most fun with the Bleak Falls Barrow entrance music. The more layers I added, the less I liked it. I started with trumpets, tried out guitars, basses, tubas, and ethnic percussion and still didn’t like it. Eventually the duet of low bassoons won out, with a low drum in the background. From there it turns into an unexpected dragon scene with some action music.
I wanted to stay as far away from the way the music was actually introduced in the game. The Elder Scrolls themes are known for their audaciously stirring sensations and honing the exact tone of the expansive worlds they create. Jeremy Soule is a great composer and does a fantastic job making us feel like we are a tiny piece of the vast world of Skyrim.
All this he does while still remaining in the background and letting the visuals, dialogue, and sound stay in the forefront and shine. That is the nature of game music; we want to enhance without disturbing and it takes the right mix of simplicity and intuitive ability to remain interesting and relevant within a game. That’s what my music accomplishes--- but even simpler with MIDI. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!