Tuesday, July 08, 2014

BETA: Warm Sound

Music is quite a significant component of my life. Film scores form a fairly major lump of this, which is why I'm still buzzing from the weekend, when I was lucky enough to see film composer David Arnold 'play' his first ever gig in Central London at the Royal Festival Hall. Needless to say, any man who can legitimately open a half with a James Bond theme and then close the same with the end credits from Independence Day is doing *something* right along the way. It made me think about how important game music is for me this morning, and when I sat down to write this I knew instinctively what I would be using as the opening piece for this article. Because, if there is one 'suite' of music that totally and utterly sums up the brilliance of Warcraft in terms of composition, it is this 10 minutes worth of accompaniment from Nagrand. For me it evokes a classic soundtrack from my gaming past to boot, and as Arnold pointed out during his concert, composers often shamelessly owe a significant debt of gratitude to those that have preceded them.

Arnold cited John Barry as his classic influence for Bond composition, and it is very apparent where those influences lie. I find myself wondering if Nagrand owes anything to Lucasarts, but it may just simply be co-incidence. What is apparent however in Warlords are a number of influences not simply from Expansions past. In fact, the opening 'theme' from the Beta (and presumably the Expansion proper) owes a lot to a number of film soundtracks, at least to my ears. It is possibly one of the most 'cinematic' openings we've had in a decade, and I for one feel this choice may be very deliberate indeed.

Let us not forget that there is an ACTUAL MOVIE in Post Production as I type this, and I suspect there's going to be moments scattered all over the Expansion that could act as tie-ins to what we can expect in the future. This theme for me evokes any number of Fantasy film scores, but I'm reminded particularly of the Danny Elfman-scored Batman movies, with a quite liberal dose of Hanz Zimmer/James Newton Howard's The Dark Knight thrown in for good measure. It is also fairly ironic (at least for me) that I wrote a key conceit of my 'Salvation' fiction around the sound of drums, which seems to have sneaked into here as an aside :P

It's amazing what music can do to create a mood: after all, there's a reason why silent films would have a piano accompaniment for many years before sound arrived. Needless to say, if the rest of the Game's soundtrack is as good as this opener, I reckon we're in for a real treat :D


Before I finish here, I'd just like to take a moment to talk about beards.

Beards. Is there anything they can't do?

I was stuck for post inspiration this morning (bit of a slow news day) and having voiced this concern on Twitter, @The_WizFish came to my rescue and suggested I write about his beard. Well, I should thank him for giving me a picture, and in turn for reminding me of David Arnold which is where the inspiration for this post appeared. Frankly, a man with a beard is a thing of beauty:

Mr Arnold. GENIUS.
As an aside, men with beards in 3 piece suits = FANGIRL SQUEE.

Thank you Casey for the inspiration. THIS POST SALUTE YOUR BEARD IN THANKS.

1 comment:

Bob Flintston said...

I must agree with Peter the Great who introduce a Beard tax of 100 Rubles a year for anyone wanting to keep a beard.

Public shavings were introduced to humiliate in the same way that being put in the stocks and rotten fruit being chucked at you.

Much as I dislike shaving, a clean shave is vastly superior to a bum fluff beard.