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"While in actuality mythologies are mirrors in which we can relatively observe own collective subconscious. I do not expect to see a huge change in the industry though as the dominant theme of the Western society in general is the childish debate of religion vs atheism... Sadly very few people know these childish traps and go beyond these anthropocentric viewpoints... Anyway I got a little off-topic and I apologize for it but again I am really interested to see if the devs or musicians are going to add some Easterns themes into the game or not. That way I could probably share some ideas here which in my opinion could very well fit the theme and game environment."

 

I think the schism is deeper even than a lack of effort or maturity.  I would actually be pretty surprised if JE Sawyer hadn't read Manichean texts, given their importance to medieval philosophers.  But it's one thing to read and appreciate some texts as an adult, and another to grow up enculturated with a steady stream of oblique references to your mythology.  I had a primer on Norse mythology in 3rd grade and grew up reading comics where Thor would fight Hercules.  I didn't grow up hearing about djinn  (well besides Disney's Aladdin, but that's not much of a guide) or rusalka or naga or chinese dragons.  Just as I wouldn't expect a Persian to know about Thor's rams, I expect there's a huge gulf of cultural concepts, references, jokes, and attitudes that I've been missing.  And most Asian myth books I've read have been poorly written, and there are few in English that start on a child's level.

 

Then there's the whole problem of association, where songs that are from a recognizable culture are assumed to represent a stereotype of that culture, and it creates a small but noticeable discord to use them out of that context.

 

Then there's the other problem that this game in particular is bound by the conventions of culture.  It is supposed to intentionally invoke nostalgia for older games that are themselves part of Forgotten Realms / D&D, which is a pretty conventional setting, even though it does have places like Calimsham and you could summon djinni.

 

That said, if you're looking for an RPG with Indian flavor, Unrest looks pretty interesting.  It's not Persian, but Persian art will continue to exert diminished global influence as it is suppressed by the current regime.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pyrodactyl/unrest-an-unconventional-rpg-set-in-ancient-india

And here's the music from Unrest:

https://soundcloud.com/pyrodactyl/troubled-countryside?in=pyrodactyl/sets/unrest_sample

Edited by anameforobsidian
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@anameforobsidian

 

"I would actually be pretty surprised if JE Sawyer hadn't read Manichean texts, given their importance to medieval philosophers."

 

Well it is interesting you mentioned that because I am a PH.D student of philosophy with focus on Eastern schools of thoughts and mostly philosophy of mind. I studied Manichaeism (My real first name is Maani مانی In Persian which is the name of the prophet Mani) and have written three uni papers about different aspects of it. Especially its profound relationship with the early Christianity and Sethian Gnosticism. Manichaeism in general as you know was dominant in Europe and could very well replace Christianity if the church fathers decided not to kill most of them to save the church power centuries ago. Mani could perhaps be called the first syncretic philosopher or prophet and because he has been exiled out of Persia to the Bharata (India) because the supreme high magus of the state Zoroastrian religion became against the Mani and his teachings (In the time of Shapur the Sassanid the second king of Persia). Mani coming from Baghdad in modern day Iraq and Hamadan city (modern day Iran) and from a Sabean religion background, going to the center of the Zoroastrian faith and then goes eastward to India and spent fifteen years in India made him familiar with Jainism and Buddhism and then he went back to Baghdad and Persia again and all the teachings went westward this time... Huge influence on the Christianity and mostly on the Catholicism.

Regarding the mythologies, you would be surprised if I tell you that the Persian mythologies which are mostly written in Pahlavi/Avestan language texts and partly even in Sanskrit are incredibly similar to the Norse mythologies. In fact there was a Dannish scholar who did a comparative research about the subject year ago which I can not remeber his name now.

 

What you find in the 'Shahnameh' or the 'epic of the kings' as the main source of the Persian mythologies is in many many parts if not the same but similar to the Norse mythologies. For instance you have Thor in the Norse with his famous hammer, and you have Rostam in Persian with his famous Mace. Rostam passes the seven tests and kills the white daeva (white evil), or the Kaveh another legendary figure put the Zahhak (the representation of the evil) and takes him to the Damavand mountains and put him there until the end of times, just like the Fenrir in the Norse mythologies.

 

I do agree with you about the cultural issues and the possible stereotypes in between and I do agree about the nostalgia feeling when it comes to mostly RPG games. I am one of them myself who played all sorts of RPGs since I was a child and in fact one of the reasons I went studying philosophy, religion and even Jungian psychoanalysys could be the fact that rpg games influenced me so much.

 

About the Persian art, well there are limitations and retrictions indeed, and though I am one hundred percent against the current regime as I was living in there until 8 years ago, but all in all I do believe expression of art and new ideas in Iran in some cases are even more powerful than what we have in the Western society. What global media tries to represent and immitate is simply wrong and far from truth. There is a huge political agenda behind all these news we see and hear in the media, particularly about the so-called Middle East regions. It would seem strange to people who have never been there but the dominant power of Capitalism here somehow unconsciously dictates even some basic concepts in art and music which is relatively much less in the current Iranian culture. Anyway it is a huge topic of course and I thank you for your great responses.

 

Cheers,

Maani (Silenceborn)

Edited by Silenceborn
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Sawyer said that they wouldn't use real instrumentation for an update. This is why you didn't have an orchestra recording a composition that isn't finished.

Edited by Hormalakh
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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Tip your waitresses.

What if they possess excellent balance? o_o

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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The Dyrford Village theme most certainly grows on one, I believe that it is the change in melody at 1:50 or so that really grabs me.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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You're right, i cant explain it but the more and more i listen to it the better it feels. I imagined guiding the party over the screenshots played on youtube and i thought to myself this is actually a really great soundtrack.

But i just don't understand why do the images change for each song. As far as i know this is suppose to be a single soundtrack on a single map, is it not?

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I don't think I have enough musical expertise to even really comment on the significance of specific parts on the quality of the overall track or anything, and I'm not going to say there's nothing that could possibly be tweaked or improved in it, but...

 

I finally got to listen to it, and, as an overall background piece (and imagining playing the game and ambient noises in the foreground), I think that track fits quite nicely in its habitat, and sounds pretty splendid.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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  • 4 weeks later...

First of all, thanks a lot for this extremely interesting update and for sharing what you wrote with us.

 

Of course I do not have your expertise as a composer, but still I have been a bit surprised by the complete absence of percussions in this piece; while this is understandable for a quiet environment, I sincerely hope this won't generally be the case.

 

As an illustration using other video games, I prefer by far to have something with a lot of dynamics like in:

 

 

and which makes an heavy use of percussions, rather than:

 

 

which never uses them essentially (which arguably fits the (almost constant) melancholy of the music).

 

 

Both games were amazing, mind you.

Edited by the.only.ara54
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I was not a big fan of it.  Never quite understood the picture of this woman with the opposite head either BUT music can make my game more enjoyable.. I recall how much I loved the music in crono trigger while playing it. It was fantastic during its day; maybe still fantastic even. 

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Obsidian wrote:
 

​"those scummy backers, we're going to screw them over by giving them their game on the release date. That'll show those bastards!" 

 

 

 Now we know what's going on...

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But ultimately it come downs to feel.  If the music starts to feel overpowering and too repetitious in one area, we'll either modify the music if there's time to do so, or we'll tune the looping pattern to address the issue somehow.  Nothing is worse (to me at least) than overpowering game music that saturates the senses.   Of course there's always a time an place for that, but in a game like this, it would be a deliberate choice rather than the default position if that makes any sense.

 

Love the track for the village, Justin. I am very curious which content it will underline in the game, as already mentioned it gives the impression of desolation and tragic events. I am very glad you think that overpowering game music can kill the mood so quickly. Its what currently bores me so much in a lot of Hollywood movies and western games, it all sounds the same. Always the same pompous, super dramatic sequences in a track which seem so generic by now. Even people like Hans Zimmer, who wrote some awesome themes, started to copy themselves so much, it is often barely recognisable as a distinct piece now. Listening to the village piece I think you are the right guy to write some atmospheric tracks for PoE.

 

If I may recommend a great ambient piece which complemented the game setting it was written for very well and really took me because it sounded distinct and was a breeze of fresh air to me, listen to Gustaf Grefberg's 'Giants' which was composed for "Brothers: A tale of two sons", it is more ambient sounds than a coherent track, but it was so haunting! If you want the real experience, I recommend playing the game to it. It can be played in 2-3 hours and I would recommend it to everyone who loves great atmosphere in a videogame (*cough* Steamsale *cough*). SPOILER: As the title already suggests the track is written for a battlefield full of dead giants in which you, as a normal size person, stalk around.

Edited by Karras
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Finally have some time to catch up on this thread!  Here we go....

 

I don't think I have enough musical expertise to even really comment on the significance of specific parts on the quality of the overall track or anything, and I'm not going to say there's nothing that could possibly be tweaked or improved in it, but...

I finally got to listen to it, and, as an overall background piece (and imagining playing the game and ambient noises in the foreground), I think that track fits quite nicely in its habitat, and sounds pretty splendid.

 

Thanks!

 

First of all, thanks a lot for this extremely interesting update and for sharing what you wrote with us.

 

Of course I do not have your expertise as a composer, but still I have been a bit surprised by the complete absence of percussions in this piece; while this is understandable for a quiet environment, I sincerely hope this won't generally be the case.

 

As an illustration using other video games, I prefer by far to have something with a lot of dynamics like in [snip]  and which makes an heavy use of percussions, rather than [snip] which never uses them essentially (which arguably fits the (almost constant) melancholy of the music).

 

Both games were amazing, mind you.

 

First off, great observation about percussion.  The decision not to use percussion here was very deliberate.  I can reassure you there will be percussion in the game, but its use will be very specific and targeted.

 

Here's a little anecdote.  I've struggled with percussion in my own compositions for a long time.  In the past I tended to rely on them quite heavily as a means of generating intensity and excitement, but this often came at the expense of melodic and harmonic content.  One of the scores I've been listening to a lot lately is the Hobbit:  Desolation of Smaug.  The thing that strikes me the most about that score is that they also used very little percussion, yet the music is often very exciting and intense without it.  So it became clear to me that it was possible to rely on percussion less and let the pitched material do most of the musical 'heavy lifting'.  

 

Being conservative with percussion is definitely a more "classic" orchestration choice.  I had a teacher who once compared percussion to the "seasoning" of a dish, not the "dish" itself, and that less is more.  A dash here, a sprinkle there to enhance the main ingredients.  But once you use too much, it can overpower the "flavor" of the primary ingredients.  Of course, this is just one perspective, one use case.  There is obviously an abundance of INCREDIBLE percussion driven music out there.  But I think there is some truth to what he said if you're trying to create melodious music with interesting harmonies, which is exactly what I'm trying to do.  

 

This decision is in contrast to many movie and video game scores, where percussion is always part of the texture.  I think many of us simply aren't accustomed to percussion always being there in some form.  For example, I recently wrote the main theme for the game.  As I was writing it I focused only on melody, harmony, rhythm, form, and orchestration.  Even though I'm about 70% done with the theme, I still haven't introduced percussion, though I plan to eventually.  Everybody's writing method is different, but I find that when I introduce percussion too early in the composition process, it has a tendency to "lock" me in to the form of the music too soon, and it's more difficult to make big changes in terms of form and structure because of that.  By not having percussion as an early part of the writing process, I FEEL more free to experiment without the pressure of commitment.

 

Love the track for the village, Justin. I am very curious which content it will underline in the game, as already mentioned it gives the impression of desolation and tragic events. I am very glad you think that overpowering game music can kill the mood so quickly. Its what currently bores me so much in a lot of Hollywood movies and western games, it all sounds the same. Always the same pompous, super dramatic sequences in a track which seem so generic by now. Even people like Hans Zimmer, who wrote some awesome themes, started to copy themselves so much, it is often barely recognisable as a distinct piece now. Listening to the village piece I think you are the right guy to write some atmospheric tracks for PoE.

 

If I may recommend a great ambient piece which complemented the game setting it was written for very well and really took me because it sounded distinct and was a breeze of fresh air to me, listen to Gustaf Grefberg's 'Giants' which was composed for "Brothers: A tale of two sons", it is more ambient sounds than a coherent track, but it was so haunting! If you want the real experience, I recommend playing the game to it. It can be played in 2-3 hours and I would recommend it to everyone who loves great atmosphere in a videogame (*cough* Steamsale *cough*). SPOILER: As the title already suggests the track is written for a battlefield full of dead giants in which you, as a normal size person, stalk around.

 

 

Thank you for the awesome compliment.  "Giants" is a great sounding track, thank you for sharing it with me.

 

I agree that some music in recent films and games can sound very similar and difficult to distinguish apart.  The reason why comes down to risk management.  From the perspective of movie studios and game publishers, It's financially risky to try new things, and it's safer to stick to "known quantities" in terms of musical aesthetics.  It's not uncommon for a composer to come to a project with a desire to express their own unique brand of creativity.  And it's also not uncommon for them to be asked by the client to make their music "sound like" this other popular game or movie.  Because of the freelance nature of music composition, the decision usually comes down to the question of job security.  If you want to keep working, you have to make the client happy, and if that means making yet another Hans Zimmer sounding score, then that's what it means.  It boils down to a question supply and demand, and most working composers do their best to stay in demand.

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Given you're checking the thread, I might as well ask: was the feedback you got from this thread useful for your following soundtrack work/your revisions of the Dyrford theme?

 

Hi there.  Yes it's definitely useful, and I appreciate the feedback.  Of course it's difficult to guarantee that I've taken the feedback in a way that will satisfy everyone's musical tastes because it's such a subjective thing, I do listen to what you guys have to say! 

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Now we just need some kantele and hammer dulcimer ;)

 

Actually (this might be a spoiler I dunno) but as the player transitions from the country, to Defiance Bay and then out into Eir Glanfath, do you have different sets of instruments / groups of instruments for the different themes?

 

What kind of instruments make a more "Eir Glanfath" sound?

Edited by Sensuki
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Hey Justin, just curious do you guys play the internal builds with temp tracks? Also how are you going about designing battle music? I think that might be one of the harder things to get right since battles may last 3 seconds or several minutes. Does unity offer you any way to add any dynamic or randomness to the tracks? I get the impression the game will have a lot of reading and a lot of combat, so I wonder your thoughts on avoiding listener fatigue? Thanks, I look forward to hearing new samples soon :)

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I'd also like to point out that I've just noticed that XCOM: Enemy Unknown actually has pretty effective music. It does that "you don't really notice me repeating or anything" effect, and pretty much just sets the mood for whatever's going on. Sure, it's a little "intense military combat mission"-y, which isn't really the right style for PoE, but, I figured there might be some technical/structural value in it, if you haven't already played that game/heard the music in it.

 

Also, it does pretty decent transitions, I think. I mean, they're abrupt -- once there are no longer any "engaged" aliens in your squad's sight range, the music's more subtle/sneaky tension, and when your squad becomes aware of an alien, it kind of strikes up the "tactical tug-of-war" music. But, when it goes back to "non-combat" mode, it sounds like a legitimate transition. It doesn't just fade out, or outright stop. At least I'm pretty sure it doesn't. My memory folder in my brain likes to randomly lock and unlock subfolders and specific files. 8P

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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  • 2 weeks later...

What kind of instruments make a more "Eir Glanfath" sound?

 

I've tried to imagine what would Glanfathan music sound like in my fan art music for Twin Elms. (https://soundcloud.com/consona-adversa-pars/twin-elms-theme)

 

Just traditional elven music kind of sound. I've used celtic harp, zither, irish flute, frame drum and shaker. And added some windy soundscapes to capture the feeling I got from the concept art. Let me know what you think. I'm working on another piece and would appreciate some community feedback. :)

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Pillars of Eternity Twin Elms and Celestial Sapling and Torment: Tides of Numenera Crystalline DimensionBefore the fall and Bloom original fan art music.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The music in the demo sounds really good btw. Nice job Justin! Granted, I don't really have any expertise or grounding in composition and have absolutely no background in music theory. I only listen to the stuff.

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"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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