Category Archives: Music & Book News

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Celebrates Main Theme Release with Cinematic Trailer

Today, Ubisoft celebrated the release of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s main theme with a new version of its announcement cinematic trailer. Featuring a remix of the main theme, the trailer follows Eivor, a fierce Viking raider, as she battles her way through King Aelfred’s Saxon army.

Composed by Sarah Schachner and Jesper Kyd featuring Einar Selvik, the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla main theme will be the opening track to the “The Ravens Saga” EP, released digitally today by Lakeshore Records.

“The Ravens Saga” is the second seven-track EP taken from the official Assassin’s Creed Valhalla soundtrack. Featuring original compositions from Jesper Kyd, Sarah Schachner, and two original tracks by Einar Selvik, the EP is now available to stream on Spotify and purchase on iTunes.

The full “The Ravens Saga” EP tracklist includes:

  1. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Main Theme (feat. Einar Selvik) – Sarah Schachner and Jesper Kyd
  2. Son of Fjord – Jesper Kyd
  3. Asgard – Hall of the Aesir (feat. Einar Selvik) – Sarah Schachner
  4. Hausbrjótr – Skullcrusher – Einar Selvik
  5. Odin’s Plunder – Sarah Schachner
  6. The Well of Wyrd – Jesper Kyd
  7. Vígahugr – Lust for Battle (Skaldic Version) – Einar Selvik

On composing the main theme, Sarah Schachner said that, “We wanted the atmosphere of the theme to instantly transport the listener to another time and place, filled with mystery and uncertainty. There are Norse instruments, but they are used in a more modern way. The theme represents Eivor’s journey as well as the Vikings’ hope for a better life as they move further south into the Anglo-Saxon regions.”

Jesper Kyd added, “We wanted to evoke Eivor’s journey, what drives them and the bond they have with their family. Eivor is searching for something and this longing to find it and resolve it is a key element reflected in the melody and mood.”

With development led by Ubisoft Montreal*, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla follows the epic saga of Eivor, a fierce Viking raider raised on tales of battle and glory. Offering a captivating Viking experience, the game brings players to a beautiful and mysterious open world set against the brutal backdrop of England’s Dark Ages. Players can take advantage of new features including raids, settlement customization, and an upgraded combat system in a quest to earn a place among the gods in Valhalla. Assassin’s Creed® Valhalla, will release worldwide on November 17, 2020 on Xbox One, PlayStation®4, Stadia, and for Windows PC exclusively on both the Epic Games Store and the Ubisoft Store. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will release on Xbox Series X and PlayStation®5 upon the launch of the consoles.

AWARD-WINNING COMPOSER INON ZUR SCORES ‘OUTRIDERS’

SQUARE ENIX® today revealed EMMY Award winner and three-time BAFTA nominated composer Inon Zur is scoring the music for OUTRIDERS™, the highly anticipated upcoming RPG-Shooter from People Can Fly, the developers of Gears of War: Judgment and BULLETSTORM, and Square Enix External Studios, the minds behind SLEEPING DOGS® and JUST CAUSE®.

“As a composer it’s always extremely exciting to be involved in building new worlds and telling new stories, so I’m thrilled to reveal that I have composed the score for People Can Fly and Square Enix’s epic sci-fi action game ‘OUTRIDERS’. It was a lot of fun blending heavy orchestral soundscapes and futuristic musical sound design for this rollercoaster sci-fi adventure and I can’t wait to share the music with you,” said Inon Zur.

“We were really excited to have Inon on board to do the soundtrack for the game. He’s a legend in the industry and the team were big fans of his work already,” said Bartek Kmita, Creative Director of OUTRIDERS at People Can Fly. “He worked closely with us to develop a sound that fit with the story and world that we’re creating, and he composed truly dynamic and powerful tracks for us that added so much depth to the tone and feel of the game.”

OUTRIDERS is a massive experience, not just in terms of the amount of hours of gameplay it will offer, but in how far you travel in the course of the game’s dark sci-fi story. The campaign will take you on an epic journey across Enoch, a savage world where everything has mysteriously hyper-evolved to wipe Humanity from the face of the planet. From the mud and dirt of the desperate Human colony, to the wild and mysterious jungles and stark, unforgiving deserts, you will explore the far reaches of the frontiers, gain incredible powers, and make discoveries that change everything.

OUTRIDERS will release on PlayStation 5®, PlayStation 4®, Xbox Series X, the Xbox One family of devices, and PC in Holiday 2020.

Beyond Blue Game Soundtrack release announced

The Flaming LipsThe MaríasTOKiMONSTACass McCombsMaisey Rika, award-winning composer Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper, and newcomer Sophie Gibson, are among 14 artists featured on the original soundtrack to E-Line Media’s Beyond Blue, an exciting new science-driven, ocean adventure game inspired by the BBC’s critically-acclaimed, award-winning documentary series Blue Planet II.

Beyond Blue Original Soundtrack, which is executive produced by legendary music supervisor Karyn Rachtman and her son Otis Rachtman, will be released digitally on July 2 by Mind Your Music/Universal Music New Zealand (https://umusicnz.lnk.to/BeyondBlue). Mind Your Music/Vinyl Me, Please will release a limited-edition of the soundtrack on 180 gram Aqua Blue and Silver Galaxy vinyl, with pre-orders on July 5 at 10 am EDT. Vinyl Me, Please Club members can exclusively pre-order it 48 hours in advance beginning July 3 at 10 am EDT. at https://www.vinylmeplease.com/products/various-artists-beyond-blue-original-soundtrack.

TRACK LISTING 

* On download and physical album only

  1. Beyond Blue Original Theme (4:55) – Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper 
  2. Something In The Water (Mickey P Mix) (3:12) – Sophie Gibson & Amitė 
  3. Love That Never (3:35) – TOKiMONSTA 
  4. *All We Have Is Now (3:54) – The Flaming Lips 
  5. We Don’t Have Much Time (3:05) – LIPS
  6. On The Shore (3:55) – Slow Skies
  7. Renunciation (4:21) – Rachelle Eve 
  8. Brighter! (feat. Karen Black) (3:51) – Cass McCombs
  9. Tangaroa Whakamautai (4:10) – Maisey Rika
  10. Last Castaways (3:05) – doubleVee
  11. Suzie Noma (3:04) – Muthoni Drummer Queen
  12. Escaping by the Moment (3:40) – The Edisons
  13. Driftwood (4:57) – Vanderocker

With an eclectic mix of psychedelic indie-pop, electronic, alt rock, and world music by established artists and indie darlings, the soundtrack alsoincludes songs by Muthoni Drummer QueenLIPS, doubleVeeSlow SkiesRachelle EveThe EdisonsVanderockerSophie Gibson and Amitė. The Rachtmans curated the soundtrack to complement the unique narrative and environment of the game, where players are explorers experiencing the awesome wonder, mysteries, and creatures under the sea.

“Otis and I would constantly sit around trying to imagine what sounds, vibe, and lyrics would be on the world’s coolest underwater playlist compiled by scientists in a futuristic submarine. The soundtrack is truly international, reflecting the diversity of the characters and the discovery, awe, and impermanence of the oceans,” said Karyn Rachtman, the legendary executive soundtrack producer and music supervisor of several of the most critically acclaimed and best-selling soundtracks of all time, such as Pulp Fiction, Boogie Nights, Reality Bites, CluelessTheSpongebob SquarePants MovieMoulin Rouge!, Office Space, Laurel Canyon, and Reservoir Dogsamong many others.

“Besides complementing the visual splendor and action on screen, the music of Beyond Blue plays several roles, serving the story as well as the interactive and listening experience of the game. You can unlock access to certain songs at various levels and express yourself by your selections,” said Otis Rachtman.

With offices in both Los Angeles and Auckland, NZ, Karyn Rachtman is a fan of New Zealand music, and connected the dots to bring into the project several Kiwi artists, as well as award-winning New Zealand composer, arranger, and producer Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper. Bridgman-Cooper, who composed the Beyond Blue score and “Beyond Blue Original Theme,” previously worked with The Rachtmans on Netflix’s Moving Art series. His credits include director Lee Tamahori’s film Mahana, the hit indie film Housebound, the award-winning documentary Ken Dewey: This Is A Test, among many others. He also produced New Zealand singer/songwriter Maisey Rika’s 2012 hit single, “Tangaroa Whakamautai,” which is prominently featured in the Beyond Blue game, soundtrack, and promotional trailer.

“I fell in love with the beautiful ballad “Tangaroa Whakamautai” that Maisey Rika sang in Te Reo Māori, which is an indigenous language central to New Zealand’s culture, identity, and heritage. Like Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper’s score, the song is dreamy and fitting for Beyond Blue, with lyrics about TANGAROA, the mythical God of the ocean. The song has really resonated with the gamers, and we’re seeing a lot of great comments posted,” said Karyn Rachtman.

Other New Zealand artists include LIPS (“We Don’t Have Much Time”) and newcomer Sophie Gibson. Gibsona 20-year-old singer/songwriter discovered by Rachtman, co-wrote and recorded “Something In The Water (Mickey Petralia Mix)” with American artists Amitė (Jorgen Baertsch and Christopher Gerber). Two versions of the song were produced by Grammy award-winning American producer/mixer Mickey Petralia (Flight of the Conchords, Beck, Eels, Peaches). A full version of the song is used as the end title over the credits. A separate, stripped down version of “Something in the Water” is also heard in the game when two characters discuss a demo song by a fictitious character named “Sophie.”

The focus on incorporating music into the game in such a creative way stemmed from E-Line Media’s development process working with leading international ocean scientists. Michael Angst, E-Line Media Creative Director and CEO, said: “We learned from scientists how music was such a huge part of their expeditions, from listening on the ships to finding a playlist as they traveled to the bottom of the ocean in submarines. So we knew the music had to be special, interactive and an emotional experience for players.”

Since release Beyond Blue has received positive critical press from major gaming news outlets across the world. The game is already hugely popular with influencers who have streamed the game to a global audience of over 2 million viewers. Beyond Blue is currently available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Apple Arcade. To purchase the game, visit http://www.beyondbluegame.com/.

Maneater Official Soundtrack Emerges from the Depths

Maneater developer and publisher Tripwire Interactive announced today that the official soundtrack for the award-winning action-RPG where you play as a shark (ShARkPG) is out now. Available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and Deezer with direct-from-artist purchase on Bandcamp, the official soundtrack for Maneater will take players on an audio journey from the shallow swampy waters of Fawtick Bayou to the depths of the deep blue sea in The Gulf.

In addition, Tripwire Interactive is proud to break ties with traditional official soundtrack sales models, and have adopted a more collaborative perspective to the soundtrack release. That deeper creative partnership bore an agreement where the soundtrack’s creator, Metal Gear Solid V composer Daniel James, will retain full, exclusive rights to sell the official soundtrack after launch and will keep 100% of direct sales revenue, while Tripwire Interactive maintains the rights to use that music in current and further Maneater content and marketing. This invested, collaborative approach to working with artists of all mediums mirrors the driving philosophy behind Tripwire Interactive’s publishing division, Tripwire Presents, and their commitment to supporting independent creatives, offering contract artists, who are normally part of the gig economy, a more vested stake in the projects they take on.

“This arrangement gave Daniel a sense of real ownership for the Maneater soundtrack project,” explains Mark Muraski, Audio Director at Tripwire Interactive. “The level of commitment from Daniel throughout this collaboration far outweighed any revenue Tripwire Interactive would “lose” from sales with a standard sales model. Our company has always paid royalties to composers, but we believe this new model offers an even greater step towards providing contract artists a vested stake in the projects they take on.”

“One of the joys of working with Tripwire is their unfaltering support in the vision of artists and this agreement further proved that point to me,” noted Maneater soundtrack composer Daniel James. ‘We support our artist’ is an easy thing to say, but allowing me to publish my own work and exclusively profit from it goes beyond a generous gesture to a genuine support for me as an artist.”

Maneater is a single player, open-world action-RPG (ShARkPG) where YOU are the shark. Starting as a small bull shark pup you are tasked with surviving the harsh world while eating your way up the ecosystem. To do this, you will explore a large and varied open world encountering diverse enemies — both human and wildlife. Find the right resources and you can grow and evolve far beyond what nature intended, allowing the player to tailor the shark to their play style. This is fortunate, because to get revenge on the cruel fisherman that dismembered you will take evolving into a massive shark, an apex predator of legends. Eat. Explore. Evolve.

With a truly unique premise and never-before-seen approach to the action-RPG genre, Tripwire Interactive looks forward to taking players on a journey through uncharted waters with Maneater.

Maneater is out now for $39.99 / €39.99 / £34.99 MSRP with an ESRB rating of M for Mature, PEGI 18 rating, and USK 16 rating. For more details on Maneater, please visit the official website – and follow the developers at Tripwire Interactive on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch.tv, and Instagram.

God of War unleashed on a new medium

Crafted after Kratos’s Leviathan Axe and Atreus’ in-game journal, these limited-edition, official God of War notebooks have been made by art gallery and publisher Cook and Becker in conjunction with Sony Santa Monica Studio, the creators of God of War. They are available to order from Cook and Becker’s store from today: http://bit.ly/GodofWarNotebook (worldwide shipping)

The notebooks come in a luxury collector box and have subtly lined paper, interspersed with pages of rare God of War concept art and in-game drawings. The Collector’s Edition of these notebooks also includes a small giclee art print and fun accessories like copper Kratos and Atreus paper clips, stickers, a stamp and pencils.

This God of War notebook set is the third release in the exclusive Cook and Becker high-end notebook line, following very successful notebook releases for The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and Horizon Zero Dawn earlier this year.

The Music of Red Dead Redemption 2: Original Score Out Now

The Music of Red Dead Redemption 2: Original Score is now available on all major digital music platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify.

Presented in collaboration with Lakeshore Records, The Music Of Red Dead Redemption 2: Original Score was composed by longtime Rockstar collaborator Woody Jackson and features contributions from a wide range of artists and musicians from around the world, including Arca, Colin Stetson, Senyawa, David Ferguson, Jon Theodore and more.

Describing the score as “Full of haunting strings and atmospheric guitar,” the Los Angeles Times said, “Jackson’s score for ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ shares more with the film music of Ennio Morricone and the spooky desert rock of ‘Kiko’-era Los Lobos; it’s an immersive experience — finely detailed but somehow also defined by negative space.”

Track List:

1. By 1899, The Age Of Outlaws And Gunslingers Was At An End – Jeff Silverman, Woody Jackson & Luke O’Malley
2. Outlaws From The West – Woody Jackson
3. Blessed Are The Peacemakers – Woody Jackson
4. Mrs. Sadie Adler, Widow – Woody Jackson
5. Revenge Is A Dish Best Eaten – Mario Batkovic & Woody Jackson
6. It All Makes Sense Now – Woody Jackson
7. The Fine Art Of Conversation – Woody Jackson
8. Banking, The Old American Art – Michael Leonhart & Woody Jackson
9. There She Is…A Real City, The Future – Mario Batkovic
10. Everybody Wake Up – Woody Jackson
11. Welcome To The New World – Senyawa & Colin Stetson
12. Paradise Mercifully Departed – Senyawa, Woody Jackson & Colin Stetson
13. Doctor’s Opinion – Colin Stetson
14. Fleeting Joy – Colin Stetson & Woody Jackson
15. Icarus And Friends – Colin Stetson, David Ralicke & Jeff Silverman
16. Country Pursuits – Arca & Woody Jackson
17. An American Pastoral Scene – Woody Jackson
18. Blood Feuds, Ancient And Modern – Woody Jackson
19. Red Dead Redemption – Woody Jackson
20. The Wheel – Woody Jackson
21. American Venom – Woody Jackson
22. American Reprise – Woody Jackson
 

Also available:
The Music of Red Dead Redemption 2: Original Soundtrack

‘Days Gone’ Original Soundtrack Available Now

Sony Music announces the release of DAYS GONE (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK) with music by NATHAN WHITEHEAD (The Purge, He’s Out There, Delirium, Keanu). Available Friday, April 19, the soundtrack features music from Days Gone, the upcoming, open-world action game, which launches exclusively on the PlayStation®4 system Friday, April 26. The 25-track collection also includes features from rising artists Jack Savoretti, Billy Raffoul & Zander Reese, as well as “Days Gone Quiet,” performed by Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi.

Of the soundtrack, composer NATHAN WHITEHEAD says: “The ideas that define the score are the tenacity of the human spirit and the value of relationships. Early in the process John Garvin, creative director at Sony’s Bend Studio, described to me how the game isn’t simply about surviving, it also examines why we want to survive. When I heard that, I was instantly excited about all the places the music could go. I found it really interesting to be navigating the survival aspect and also this introspective aspect at the same time.

The Pacific Northwest setting is absolutely beautiful and it really felt like the score needed to connect to this environment as well. Deacon and the environment seemed to call for an organic, lived-in sound with a touch of Americana.”

At its core, Days Gone is about survivors and what makes them human: desperation, loss, madness, betrayal, friendship, brotherhood, regret, love – and hope. It’s about how even when confronted with such enormous tragedy they find a reason to live. Hope never dies. You play as Deacon St. John, a bounty hunter, traveling through vast and diverse landscapes in the high desert of the Pacific Northwest. In a narrative that begins two years after a global pandemic, Deacon is facing a brutal struggle for survival in hostile environments filled with infected humans and animals known as Freakers. The threats in Days Gone are dynamic and change with extreme weather and time of day. Trails become muddy in the rain, Freakers become stronger in the snow and more numerous at night, and day brings more ambushes from marauders. Players must consider these variables for each encounter to strategize their approach at each attempt. Many different items and weapons can be crafted using items found in the field, including brutal melee weapons and traps. Customizable weapons and skills offer true freedom in how the game is played.

DAYS GONE (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK)
TRACKLISTING –
1 Days Gone
2 The Freakshow
3 We’ve All Done Things
4 Rest in Peace
5 Finding NERO
6 The Broken Road
7 The Rager Bear
8 A Good Soldier
9 Lost Lake
10 I Remember
11 Keep Them Safe
12 Riding NOMAD
13 Promises and Regrets
14 You’re Safe Now
15 What Did You Do?
16 Drifting Away
17 Sarah’s Theme
18 Light One Candle
19 Never Give Up
20 Holy War
21 Why We Fight
22 Soldier’s Eyes (performed by Jack Savoretti)
23 Hell or High Water (performed by Billy Raffoul)
24 Days Gone Quiet (performed by Lewis Capaldi)
25 Yesterday (performed by Zander Reese)

SUMTHING ELSE MUSIC WORKS TO RELEASE WARHAMMER: THE END TIMES – VERMINTIDE OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK

SUMTHING ELSE MUSIC WORKS TO RELEASE

WARHAMMER: THE END TIMES – VERMINTIDE OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK

Jesper Kyd’s chilling score for the Skaven horde invades digital and streaming outlets on September 26

Today, Sumthing Else Music Works announced that BAFTA award-winning Danish composer Jesper Kyd’s dark and twisted acoustic soundtrack for the first person melee/shooter Warhammer: The End Times – Vermintide, based on the popular Games Workshop Warhammer series, will be released via digital and streaming outlets on September 26. The 36-track album compiled by Kyd includes the core game’s original soundtrack, new music from the DLC expansions as well as instrumental songs heard in the game’s local tavern, Red Moon Inn.  Pre-order the official soundtrack now at Amazon, iTunes and Sumthing.com.

“It’s a dynamic, raw and violent score that belongs to Vermintide’s dark medieval setting,” says Jesper Kyd. “We wanted the score to sound like it was performed by a Skaven band on acoustic instruments mangled by some mad Skaven scientist in the dark ages. It’s very different from anything I have written in the past.”

Kyd also mixed the score’s visceral tracks with more traditional folk music, performed by a three-piece band in an old English-style pub, the Red Moon Inn, to give contrast to the intense combat experience and Skaven music, and to further define the historical period of Vermintide’s world. 

Developed by independent games studio Fatshark in Sweden, Warhammer: The End Times – Vermintide is a co-operative action first person shooter and melee combat adventure set in the End Times of the iconic Warhammer fantasy universe. Vermintide is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

For more information on Warhammer Vermintide visit www.vermintide.com.

For more information on Sumthing Else Music Works and its complete catalog of video game soundtracks, visit www.sumthing.com, like us at Facebook.com/SumthingElseMusicWorks and follow us on Twitter @sumthingdigital.

ARK: SURVIVAL EVOLVED Soundtrack Now Available

Sumthing Else Music Works, the premier record label dedicated to releasing video game soundtracks, and independent game developer, Studio Wildcard, are proud to present the epic orchestral soundtrack to the definitive open-world dinosaur survival-adventure game, ARK: Survival Evolved. Composed by Gareth Coker (Minecraft, Ori and the Blind Forest), the official soundtrack album will be released August 29 via digital and streaming outlets worldwide through Sumthing Else Music Works  https://www.sumthing.com.

“Gareth’s mind-blowing sense of melody and uncanny expertise at reinforcing specific themes and emotions through his music helped shape the identity of ARK: Survival Evolved from the very beginning,” said Jesse Rapczak, Co-Founder and Co-Creative Director of Studio Wildcard. “Starting with that iconic main theme written for our first announcement trailer, Gareth continued to deliver a huge and varied score that brought to life every part of the game, be it the beach, the mountains, the jungles, the desert, the caves, the EPIC boss battles and even the out-of-this-world science-fiction climax of ARK‘s End Game. The score was so good, that we had no choice but to send Gareth to Abbey Road to record the entire thing with the 93-piece Philharmonia Orchestra!”

After graduating in composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London, English-born composer Gareth Coker traveled the world extensively to study music from different countries, including Japan, before completing the film scoring program at the University of Southern California. This multi-cultural background has enabled Coker to draw upon numerous musical influences that have shaped his rich and versatile musical sound and he has continued to develop a compositional style focusing on memorable, melodically-driven themes and motifs, combined with unique, and unconventional soundscapes. This approach, and his ability to apply it in a way that always serves to enhance the story earned him the attention of Moon Studios, which led to a highly successful collaboration on the acclaimed game Ori and the Blind Forest. Coker’s universally critically acclaimed soundtrack for Ori and the Blind Forest was honored with several prestigious awards, including the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences award for Outstanding Music Composition and SXSW Gaming Award for Excellence in Musical Score, and his success in the field led to him being awarded recognition as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) for his significant contribution to the music profession.

For his latest musical journey and collaboration with Studio Wildcard on ARK: Survival Evolved, Gareth Coker explains, “The scope and size of the score of ARK: Survival Evolved, whilst intimidating, has pushed me to write in ways I didn’t know I was capable of. And to cap it all off, with a gargantuan 3-day recording session in London with the amazing Philharmonia Orchestra really helped glue the entire score together. For the two years I’ve been working on the game, I’ve been able to see the lightning in a bottle that Studio Wildcard captured, and watch it blossom and grow on Twitch and YouTube throughout the early access program, into the monster it has become today. I can’t wait to revisit the Island and beyond with more music for the upcoming expansions to the game!”

Powered by Unreal Engine 4, ARK: Survival Evolved takes on the survival genre with a unique blend of emergent multiplayer cooperation and competition. Players awake stranded and starving on the beach of a mysterious island among a herd of other confused humans. On ARK, they must then hunt, harvest, craft, research technology, and build shelters to protect against scorching days, freezing nights, volatile weather systems, dangerous wildlife, and potential enemies. Tame, train, ride and breed one of 100 amazing dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts, including gargantuan creatures on a scale never before seen in video games! Fly a Pteranodon squadron over the snow-capped mountains, race through the deep jungle with your pack of trained Raptors, tromp through a fortified enemy base along a convoy of gigantic Brontosaurus, or chase down prey on the back of a raging T-Rex.

ARK: Survival Evolved will launch worldwide in retail stores and on digital platforms on August 29, 2017, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam PC. Visit www.playark.com for more dino-tastic news.