Monday, 3 November 2014

Exclusive Preview - The 13th Age Soundtrack

James Semple has been writing music for Pelgrane Press for a while now. I got a lot of use and gave a lot of love to his previous compositions for Ashen Stars ('All We Have Forgotten') and Night's Black Agents ('Dust and Mirrors'), but he's been working on a soundtrack that I'm really excited about - music for the 13th Age roleplaying game.

The tracks that I've heard, two of which I'll be sharing with you here, are incredible and promise to add a lot of depth to your campaign.

I caught up with James a few days ago to find out a bit more about the score, and asked him about how he was approaching the source material and the sound he wanted to create, and about the creation process between him and the game's creators.

'The entire team was hugely inspired by the source material. We would also work closely with Rob Heinsoo about our ideas and get his feedback and input. This was absolutely invaluable in terms of really capturing the right spirit for the game and imbuing the music with authenticity. The tracks were surprisingly varied conjuring many different moods and often using eclectic instrumentation. The Dragon Empire is full of wondrous locations that immediately get the creative juices flowing. You think "I have a GREAT idea for this place" and then run into the studio and start writing! Once we'd written and orchestrated the music we then employed live soloists to really help bring this all to life!'

I've also got a couple of tracks to share today. The first is the main theme, and I asked James about what he was looking for in the music.

'So the very first thing I created for this suite was the main 13th Age theme. Although it's ostensibly a fantasy theme for me this all about adventure! I wanted a rousing, swashbuckling theme that just gave that timeless quality of excitement and heroism! I wanted players to hear it and think "yeah I want to go and adventure in THAT world!"'

The second track was 'Dreams of a Lost Age', and I asked James about how he developed this particular track.

'At the other end of the spectrum, Dreams of a Lost Age was the last thing I wrote for the suite. I wanted this to feel like a kind of plaintive Elven lullaby that harkens back to their ancient realms, now lost beneath the seas. I wrote this specifically for the fantastic violinist, Eos Chater, and it was wonderful to hear her sublime playing on this piece. This is a real personal favourite of mine and a last minute addition to the suite.'

The 13th Age score is shaping up to be an invaluable addition to any gamer's collection, and I for one am more than excited about it. It's released very soon, so keep your eyes and ears open on the run up to Christmas.

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