With little notice, the full ensemble returns. The Javelins fly! And we hear the ancient droning Didgeridoo seamlessly cross-fade into a modern synthesised bass. It defines the return of the fanfare but reminds us that underneath the familiar and bright strings of this Anthemic Anthem, lies the foundations of an ancient and darker place. A fitting metaphor for the world at large…
And then…you start humming again…
*Insert eery alien leitmotif*
The alien choral melisma makes a comeback! It plays as a counterpoint to the warming melody now whirling from the full ensemble. The Javelins are in cruise mode. The sky blurs.
At this point you are humming again…and the strings enchant you with a small melisma of their own moving up and down the scale, as if charming a snake (ranger?) to confront and subdue the alien tones.
We are left then with empty nothingness. With the fanfare gone, the alien choral sound echoes through the land. The Anthem of Creation signifies it’s intent. More than an energy field, it battles against the call of the Relics: Active. Pulsing. Surging. Waiting to be silenced.
The Rangers are gone, they have triumphed as one. Or have they?
What remains out there?
It doesn’t matter.
A lone, disconcerting violin grinds a near off-key whine.
It’s unnerving. Destabilising.
The final synthesised bass is heard…quickly overpowered by sounds of the ancient.
Fade to Silence.
Game Musical Scores carry a weight.
A persona. A responsibility.
They shape our experiences and reinforce a tale’s impact.
They are checkpoints, tragedies, triumphs, memories, beginnings and ends.
So far, Anthem with it’s leitmotifs, encourages us to think about the journey ahead.
It also leverages acoustics as a real purpose to the game (with references to Anthem, The Anthem of Creation and the design of the Relics themselves).
It’s sound is confident, yet eery. And it remains formulaic enough to be familiar. Welcoming.
In the weeks and months ahead, we look forward to not just seeing, but hearing the music and sounds of Anthem.
It is clear that strong audio design will be advantageous to Anthem.
For music “can name the unnameable…and communicate the unknowable” – Leonard Bernstein.
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