Card Dungeon

citrat piller

Over the past several months, I have had the pleasure of working with the wonderful guys at Playtap Games to create a score for their game Card Dungeon, now out on the App Store.  This charming game is a dash of roguelike, a dash of collectible card game, and a big sloppy helping of delicious 1980s tabletop nostalgia.  I’ve posted a few clips from the soundtrack over at my SoundCloud page:

In the early stages of planning the score, I spent some time considering how to best approach the music.  The game does not take itself particularly seriously, and I definitely wanted to avoid weighing it down with a ponderous and straight-faced “epic fantasy” score, but I also wanted to steer clear of the sort of whimsical, vaguely cartoon-inspired music that ends up in a lot of mobile games.

Card Dungeon developer Fredrik Skarstedt offered some ideas for reference tracks–everything from early music to the Crusader Kings 2 soundtrack.  But there was one thing that was missing: rock.  Like me, Fredrik is a big fan of prog rock and metal, and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like it would be fun to try to somehow incorporate our shared love of face-melting guitar into the score for the game.  I suggested an approach similar to Brian May’s fantastic pseudo-baroque guitar choir work from the early Queen albums, but applied in such a way that the electric guitars would be treated as just another section of the orchestra.  Fredrik cautiously agreed that maybe that might possibly be pretty cool, and thus was the soundtrack to Card Dungeon born, with a lute clenched in one hand and the other hand hoisting the goblet of rock.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the music and the game.

The Magician’s Land

I recently had the opportunity to score a book trailer for one of my favorite authors, Lev Grossman.  Lev’s concept for the trailer was to crowdsource a reading of the opening of the novel, with homemade videos submitted by both readers and some very notable authors.   The end result is unavoidably a little rough around the edges, but I think it’s got a lot of heart.  The trailer is posted over at Buzzfeed Books.

I’ve also posted the score on my SoundCloud page.  I’m pleased with how it came out, and I hope you enjoy it.

Update: The Magician’s Land trailer soundtrack is now on YouTube.  Audio quality is slightly better than SoundCloud, so maybe take that for a spin.

Looking back, and forward

We are almost a month into 2014, and the New Year is already beginning to have that lived-in feeling.  Days are gradually getting longer.  I haven’t accidentally written ’2013′ on anything for AT LEAST one week.  All things considered, it is probably about 31 days too late for a look back at the old year, but it’s going to be difficult to discuss the new one without a little context, so I will make it short.

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Fresh tunes

As a teenager, I loved to pore through the liner notes of my favorite albums looking for lists of synthesizers and samplers that the artists had used in the recording, and I loved to dissect the arrangements from product demo CDs like Roland: A Sound Approach.  Today, I still get a bit of a nostalgic thrill when I am asked to create product demos for sample libraries.  I figure, somewhere there’s an awkward 15-year-old who is devouring that stuff the way I once did.

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Almost Spring

Days are slowly getting longer, and although it is still soggy and grey on the Washington coast, there is evidence that we may soon be able to turn off our SAD lamps and stop pounding vitamin D supplements!  As usual, there is news and new tunes to share with you, after the break.

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award-winning composer Ian Dorsch.