Last week we finally first properly looked at what was waiting for us and the alloy at Horizon Forbidden West. Guerrillas have captivated us with new gameplay mechanics to learn, new machines to overcome, and new places to explore... And along with that visual showcase, there were some fascinating yet too short debuts of the game’s soundtrack. Today we stay at that score.
First, a chance to separate and absorb four tracks from the State of Play demo to form The Isle of Spiers EP, which has just been released to a streaming service – Listen here..
Second, I’m excited to reveal the composer behind the music of Horizon Forbidden West. Joris de Man, Niels van de Leest, and the composer duo The Flight are all back from Horizon Zero Dawn, with Oleksa Lozowchuk joining the sequel.
To commemorate the release of the EP, a roundtable meeting was held with composer and guerrilla music supervisor Lucas Vantall to share the first details of what players should expect from Horizontal Forbidden West. .. Its wide range of chats, among other things, is the challenge of building on what happened before, the challenge of deciding who worked on what (“There’s a lot more music than Horizon Zero Dawn”, Van. Tol explains the need), and composition (interesting fact: one composer creates his own instrument). But first, the introduction:
Put the band back
Consideration for the sequel music has begun. [one]”Van Tol jokes.
Guerrilla music supervisors are believed to not only define which aspects of Horizon Forbidden West music each of the four composers will work on, but also track them all. Creating a sequel to an open world soundscape that covers, but is not limited to, tribes, characters, enemies, locations, and clues, and evolving it from its predecessor was, of course, a daunting task. .. It makes sense to split and split. Van Tol played both the ringmaster and conductor, briefing and guiding the group throughout the production. He also wanted a different approach to the score of the game. “At the Horizon Zero Dawn, we initially focused on the location,” he explains. “This time, we wanted to track the story more closely and create a more fluent and emotional experience outside of the cutscenes.”
Earlier collaborations helped the studio decide on the best way to move forward. Alexis Smith of Flight states that Van Thor gained valuable insights into the sound and strengths of each composer. “He usually has a pretty good view of which part he wants to compose.” So Joris de Man works on emotional clues that are “not relevant to a particular region” and, like the original. , Niels van der Leest dealt with the percussive music of certain events such as hunting and music in all tribal areas in the game. There was an exception. The character arc, which includes major movies and quests, is wholly owned by one composer, ensuring the continuity of the theme.
Oleksa Lozowchuk’s mission was broader and covered “all types”. “It really helped to develop a stronger sense of how different types of music interweave game arcs and harmonize with each other.” With all accounts, he said from the beginning. I was listening to the world. Lozowchuk, an industry veteran who has worked in Capcom Vancouver for over seven years, joined the composition list after impressing the team with his audition work.
However, he continued to check the works of other composers on a regular basis to make sure they were cohesive. Like the rest; because we are stationed in different countries around the world, group calls and shared cloud drives were the fastest way to check in. These provide guidance and a chance to connect with peers during a forced break by Covid (“I moved the rig home and continued from there,” Alexis remembers). Sharing also led to unexpected collaborations. “Flight has decided to reuse and remix my vocal assets from one of the nine-part choruses I wrote for one of the game’s tribes,” recalls Oleksa. “They used it in their own way to embody different scenes in completely different contexts of the game.”
Meet the musicians behind Horizon Forbidden West. From left to right: composer duo The Flight (Alexis Smith, Joe Henson), guerrilla audio lead Bastian Seelbach, guerrilla music supervisor Lucas Van Tol, composer Oleksa Lozowchuk, Niels van der Leest, Joris de Man.
Lozowchuk first fully devoted himself to the original soundtrack to understand the idea of the alloy world, then embarked on the previous “praises and contours” to build variations and fragments of the previous theme, while at the same time. Created a new emotional beat for the player. He was not alone. Flight loaded the original recording session to remind him of the process, and Joris Deman looked back at his work to “understand why those tracks worked.”
All bullying that will hear the theme returned from the original. Alloy’s theme is one, “although it’s adapted to new games,” as deMan confirms. The track captures the growing confidence of the alloy in the course of the first game, but how can it evolve further and maintain its familiar resonance? “It’s probably one of the most interesting aspects of. [this sequel] For me, “he replies.
For him and other returning composers, they were keen to find new additions to overlay the DNA of the music they defined on the world. “We knew this was a new area of sound. We couldn’t retread the previous game,” deMan acknowledges the challenge.
They all turned to both the real world and alloys for inspiration. “You read the inside story of a part of the world of Horizon Forbidden West you’re working on,” van der Leest gives an overview when he comes back. “Find similarities to our own (musical) history and then create something new.” Olexa is a great balance between the music the team returns and the new scores. I feel that I have found. “I don’t want to keep those who love the first game away, but I want to give them a lot to explore and travel for the sequel.”
Find a new sound
Is there anything off limits or something that doesn’t fit into the game’s acoustic palette? Again, everyone is pointing to Lucas van Thor and putting everyone on the right track. “He was able to give us feedback when he submitted works such as’Don’t use this instrument because it’s related to this tribe,’” deMan outlines. “Use some of these textures or hear what one of the other composers did to get the right atmosphere in this area.”
The composer goes into more detail. “The main focus was to come up with organic textures and sounds that fit the aesthetics of the Horizon Forbidden West gaming world, while upgrading from the sound that was the basis of Horizon Zero Dawn. There’s a bit more synthesizer work and synthetic textures to complement the organic tones than in the previous game. ”For van der Leest, he always has our protagonist in mind. “An important theme for me has always been to see the world through the eyes of the alloy. She again faces difficult challenges that affect the way she sees the world around her.”
Interesting facts emerge from the back of the question. Along with tracking lesser-known instruments and researching instruments for each tribe, Niels van der Reese was even more immersed in the world of alloys by creating his own. “People in that world have no memory of our society,” he explains why. “That’s why they build their instruments from scratch, often different from what we see in our world.”
The creative process is individual. Joris de Man tries some unique tricks, such as making noodles on the piano or picking a violin with paper between the strings (“Why?”). He says his palette is now coarser and more raw, a style that reflects the forbidden west of “more dangerous areas, more uncertainty first.”
Van der Leest takes a “holiday” from the studio and his keyboard to ensure cleanliness before starting to track the new area. The flight covers the workspace with thematic visuals to inspire the experiment. Olexa rattles a stunning list of instruments, including the organic, indigenous percussion, and synthetic instruments he uses to build the corners of the world. “I listen to the increase and decrease in energy passing through all the melodies, harmonies and textures at different listening levels and simply keep my attention until the saturation point is reached. There is enough sound to release. If you hear it, you can move on. ”
A unique soundtrack
“One of the things I’m proud of what the composition team has achieved at Horizon Zero Dawn is that the music seemed to fit naturally. People heard it and said,” Of course. I thought it should sound like that, which is a natural part of the Horizon world, “says Joris de Man about the success of creating a unique soundscape in 2017. Vander Leest emphasizes as well. “This was one of the most exciting parts of music production. It sounds somewhat familiar, but it creates a sound that you can’t always put your finger on. Certainly there are instruments you recognize. , In combination with other, more unrealistic instruments and electronics, they sounded new and fresh. ”
The original game approach was to create a soundtrack that players had never heard of before. The composer has that in mind for the sequel. “It’s the same vein, but it’s different,” Alexis says interestingly about the through line between the original and this latest work. Orexa calls the result “sound alchemy.” “In this project, we used human voices to create non-human sounds and used acoustic instruments to approximate human voices and phrases.” Everything with the opportunity to return to this world and grow its soundscape. Has become fine. Niels van der Leest summarizes: “Holizon Forbidden West is a special project that always challenges you to think out of the box. Making music for this game is a unique experience.”