Transcript of RuneScape: The Road to Harmony

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[00:00] we're always busy as an audio team and
[00:01] we're always writing lots of music but
[00:03] over the last six months or so we've
[00:05] been doing something very special that
[00:07] we hope that you fans will enjoy
[00:10] [Music]
[00:18] [Music]
[00:25] I started at Jagex in 2003 and one of my
[00:29] first tasks was to write as many pieces
[00:31] and music as possible and spread them
[00:33] all over the gameworld tech that we used
[00:36] at the time was fairly basic it was just
[00:38] called general MIDI which is the
[00:39] standard kind of sounds that you get
[00:41] from a computer sound card I had to use
[00:43] that set of sounds as far as I possibly
[00:46] could and stretch them so that I could
[00:47] have as many different sounds and many
[00:49] different melodies and pieces of music
[00:51] as possible musics vital to reinstate
[00:54] because it's such a massive open fantasy
[00:55] world it would take like weeks to walk
[00:57] around all of it so effectively you got
[00:59] a soundtrack all of that and not only
[01:01] that it's a world that we want you to
[01:02] immerse yourself into and it's a
[01:04] storytelling world so the players got to
[01:06] be fully absorbed in that world and
[01:08] that's a massive library I think some of
[01:10] those early tracks that Ian wrote have
[01:12] really stood the test of time because
[01:14] they're really simple melodies melodies
[01:16] that he repeats and builds on and
[01:18] they're just Tunes that get stuck in
[01:21] people's heads and they become part of
[01:23] people's of nostalgic memories of the
[01:25] game over the years the technology is
[01:29] improved we've had the ability to play
[01:32] proper live music so we went to
[01:34] Bratislava we recorded an orchestra
[01:36] there most of the music we record these
[01:39] days has live instruments violins cellos
[01:43] accordions singers all sorts of things
[01:46] runescape is a living game and I mean
[01:48] it's going to keep growing it's going to
[01:50] keep evolving and the audio has to do
[01:51] that too and that's hugely challenging
[01:52] but also hugely exciting and this
[01:54] project is an integral part of that the
[01:57] vision for this project was to create an
[01:59] exciting new soundtrack that raised the
[02:01] bar from what we've done previously taps
[02:03] into nostalgic themes brand new melodies
[02:07] that helped take us into the future we
[02:09] wanted to retain the original spirit of
[02:11] the runescape music but we wanted the
[02:13] quality and the production to be really
[02:15] bumped up to the next level what better
[02:17] way than to record the fill ammonia at
[02:19] Abbey Road
[02:26] James Hanigan is a composer that we've
[02:28] worked with before and he's done some
[02:30] fantastic music for runescape we knew we
[02:33] could give him any kind of brief and
[02:35] he'd nail it
[02:36] runescape has such a diverse back
[02:39] catalogue even there are thousands of
[02:41] tracks one of the challenges of creating
[02:43] this new body of orchestral music was
[02:46] picking the appropriate music it was
[02:49] like kiddy in a sweetshop really which
[02:52] ones do we really want to do I immersed
[02:54] myself in old runescape music for a
[02:58] period and just allowed the material to
[03:02] kind of speak for itself and certain
[03:04] pieces just they were just crying out to
[03:07] be reworked or performed by an orchestra
[03:10] the first song that I wrote for
[03:12] runescape was harmony I wanted something
[03:14] that would fit lumbridge and would sound
[03:16] good
[03:17] had a nice simple catchy kind of melody
[03:18] something that gets stuck in your head
[03:20] so I sat at the keyboard playing around
[03:22] with some notes and I came up with this
[03:25] [Music]
[03:42] [Applause]
[03:43] [Music]
[03:52] harmony it's all about those opening
[03:54] bars when you hear it is the goosebumps
[03:56] as the hairs on the back of the neck I
[03:57] love it love it
[03:58] harmony is very very popular track it's
[04:03] a very very special to runescape player
[04:05] so I felt the pretty great sense of
[04:09] responsibility to get my orchestral
[04:13] renditions that right there's a moment
[04:16] that we introduced that is new in
[04:19] harmony but I think works quite well in
[04:21] the context of that piece and it works
[04:23] as a sort of new motif new harmony human
[04:27] motif for a second motif if you like
[04:30] [Music]
[04:38] when I set out to create a piece of
[04:42] music I like to meditate on it for a
[04:48] while and by that I mean not to sort of
[04:51] sit down and actually force myself to
[04:54] write I like these ideas to sort of grow
[05:00] and develop within me and consciously
[05:02] before I actually do anything and I find
[05:04] that I get these moments of inspiration
[05:07] when I'm least expecting it you know I
[05:09] might be on a bus or a flight or just
[05:13] sort of going for a walk
[05:15] and it'll just hit me that this is what
[05:17] needs to happen and I think that's just
[05:19] so much more productive than sitting and
[05:22] sort of trying to force this music out
[05:24] of you just to sort of get out and about
[05:27] take in life
[05:29] let life inform your music that's my
[05:32] creative process I think my new favorite
[05:35] track is Noble because it's so different
[05:37] than anything else that we've done
[05:38] before
[05:45] I found it very interesting what kind of
[05:48] take on it that James did and how the
[05:51] orchestra performed it before the
[05:53] orchestra recorded the tune we saw them
[05:55] with the sheet music and many of them
[05:57] smiled and there was a few small laughs
[05:59] and comments so that was a really good
[06:02] thing to see that obviously was a piece
[06:03] of music that was hopefully enjoyable
[06:05] for them to play runescape has so much
[06:07] fun and a lot of the music is so kind of
[06:10] so lifting and lights I think it's
[06:13] important note for it not to take itself
[06:15] too seriously all the time so yeah
[06:17] hopefully the new music reflects that we
[06:21] have drama excitement sadness few scary
[06:25] tracks a few silly moments because
[06:27] that's the whole runescape experience
[06:29] [Music]
[06:50] the reason we went to Abbey Road is
[06:52] quite simply because it has one of the
[06:55] best spaces in the world for recording
[06:59] an orchestra it just it sounds so so
[07:02] rich so lush you'll hear it in many many
[07:06] soundtracks that's a very distinctive
[07:08] sound the orchestra we have here today
[07:10] is a really big auction by 80 players 50
[07:12] plus strings it's a wonderful wonderful
[07:14] sound I think the vibe in the whole
[07:17] studio is like this kind of excited
[07:20] what's coming next it's like the music
[07:22] comes alive off of the page and the
[07:24] notes get a life of their own the
[07:26] players themselves putting everything
[07:27] into it this kind of funny music even
[07:29] though you want to smile about this
[07:31] because you think like you could almost
[07:32] imagine that about what's going on in
[07:34] the video game and you you you get
[07:36] yourself actually hungry about oh I want
[07:37] to see this video game I want to play it
[07:39] now the music is so intense so exciting
[07:42] and so powerful it's gonna drive the
[07:46] player through the game
[07:58] [Music]
[08:04] how does it feel to record an orchestra
[08:07] in all honesty it's terrifying it's a
[08:11] very very high-pressure environment no
[08:13] matter what anyone says
[08:14] but of course coupled with that there's
[08:17] just nothing like sharing the space with
[08:21] musicians of that quality who bring your
[08:24] music to life add musicality to your
[08:27] ideas and fully realize this thing that
[08:31] you've been hearing in your mind you
[08:33] know for however long before and that I
[08:37] would say is the best moment for me
[08:39] it's just frightening making the music
[08:42] in an orchestra like this is absolutely
[08:44] exhilarating and fantastic and I do not
[08:48] want to switch it with anything else
[08:50] Abbey Road is a very humbling experience
[08:51] to hear the simple pieces of music that
[08:54] I wrote all these years ago now
[08:56] transformed into a full-blown orchestral
[08:58] piece of music was quite incredible in
[09:01] some ways it didn't even feel like my
[09:02] music anymore because it moved so far on
[09:05] but it still maintained the essence of
[09:07] the track underneath it which is
[09:09] something that I really enjoyed the
[09:11] volume and the richness of the sound was
[09:14] just incredible and you look at all the
[09:16] musicians down there it's got 70 or 80
[09:19] musicians creating this huge sound and
[09:22] it's runescape music it's amazing for a
[09:26] lot of players runescape is their
[09:27] childhood something they played 15 years
[09:29] ago for other people exclaim they play
[09:30] now and you know for me it's a game I've
[09:32] worked on for 12 years the music
[09:35] soundtracks all of that and it brings
[09:36] all those people together I just can't
[09:38] help but imagine what be what the
[09:39] feelings going to be empire's you've
[09:40] been with us so long at tingled that's
[09:42] gonna come when the opening bars of say
[09:44] skate main kick in he's really gonna be
[09:46] something special
[09:47] yeah I'm really thrilled and honored to
[09:50] have been invited to work on runescape I
[09:53] love the game and I hope that the
[09:56] players of runescape enjoy all the new
[09:59] music and old music that we've recreated
[10:02] I hope that they enjoy the music very
[10:04] much
[10:05] [Music]
[10:16] you
[10:24] you