BlizzCon 2010: Blizzard Sound

Finally the sound panel as the last panel on BlizzCon 2010. I had been waiting for this all day and was getting really tired, we’re 9 hours ahead of LA. But it was so worth it.

I’m a huge fan of the WoW music and have always played with ingame music on, I feel sorry for those people who play without, you’ve missed out on the most beautiful music ever made!

I feel like there is not enough talk about the music in the game, people forget about it, or don’t listen to it. When I now read on forums etc about BlizzCon most people only talk about the classes and dungeons, live raid, the D, and the dances and costumes, everything but the music? In one way, I feel sorry for those guys who don’t listen or care about it, as I said, in another way I’m like “pff, you’re the ones missing out”.

But these guys at the sound panel deserves a big thanks and some honor, they’ve done a wonderful job with the music and I’m so thankful for it. The game wouldn’t be the same without the music. Hours and hours of music have they composed, written and recorded.

On the sound panel we had Derek Duke, David Arkenstone, Russell Brower, Glenn Stafford and Neal Acree who are the composers of the music for Cataclysm. They told us how they fought over the zones, who should do which zone, everyone wanted to do the underwater zones, so they had to draw straws, but David made the Vashj’ir music.

David and some others played music live: Durotar, Feralas, Hyjal, Stonetalon, Vashj’ir, Temple of the Moon. I loved the flutist Susan Windberg, I played the flute in a marching band at school when I was younger, I enjoyed playing, but not the marching, so I quitted, but after hearing her on Saturday I want to start playing the flute again, realized how much I miss it, the sound of it.

They talked about the different ways to write music. Russell only uses a pencil and paper, but not everyone got the ability to “hear it without hearing it” as Glenn said. Neal uses keyboard, computer, Glenn uses piano, Derek prefers humming, David uses the computer and humming/singing to record his ideas wherever he is.

They also told us about their favorite composed pieces from Cataclysm.
Neal: Night Song: Night Elves
Glenn: Cataclysm 3
Derek: Skywall part 1, part 2
David: Nordrassil, Surrender the Booty
Russell: Mountain

My favorite of those has to be the Night Elves song, it was one of the first I heard and it’s so special, never heard anything like it before. You just have to hear it and you will understand what I mean.

It’s really interesting to hear them explain how they work, how they get inspired cause it’s so fantastic how they can just see a zone or a character, read a story and then just know how the music should be, what instruments they should use. They also get inspired by things that happen in real life, and try to put the emotions into the music. It’s so amazing how they do that.

As the Cataclysm takes place in Azeroth and many of the old zones, they had to remake a lot of music for the zones cause as the zones change the music changes too. But Neal said it’s important to stay true to the old classic music that’s why they reuse it in the newer cinematics and main titles, make a new version, they don’t wanna remove anything.

Orgrimmar was reforged, a lot got changed and new buildings were build after Garrosh took over, as all this changed Orgrimmar needed new music. So David accepted the challenge and he said it was hard because it’s a popular theme. But he just added more instruments, more drums and metal and made it more “kick ass”. I love the new version of Orgrimmar and you can find it here. David also made the Thunder Bluff/Mulgore music. Derek made the goblin music. Glenn did Arathi and Plaguelands.

Invincible


Music by Russell and Jason Hayes, lyrics by Neal Acree and Derek Duke.

Jason Hayes first made the song “O Thanagor” which was in Warcraft III The Frozen Throne closing cinematic, then the melody was putted into the WotLK main title and Neal wrote the lyrics. Then came the Fall of the Lich King patch and the first part which is in the main title called “Arthas My Son” become the Chorus and they wrote “Invincible” as verse to go with it, Derek wrote the lyrics.

And the lyrics contains a lot of lore. About Arthas’ feelings for his horse, how it was to be imprisoned, and feelings of the trapped souls. The song is named after Christie Golden’s book Arthas, and the title leaves you wondering if it’s about the horse or Arthas himself.

The BlizzCon 2010 Blizzard Sound panel can be found on YouTube.