Soundtracks are wonderful to use when creating art because they are specifically made to keep your attention and enhance something else without being intrusive.
Sure, you may have a really cool playlist for your setting, character, or setting-as-character loaded with your favorite songs, but sometimes they can be a little overwhelming or distracting. They were meant to be consumed by themselves and don’t make for good background.
I love a good soundtrack, I feel like it really brings out the flavor of my muse and really makes me feel energized and ready to get going.
Here are a few of my favorites:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
This one has a special place in my heart as it was my first Elder Scrolls game and introduced me to an amazing and beautiful world.
Huge, sweeping orchestral movements, action-packed tracks peppered with pounding percussion, and a barbarian choir cheer you on as you take down your own personal dragons. (Mine is called Pelleoblaan, dragon language for writer’s block.)
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Jeremy Soule is a genius no matter what he’s making and nobody can tell me any different.
Unlike Skyrim’s soundtrack, Oblivion features more calm and soothing melodies and warmer string music that lends itself to the wide-open plains and rolling hills of Cyrodiil. The cave exploration music is a bit bland but easily gives the listener shivers, like a goblin or spider will rear its ugly head at any moment.
Called “Frontier Trip-Hop”, Bastion‘s soundtrack is utterly unique, combining pounding beats, bluesy strings, and rootsy melody into something somehow completely cohesive.
Sprinkled throughout are songs that feature vocals by Ashley Lynn Barrett and the game’s narrator Logan Cunningham. They both feature heavily in the next game by the same developer, Transistor which also has a fantastic soundtrack with a retro sci-fi vibe.
The Music of BrunuhVille
Huge, cinematic sounds soar from one man’s synthesizer in the music of the internet musician BrunuhVille.
Taking notes from epic fantasy soundtracks, including Game of Thrones, Skyrim, and Lord of the Rings as well as the pipes of traditional Celtic and Asian music, there is nothing quite like the music of BrunuhVille.
Adrian von Ziegler
In a similar vein to BrunuhVille, Adrian von Ziegler is famed for his huge, sweeping Celtic and Fantasy-themed pieces.