New main menu music!

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New main menu music!

Postby West » June 2nd, 2017, 5:38 pm

Hi all. I'm returning briefly the the world of Wesnoth, as the official developers have hired me to compose some new main menu music. I will be posting updates to the track in this thread. Feel free to comment, but I ask you to please keep a couple of things in mind:

1. The purpose of this thread is to keep the community posted about how work is progressing. I'm not looking for help to write the music. Thoughts and suggestions are always welcome, but I can't promise that I will have time to respond to each and every comment.

2. I have no interest in discussing WHY the main menu music is being replaced. If you prefer the old music and don't want to see it replaced, that's fine, but this thread is not the place for complaining about it (nor am I the person to complain to).


Anyway, here's a short and very sketchy first attempt!
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby Inky » June 2nd, 2017, 7:33 pm

I'd be violating the posting guidelines if I put in all the :D 8) that I feel!
The track is epic, I love it! One comment I have is that to me the beginning sounded very similar to the beginning of the Game of Thrones opening theme.

Anyway, it's very exciting to see new music for Wesnoth! Looking forward to see how it turns out!
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby West » June 2nd, 2017, 7:55 pm

Inky wrote:I'd be violating the posting guidelines if I put in all the :D 8) that I feel!


Don't worry about it, I mentioned that only to nip any potential debates about the direction the music is taking and the finer points of the GPL in the bud.

Inky wrote:The track is epic, I love it! One comment I have is that to me the beginning sounded very similar to the beginning of the Game of Thrones opening theme.


I was more expecting comments about it sounding like Conquest of Paradise, but yeah. It's a 3/4 time signature in roughly the same tempo, so I guess there's a resemblance. "Very similar" is a bit of a stretch though; listen to the GoT theme and you'll see what I mean.

Inky wrote:Anyway, it's very exciting to see new music for Wesnoth! Looking forward to see how it turns out!


Thanks Inky!
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby Bitron » June 2nd, 2017, 9:06 pm

What Inky said. :D

I always loved the soundtracks of wesnoth, good to hear a new one is rising up here.
Don't get me wrong, the current theme already is very good, but this one seems to get even better.
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby West » June 2nd, 2017, 9:59 pm

Bitron wrote:Don't get me wrong, the current theme already is very good, but this one seems to get even better.


I think this needs to be addressed early on: I don't think anyone has a problem with the current track, musically speaking. It's an iconic piece of Wesnoth music that helped lay the foundation for everything that came afterwards. A longstanding complaint, however, is that it's too loud and in-your-face for "main menu" music. And this is the reason it's being replaced. Aleksi's theme is being quoted with permission, I might add. I don't know if I'm technically or legally obliged to ask for permission, but I felt it was the right thing to do given all the GPL controversy over the years.

Oh, right: here's something to ponder if you want to help out with the composition of this track:

What would you say are THE most prominent and memorable Wesnoth themes from over the years?
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby Samonella » June 2nd, 2017, 10:09 pm

X) Wow, it's so good already! I don't suppose there is any chance of other commissioned works on the horizon?

West wrote:What would you say are THE most prominent and memorable Wesnoth themes from over the years?
IMO, first place would be Timothy Pinkham's Still Another Wanderer.
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby Bitron » June 2nd, 2017, 10:38 pm

West wrote:A longstanding complaint, however, is that it's too loud and in-your-face for "main menu" music.

Right, that is pretty much what I thought. Still a great piece of art though!

Samonella wrote:IMO, first place would be Timothy Pinkham's Still Another Wanderer.

Definitely agree with that. Even put that one on my phone to be able to listen to it when i'm outside. ^^
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby West » June 2nd, 2017, 11:11 pm

Samonella wrote:X) Wow, it's so good already! I don't suppose there is any chance of other commissioned works on the horizon?


That is not for me to say. I'm here to make music and chew bubblegum, and... yeah.

Samonella wrote:IMO, first place would be Timothy Pinkham's Still Another Wanderer.


I would agree, but Timothy had some pretty strong (and negative) opinions when it came to the GPL and the usage of his music. Again I'm not sure if I'm legally required to ask, but at this point I have ruled out using any of his music. I want to to this with the blessing of whoever created this or that Wesnoth music. If it comes down to it I'll have to settle for using Aleksi's main theme and my own stuff. But I'm semi-regularly in touch with at least a few of the mainline composers, so I'll get this sorted somehow.
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby shadowm » June 3rd, 2017, 2:50 am

Personally, I’m more of a fan of The Knolls of Doldesh than Wanderer.

As for the rest, Aleksi’s Battle Music (a.k.a. battle.ogg), and your own The King is Dead (and its non-mainline sibling, The High King’s March, which I ended up adopting in my last campaign for cutscenes) are probably the ones I more strongly associate with the game The Battle for Wesnoth rather than specific campaigns or situations.

Anyway, I like what you’ve done thus far. :D I think varying the mood/pacing like you seem to be trying to do right now helps convey the game’s diversity in terms of storytelling and mechanics, and avoid making it seem like a generic slash-slash-shoot-shoot strategy game.
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby doofus-01 » June 3rd, 2017, 12:22 pm

Sounds great, I really like how it opens. In my opinion, it is addressing the issues we've been having with the sound on start-up.
West wrote:What would you say are THE most prominent and memorable Wesnoth themes from over the years?
...[snip to a later post]...
If it comes down to it I'll have to settle for using Aleksi's main theme and my own stuff. But I'm semi-regularly in touch with at least a few of the mainline composers, so I'll get this sorted somehow.
I'd love to hear the theme common to Timothy Pinkham's The Knolls of Doldesh and Ryan Reilly's short Victory worked in, but if you're limited to Aleksi's theme and your older works, that's still great material to work with. It'll be nice for the player to find the themes heard here resurfacing later on.
Samonella wrote: I don't suppose there is any chance of other commissioned works on the horizon?
We can discuss this in another thread, so as not to clutter this one.
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby skeptical_troll » June 3rd, 2017, 5:16 pm

I really like how you re-elaborated and put together different Wesnoth music, this is already sounding great. The end sounds a bit strange to me, but I suppose the track is simply not completed.

As per your question, I agree that 'wanderer' has the most memorable theme and I also think that everybody like 'over the northern mountains' but strangely it isn't used very much in the mainline campaigns. Other tracks I'd definitely remember would be 'legends of the north' (but I see you've already put it there), and 'the dangerous symphony' which I think could merge well with the themes you already selected (the second theme of the track at least).

I also tend to remember quite vividly the music used for dungeons scenario (Knalgan theme and underground) as they are particularly characterized, but I reckon they are not quite suited for the opening music.

Look forward to hear more! :)
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby West » June 4th, 2017, 9:17 pm

skeptical_troll wrote:The end sounds a bit strange to me, but I suppose the track is simply not completed.


Bingo :) It just trails off as I have no idea what is going to come next.
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby Cold Steel » June 10th, 2017, 7:01 pm

West wrote:Anyway, here's a short and very sketchy first attempt!


That's not sketchy at all, that's magnificent! Your blend in of "Legends of the North" starting at 0:53 really gives it the wesnoth-feel too. Although now I want "legends of the north" to sound this dramatic itself. :D

I am afraid I found the super joyous portion starting at 1:22 to be really jarring and off-putting though. I never found joyous music worked well with wesnoth's grim setting and subject matter, but especially for a theme this epicly foreboding, it's quite a clash.

West wrote:Oh, right: here's something to ponder if you want to help out with the composition of this track:
What would you say are THE most prominent and memorable Wesnoth themes from over the years?


"Loyalists", "Northerners" and "Transience" (the old, OLD menu theme).
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby Crow_T » June 19th, 2017, 5:59 pm

I'm not going to lie, I'm a big fan of the old loud, overbearing track for some insane reason, but that being said I think this new piece is shaping up to be a proper replacement. It seems like a remake of, or at least inspired a bit by the older one in terms of tempo or feel (I'm not a music person so not sure of the terms).

Anyhow, great work West, one of Wesnoth's strong suits is the strong music lineup. ^_^
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Re: New main menu music!

Postby Jarom » June 20th, 2017, 7:39 pm

For me, best music themes are:
Main Theme (old one)
Over the Northern Mountains
Legends of the North
The City Falls
Victory (Ryan's Relly one)
Almost all of other themes occupy second place, but I'd mention Into the Shadows, Journey's end and Siege of Laurelmor.

I feel that new main theme lacks in this loud beginning, main part starts too late and become a bit too sad until 35. second. But I understand previous one can be annoying, especially after I set this as a phone ring and forgot to mute.
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