The LAIR Score: Part One

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My name is John Debney and I’m a music composer working in Hollywood, scoring films such as “Passion of the Christ” and “Sin City.” I also composed the soundtrack for LAIR, and wanted to share a bit about that experience with you guys, as well as offer you a sample of the game’s music.

Composing the music for LAIR has been an incredible creative experience. The teams at Factor 5 and SCEA, gave me great freedom and latitude to develop something unique and perhaps unprecedented. Creating new, original themes for this primal world has been one of the most stimulating experiences of my career, something I will look back on and cherish. The overall tone of the work can best be described as operatic, ethnically rich, lyrical, elegant and, at the same time, tragic. From the heroic strains of Rohn’s theme, to the darkly powerful sister themes, Prophet/Diviner theme, we have a musical landscape both unique and glorious. Some of the finest vocalists and instrumentalists in the world are prominently featured in the score. It was a treat to be able to work with these great talents, and I’m sure you’ll appreciate the scope and the power of what we were trying to accomplish. It is ambitious to say the least, and we are so fortunate to have had the London and Royal symphony orchestras with their virtuosic and impassioned performance.

The score for this game is unique also in that it truly presents a large scale symphony in three acts. Quite simply, to give you a sense of the scale of what we did, the music alone in this game would fill three complete movies! Thus was the task; to create a work richly melodic, deeply passionate and savagely primal, all to fit right in with the theme, tone and dramatic elements of LAIR. With that said, I hope this audio clip gives you a taste of what’s to come in LAIR. I’ll be back later this week with another sample, but click below to hear “Diviner’s Theme,” which describes the treacherous, evil villain in the game. If Darth Vader had an evil cousin, this would truly be him. Enjoy!

[audio:2007/08/diviner_battle.mp3]

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136 Comments

  • Nice! the music is such a HUGE part to many games…sounds great

  • trevligt trevligt :P (trevligt = nice . )

  • Sounds good, music is as important as graphics and gameplay in games. Lair has all of them, and they’re all good. :)

  • wow it sounds really good…….great job!!

  • sounds awesome, can’t wait for lair to come out.

  • This went from a ‘might buy’ title to ‘must buy’ title! I can’t wait for the release~!

  • Love to see more on the Game and I have it on order.

  • Whoa the music is very nice!!
    Lair is gonna be an amazing game! Shame on those who says the opposite

  • Wow. That is incredible. This is one reason to why I don’t see why in-game music should be allowed to access for every game. A game that has a Score like this should be appreaceated to it’s full extent….not drowned out with Korn or 50Cent…Regardless, I can’t wait for this game any longer!! :)

  • Nice sample. Sounds really dramatic.

    As others have said, the music can be a big part of the game. For me, it sometimes can be the difference between having fun in a game, and becoming engrossed in a game.

    I am looking foward to the next sample.

  • Thanks for the passion and dedication that you have put John Debney, in order to make a game large want all fact well to us and for me your sound with this game falls to paint-brush, Of new many thanks ;)

    P.S. By a your admirer Italian

  • Star wars rip off!

  • @snobrder218

    I agree to a point…games like Lair need this type music to add to the game experience…HOWEVER lets take a look at GranTurismo 3…i HATED that 99 red balloons song along with like 90% of the tracks…and even GTA…on games like that i dont need the default tracks i’d like to hear my own…so in game music works for me!!!

    besides you can make a game that doesnt support custom soundtrack so a user can get the full feel of the game…custom soundtracks would NOT hurt a game anyway

  • Since LAIR was announced Ive heard rumors that the games soundtrack sounded amazing, going by this track, I have to say those rumors were right!!

    Epic is the word that comes to mind.

  • pitabun wrote:
    “This went from a ‘might buy’ title to ‘must buy’ title! I can’t wait for the release~!”

    I would have to say I fully agree. The second I heard this piece I knew I would buy the game. Way to go PR. You sold it to me. Great work!

  • that’s pretty cool.. but for some reason i now have the urge to go play Oblivion..

  • wow. I heard:

    Star wars.
    Lost In Space.
    Jaws.
    Time Tunnel.
    and I’d swear there was some super chicken in there.
    Very nice piece. Lose the ball peen hammer striking the anvil; it distracts the ear and detracts from the piece, otherwise it’s a hit.

  • John,

    Simply Awesome!! I look forward to hearing more of your work in LAIR and other games in the future … we want more :)

  • Man I hit play and it started playing all crazy like in surround sound and stuff. Really nice. Can’t wait to to play this game, really I can’t wait, give us a demo or something.

    btw: when I saw the title of the post I thought for a second that they were going to talk about the 5/10 score that the game got on that one magazine, or whatever the score was… lol

  • sweet music, I thought the ending was really good

  • whats wrong with 99 red balloons. :(

    Music can be pretty important, but it shouldn’t make or break a game. There’s something special when the music, the atmosphere, the storyline, and all that comes together in some sort of wonderfully crafted way.

  • One word.

    EPIC!

  • That peice was on the level of Star War;s and Star Trek’s level. Very impressive.

  • that sounds awesome, great job, goes well with lair

  • I just love music like this. I think this music will be as popular to gamer as LOTR, Harry Potter, Pirates, And Star Wars is to movie goers.

  • Wow, you can really see the experience composing for the big Hollywood titles has given you. The music is very, what’s the word….epic. Congrats to everyone involved.

    Thanks for the sneak peak ladies and gents.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Thanks for including a sample, sounds good. It sounds a bit Harry Potter meets Star Wars. =P

  • Wow, really good. Nice job with adding a sample here for us, thanks.

  • Sounds fantastic. Now, go ask SONY where our demo is.

  • The real score we are interested in is the extremely low review scores. Please tell us that EGM was paid off by Microsoft

  • sounds great, hope the game is as good as it sounds

  • That music alone just sounds so immersive, I cant wait for the actual game :)

  • Great Job John! Sounds Intense can wait to play to the music!

  • Great job. As a person who grew up on songs based on symphonies and orchestras, that sounds awesome.

  • Music, for me, can definitely add a large amount of appeal to a game. Music like this can turn a good game into a great game. Sounds awesome.

  • yay! can’t wait. This is exactly why I don’t care about custom soundtracks (and kinda… don’t want them to exist)- too many dev teams just say “who cares, the users will replace the music anyway” and don’t bother to put good music in. Interesting music can quickly take a decent game and make it fantastic (i.e. JSRF, Katamari)

  • @32 just read a few issues of EGM and you’ll see for yourself. They are MS’s lapdog.

  • From what I’ve seen of Lair, if it succeeds at anything it’s a feeling of grand scale, sweeping epic-ness. Having heard your music only solidifies this assumption. Very nice work.

    I also enjoy the polarity of your previous works cited, Sin City and Passion of the Christ. You’re very versatile.

  • love it :). were can I find a sound track it would be a waste of a awesome score if there isn’t a sound track :(

  • I agree with Loucifer. I like this score, but I somepoint I would like to hear my own muic. Its just next gen experience, ya know?

  • Outstanding work! Very moving and epic feeling.

    Quick question, will you be releasing the soundtrack for us to purchase?

  • amazing

  • Thats some hot audio to go along with a hot game. Great Job.

    Waiting for the release :)

  • @32

    ***Warning Off Topic***

    Am I the only one who sees EGM for what it has been these last few years? A third rate publication. Seriously I have had every major console since the Genesis and they were great back then. They are no better that their “Sister” website, 1up. People trying to pass themselves off as journalists without the integrety and ability to back it up.

    In all honesty I would get a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinion before listening to ANY review of theirs.

    ***On Topic***

    The music sounds absolutley amazing. This music has all the neuances and subelties of a Hollwood Score. Great Job Mr. Debney.

    I have a question for you, Has working on LAIR made you interested in future collaboration in the video game field? Of coarse a cinematic score only lends itself to certain types of games, but if the opportunity presented itself, would you be interested again?

  • I feel like music is really underappreciated in games so far.

    Maybe this can be changed this generation as much more emphasis (and money) is put on it?

    This sounded great. Music is really one of the great things with this game. Try watching a Lair video with and without the music and sound effects and you will see what I mean. :)

  • Great audio makes a great game. It really does put you in the game. Keep it up!

  • I bet M$ is paying EGM to give all the PS3 games that come out in September bad scores so that none of them will blunt Halo 3, or take attention away from that. And you can tell that EGM is is in M$’s pocket, just read one of their issues. Mark my words: EGM is going to give Heavenly Sword along with every other game that’s not on the 360 bad scores.

    Excellent music though! :)

  • Truely epic, great work on the score!

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