Saturday, July 25, 2015

Tomb Raider Tribute by film composer Douglas Edward

Composer, orchestrator and Tomb Raider fan Douglas Edward has provided MoTR with an exclusive edit (as scouted by our contributor Tudor Tulok) of his Tomb Raider Tribute - an orchestration reel utilising Nathan McCree's original Tomb Raider motif. It is a variant of an unrelated piece composed by the talent post-tribute, "Road Not Taken", with the Tomb Raider theme substituting the original thematic material:

"The Tomb Raider Tribute was something I did for fun. I've always been a huge fan of the franchise especially TR2 and TR3. Exploring different places like the opera house, the jungle, and even places like Lara's mansion were some of my favorite aspects about the games. The melody Nathan McCree wrote for the series was so simple and yet quite effective. Anytime I hear an oboe playing a single note above an ensemble it's hard for me not to think of Tomb Raider (which is definitely a sign that I played those games way too much). The tribute was basically my homage to the TR theme. The original music is such a bold reminder of the games for me, so I thought it would be cool to re-create it to an extent. Doing something like that was new to me, and despite all the video games I've played in the past, Tomb Raider is still the only one I've created a tribute like this for." - Douglas Edward

"At 0:14 you can hear me singing the theme the oboe usually plays. At 0:33 is a live performance of a classical guitar I had recently obtained. I think this is the first time I recorded it. At 1:14, I break off from the theme and build to the next section. I bring the theme back at 1:41 with a sampled choir sound of my voice I had created. 2:04 has the theme played with sampled french horns. I'm back singing the theme at 2:44 accompanied by a high live violin. At 3:25, a live viola joins the classical guitar and takes us to the end." - Douglas Edward

Douglas Edward is an accomplished festival and award-winning film composer as well as a classically trained violinist/pianist whose works include Sanitarium (starring Malcolm McDowell, Robert Englund, and Lou Diamond Phillips), Adopting Terror (starring Sean Astin and Samaire Armstrong), Meteor Apocalypse (starring Joe Lando and Claudia Christian), and The Boys of Ghost Town (starring Danny Trejo).

The composer started taking piano and violin lessons in the 3rd and 5th grade respectively: "Funny story - after taking 2 years of piano, I looked at a violin and thought this will be easy. Boy was I wrong! I continued taking lessons on both until college where I joined a choir and studied mostly Piano and Music Composition. I picked up Guitar somewhere along the way as well. Since college, I've written original scores to a number of films and productions."

Please feel free to explore more of Edward's works via the portfolio below. If you're interested in submitting a fan tribute piece to feature on MoTR, head over to our contact page for the full details.

Douglas Edward
Website | Film/TV Score Reel | Space Shuttle Sign-off: The Last Flight - a documentary edited and scored by Edward | Tell Me Why - music video from a film scored by Edward

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Lyrical Tomb Raider theme as covered by Forest Elves

Talented duo Merry & Jordi, each half of the musical outfit Forest Elves, have submitted a vocally layered and rhythmic cover of the original Tomb Raider theme as crafted by legacy composer Nathan McCree. The track is a combination of elements from the 1996 Tomb Raider main theme as well as 1998's Adventures of Lara Croft main theme, with of course some original flair from Forest Elves:

Utilsing the lyrics "Bela miro de la mondo kion mi trovos sur mia vojago?" to allude to Croft's adventures, the track has garnered over 10,000 combined plays on YouTube and SoundCloud from which the piece can be downloaded. The pair have offered to elaborate on the project to MoTR below:

"For this version of the song I was very inspired by the first and third Tomb Raider themes. Both have always been my favourite out of all theme songs and actually the third Tomb Raider game is my favourite of the series. So naturally I included my favourite parts of the two songs into the instrumental." - Merry
"One of the first games I remember playing as a child was the very first Tomb Raider. I will always remember running away from the wolves and avoiding being underwater for to long; both of which made this child extremely anxious! But above all, I always enjoyed the music, which is why I suggested to Merry that we arrange a tribute cover. We put our heads together and decided that we wanted to add vocals too. We were both learning Esperanto together; a language that brings many other languages together. I felt it was fitting, just as Lara Croft travels the world and experiences so many different cultures!" - Jordi

Please feel free to support Forest Elves at the following Social Media links. If you're interested in submitting a fan tribute piece to feature on MoTR, head over to our contact page for the full details.

Forest Elves
YouTube | SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Jason Graves not returning as composer for Rise of the Tomb Raider, but new Lara theme is. New composer to be revealed and a Rise of the Tomb Raider soundtrack CD release likely.

Farewell Jason! While Graves' theme will continue to accompany Lara, sadly the composer will not

MoTR has received word from our E3 2015 ambassadors on the show floor after an interview with Rise of the Tomb Raider Creative Director Noah Hughes and senior community manager Meagan Marie of Redwood City studio Crystal Dynamics. We asked, "will Jason Graves be returning as composer?":

Meagan Marie: "Jason [...] is not involved. But we don’t have any announcement for who the new composer is. I’m sure we’ll blow it out when we do."

We also asked Marie if there'd be a CD soundtrack release for Rise like its predecessor Tomb Raider:

Meagan Marie: "I think that the answer to that is we know how much fans love music, and that you guys loved the CD last time, so I would expect we’ll do something very similar. That’s not a formal announcement, but we’re definitely looking into options and we’ll let you know as soon as we have details."
Noah Hughes: "I should clarify then in that context that I really enjoyed working with Jason and I think we’d enjoy working together again, so it was something where we very much respected each other’s work. This was more a decision about this game being an evolution of the last game, and really trying to capture a new personality, so part of it was saying from the ground up that if we want to score this experience, how can we best show this transition in Lara’s character?"

Our Tomb Raider community ambassadors in Los Angeles also queried if Jason’s theme would come back, having just made a triumphant reappearance in the E3 2015 game-play trailer:

Noah Hughes: "Yeah that is fair to say that we really loved the theme work that Jason helped us establish with the reboot, and so we like themes as a style of scoring the game. We try to make sure those themes take on the tone and emotion of the moment so they are very portable but we do work with common themes to help get that sense of identity."

Thus Graves leaves his mark on the franchise with the continuity of his wonderfully crafted thematic motif for the reboot. Much like the original Tomb Raider composer Nathan McCree, his legacy may hold fast in the sequential franchise instalments to come. We wish the composer the best in his future endeavours.