Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Retrospective: Folmann's Tomb Raider sampling cross-overs with trailer music powerhouse Two Steps From Hell

Troels Brun Folmann has a detailed background as a trailer score composer, one of the qualities noted by Crystal Dynamics during acquisition and upon completing his BAFTA-winning work on the soundtrack to Tomb Raider: Legend (2006). His experience has flourished into collaborations with Los Angeles based trailer music production company Two Steps From Hell, consisting of composers Nick Phoenix and Thomas J. Bergersen. Phoenix and Folmann are known to be affiliated, once expressed on TSFH's official Facebook page:

"Troels Folmann is a great friend of mine and the ONLY 3rd party composer we've worked with at TSFH. He is credited on the CD cover of Legend and in our library database for his great contributions." - Nick Phoenix

Following the duo's major success with the physical and digital release of their album "Invincible" (2010), including the wildly renowned and recognisable track "Heart of Courage", a second compilation of their work entitled "Archangel" was released at the end of last year. Two Steps From Hell are notable pioneers of the commercialisation of music specifically created for trailer advertisements.

These days it is not uncommon that recognisable tunes from licensed sound libraries or sound-banks make appearances in more than one pop-culture medium. It is understandable then, given the history, that concurrent fans have noticed cross-overs of samples within both TSFH's discography and Troels Folmann's work on the Tomb Raider series.

"North Country" is a piece that features on the album mentioned by Phoenix entitled "Legend". While not directly related to Tomb Raider: Legend, the track serves as an extended version of Folmann's main theme for the game. Unfortunately "Legend" (the album) remains part of TSFH's partnership catalogue made exclusively available for their clientèle in the media advertisement industry. Thus, it is not publicly available.

Another example of a Tomb Raider music tie-in with Two Steps From Hell exists in Legend's 2008 sequel, Tomb Raider: Underworld, on which Folmann was music supervisor. During Underworld's prologue there is a melancholy score that arises as Lara enters her bedroom in Croft Manor; the room is collapsed and in flames. A female vocalist emphasises the surreal loss Croft is experiencing, as well as causing monumental despair for fans, no-doubt. The coinciding Two Steps From Hell track that samples this same voice, "My Freedom", is on their demonstration album called "Nero" (2011). The cry is heard near the very end of their piece. Thanks to YouTuber itsClarantina for pointing this one out!

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