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Episode 4: Identity in DragonAge: Inquisition

This bonus episode focuses on composer Trevor Morris’s work on DragonAge: Inquisition.  Research assistants Brooke and Andrew tackle a variety of questions ranging from the controversy about switching composers mid-series, what harmonic factors distinguish the music, and how the music does (or does not) reflect Morris’s Canadian-ness. Music Tracks (all from DragonAge: Inquisition) ·       The Lost Temple: 0:29-7:32 ·       Dragon Age Inquisition Theme: 7:37-10:50, 14:05-17:39 ·       Journey to Skyhold: 10:54-11:33 ·       Orlais Theme: 11:39-14:03 ·       In Hushed Whispers: 17:39-19:22, 20:54-23:48 ·       Aquatic Ambience: 19:22-20:54 ·       The Wrath of Heaven: 23:48-25:51 ·       Take Me Home 25:51-26:17

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Episode 3: “Geoculture”

Video games often take influences from real-world cultures, sometimes to reflect particular eras and locations in historically-based games, but in other cases as a ‘shortcut’ for suggesting particular cultural norms.  From Nordic influences in Skyrim to Middle-Eastern instrumentation in Assassin’s Creed and The Legend of Zelda, this episode will present a number of examples.  The podcasts hosts will discuss how such borrowing can give game designers a quick method to generate a rich game world, but how in the process cultural appropriation becomes a major issue. Musical examples: 1:58:  New Donk City, Super Mario Odyssey 2:31:  Main Theme, Battlefield 1  3:16:  City of Jerusalem, Assassin’s Creed 1 4:01:  Main Theme, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 4:46:  Woman’s Battalion of Death, Battlefield 1: In The Name of the Tsar DLC 5:30:  Cimbalom sample, Hammered Dulcimer Family, Tim Manning Music Magic (Bohak) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFaXcvHpJwU&list=PLfxFd1oEv69SNsbTPN4qBCbf0HMv26NRL&index=5 (1:50) 6:05:  Dean Shostak Plays Cristal Baschet, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVHzwdnYdEc 6:57:  Tibet: Tibetan Monks – Playing Long Horn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1_C3TLXRlI 9:18:  Tostarena Ruins, Super Mario Odyssey 10:37:  Polonaise, op. 53, Frederic Chopin 11:30:  Nocturne in E-Flat Major, op. 9 no. 2, Frederic Chopin 12:15:  Volvo Queen of the Night Commercial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRnXONCj45Q 12:44:  Queen of the Night aria (“Der Hölle Rache Continue Reading

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The Human Side Of War

TFirst-person shooters often feature driving, pulsing music meant to propel the player onwards.  However, not all games evoking war follow this model!  In this podcast, the hosts will examine the music from games that evoke regret, grief, and sorrow in their attempt to create game worlds that more accurately depict the horrors of war and conflict.  The hosts will examine what musical elements, including harmony, key, and instrumentation, contribute to how we hear sadness in this music. Music Tracks: 6:25 “These Cold Days” – This War of Mine 7:42 “Round Victory Theme” – Battlefield 1 10:07 “Main Theme” – Papers, Please 10:56 “Death Theme” – Papers, Please 11:55 “Victory Theme” – Papers, Please 13:11 “Death Theme” – Papers, Please 15:26 “When the Night Comes” – This War of Mine 16:34 “Some Place We Call Home” – This War of Mine 18:07 “Markus’ Main Theme” – Detroit:  Become Human 19:35 “Libera Me” – Battlefield 1 20:22 & 20:41 “Dawn of a New Time” – Battlefield 1 23:21 “Markus’ Main Theme” – Detroit:  Become Human 24:30 “Connor’s Main Theme” – Detroit:  Become Human 25:49 “Flight of the Pigeon” – Battlefield 1 27:39 “New World Symphony: Largo” – Antonin Dvorak 29:44 & 30:15 Continue Reading

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Tropes and Topics

The first episode in our podcast series will present the four hosts – Stephanie Lind (project supervisor) and undergraduate research assistants Brooke, Andrew, and Kaitlin.  Stephanie will outline how video games, and more specifically their music, often reference stock concepts derived from TV, film, games, and other pop culture references – known as “tropes” in the online world and “topics” in the realm of Semiotics – in order to quickly communicate culture, gameworld, or common narrative conventions.  Each podcast host will describe one of their favourite musical tropes in video game, and how that trope makes a connection between game worlds and our previous cultural experiences. Music Credits: ·       5:04-5:15 = Cyrus’s Theme – Octopath Traveler ·       5:28-5:42 and 12:59-13:28 = Primrose’s Theme – Octopath Traveler ·       7:57-8:09 = Age of Oppression – Skyrim Soundtrack ·       9:43-10:00 = Theme from Red Dead Redemption Soundtrack ·       10:42-10:53 = Reunion – Uncharted 2 Soundtrack ·       17:59-18:08 = Dragonborn – Skyrim Soundtrack ·       21:18-21:56 = Gwyn, Lord of Cinder – Dark Souls Soundtrack

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