Show 78: The Witcher 3 Komponist im Interview


In der neuen Folge ICO-Radio geht es um Rollenspiele. Neben dem Soundtrack von The Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Ultimate, von Brad Derrick haben wir auch die Musik aus The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in der aktuellen Show. Das Beste kommt jedoch zum Schluss: Wir durften ein Interview mit The Witcher 3-Komponist Marcin Przybyłowicz führen. Unter dem Player könnt ihr es euch im Original durchlesen.

Playlist ICO-Radio -Show 78:

  • 05:55 – The Elder Scrools Online Tamriel Unlimited OST: Jeremy Soule – For Blood, for Glory, for Honor iTunes/Amazon
  • 10:54 – The Elder Scrools Online Tamriel Unlimited OST: Brad Derrick – Moons of Evening Star iTunes/Amazon
  • 16:25 – Beyond Good & Evil OST: Christophe Héral – Something completely different
  • 18:17 – The Great Giana Sisters OST: Chris Hülsbeck – C64 Menu Theme
  • 26:31 – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt OST: Marcin Przybyłowicz – Prepare for Battle


Interview mit Marcin Przybyłowicz

ICO-Radio: How did you prepare for that project? Where do you get your inspiration?
Marcin Przybyłowicz, Music Director: When we started working on Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, we had to do the preproduction first. That is the first phase of production cycle – I started to listen to lots of music, I was sketching some musical ideas and reading the script. One thing we knew – the music had to have deep connection to the story and key characters. That means we had to come up with the idea how the music would be handled in-game from technical standpoint. That’s why I designed our own adaptive music system we later used in Wild Hunt. Then, we started to look for game’s musical identity. We wanted to refine our approach to musical style of The Witcher franchise, especially since we knew this time we gonna tell more intimate and personal story, as opposed to Witcher 2 for example. Also, Witcher 3’s lore is heavily grounded in Slavic mythology; it was very important to me we highlight this element as well. And there’s no better way to do this than reaching out to musicians playing this kind of music professionally. I invited Percival folk band and folk virtuoso Robert Jaworski to do some stuff together. We started to getting to know each other, exchange ideas, started to work on The Witcher sound. We were inspiring each other. Later, at some point I invited second composer to the project, Mikolai Stroinski to help me write the music. The music team was formed and complete.

ICO-Radio: What characterizes the soundtrack for you the most?
MP: Slavic raw, gritty sound combined with both epic and lyrical tones of symphonic orchestra. Also, selection of solo instruments – in Witcher 3: Wild Hunt you gonna hear lots of weird and cool sounds – hurdy-gurdy, renaissance fiddle, bowed gusli, long-necked lute, kemenche… And I could go on for quite a while. And finally, let’s not forget about the vocals – we have plenty of those, with „white singing“ technique, an authentic old slavic thing.

ICO-Radio: You worked on the The Witcher 2 soundtrack before. What are the differences for you at this soundtrack?
MP: I would say Witcher 2 and Witcher 3 are completely different projects in many ways – different scope, open world in Witcher 3 and much bigger and longer storyline… All of that influenced my work and my music. Besides, our approach to the story and narration was quite different compared to previous games. It demanded more cinematic feeling in the music, which had us compose new main themes for the game and also reuse and reshape legacy themes, from our previous games.

ICO-Radio: Soundtracks are very important to bring the gamers in the right mood. What was the biggest challenge to transport these great Settings from the The Witcher Universe into a perfect soundscape?
MP: I think the biggest challenge was to have our three main locations sound unique and distinct to each other and yet have the whole soundtrack sound coherent, in other words – keep the musical integrity. Also, I believe music has its own narration to carry, can tell the story on its own. That was another challenge, to keep those two areas working together, but I think we were clever about it. First, I formed some ground rules how each main location should sound. No Mans Land is a war ravaged land, torn apart by wars. It’s also full of slavic references, pagan beliefs etc. Music in this location is usually dark, raw and brutal. Then, there’s Novigrad – the biggest city in northern kingdoms. It’s full of people, dwarves and elves, usually busy and crowded. I decided music in Novigrad should be more civilized – that’s why there are lots of string instruments playing there (dulcimer, bouzouki, guitars, lutes, cimbalom etc.), and overall tone of the music is lighter, reminds a bit music of renaissance. Finally, Skellige Isles – region with celtic, scottish and norse references, that had to be reflected in music as well. Use of bagpipes, flutes and scandinavian folk instruments corresponds with that setting. On top of that, I had to think how it would all work together. That’s where our themes come in – we have Geralt’s/main theme, Ciri’s theme, Wild Hunt’s theme and a handful of supporting themes as well – special melodies for Nilfgaard, Lodge of Sorceressess, Novigrad mafia’s theme and others. We use those themes in every major location and depending on wether it’s Skellige, Novigrad or No Mans Land, we reorchestrate them with instruments corresponding to a particular region.

ICO-Radio: Are there big differences in the work between film and video game soundtracks?
MP: Major. Film is a closed, linear piece of art, it will always remain the same, no matter how many times you watch it. Games are completely different though – everything depended on player’s actions. Even the most linear games give you freedom, it’s up to you to decide if you go left or right, engage into combat or not, wait or go etc. Now take The Witcher – truly non-linear RPG with branching storylines that change because of your actions and decisions… Games are much more complicated in their structure than movies.

ICO-Radio: Are you listening privately to video games music and is there a favorite one?
MP: Sure, if I have time. Unfortunately, my job doesn’t let me listen to music while I’m at work. Writers, designers, 3D artists, programmers – they all can listen to music at work. I work ON the music almost all the time, so you know… I have a few favourites though – Lair soundtrack is a true masterpiece for me, John Debney did an outstanding job. I also like Jesper Kyd’s work – his scores to first three Assassin’s Creed games are on my top game soundtracks list as well.

1 Kommentar

  1. Stefanie August 5, 2015 11:29 am  Antworten

    Nice interview, thanks. It was really interesting to learn more about the background of this soundtrack.

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