本文原作者：Sean Cleaver 译者ciel chen
我们此次采访了作曲家Joris de Man、音乐作曲和制作二人组The Flight以及Guerrilla的音乐监制Lucas van Tol。
游戏中的音乐模块也是音乐制作团队的呕心沥血之作。于是我们对这个游戏开发背后的音乐创作人(音乐作曲/制作二人组The Flight、Ivor Norvello奖得主作曲家Joris de Man以及Guerrilla的音乐监制Lucas van Tol)请教了一些问题。
Joris de Man：这是编曲团队所面对的挑战之一，我们为解决这些，在处理音乐和音速上花了相当大一部分时间。
Soundwise的Lucas van Tol（音乐总监）也建议我们去找寻一种更小更由亲密感的声音，这种声音要不加修饰，跟某些游戏所寻求的宏大气势的音乐类型恰恰相反，这种声音更注重乐器的独奏和“挖掘不同的音效”，跟那些大型的音乐集合体完全不同。
Lucas van Tol：在Joris和The Fight组合加入我们之前很久的时候，曾经有一份短文档，上面有Mathijs de Jonge（我们的游戏总监）和音效团队列出的想要关注的内容列表。列表内容中包含了三个支柱元素。我们直接将其译为：机器人->电子乐、部落->用简单乐器和自然音效做的粗糙无修饰的声音效果->有机、郁郁葱葱的声音元素。列表上列出的这些实际上正就是我们所希望作曲人能够通过音乐测试找到的音乐内容。而Joris和The Fight组合想出的方法正契合了这些要求的内容。
Joris de Man：我制作音乐的素材就是由模拟合成器音效、大提琴音、倍低音长笛音、现成音效以及Circle Percussion的音效（剧情声作曲人Niels van der Leest介绍给我们的人）组成的。Julie Elven则是整个音乐团队所欠缺的最后一块拼图，在电子游戏展览会上的预告片音乐展出后反响了得，Julie Elven通过歌唱的声音，以音乐呈现艾洛伊的情绪经历。
Lucas van Tol:在《地平线》早期开发期间，我曾让Niels van der Leest（他是一名专业的敲击乐乐手兼游戏作曲人，我在几个月前见过他）整理一份有关部落乐器的文件。我们清楚的知道自己大概的游戏定位，并掌握了大量游戏部落的信息。通过将这些信息的整合，可以知道各部落会使用哪些材料作为乐器，并且能够知道他们是如何弹奏这些乐器的。
比如说，Nora族对音乐的了解非常少，所以他们的音乐就相对简单；而Carja人对音乐非常敏感，所以我们在做他们的音乐上可以放上整个唱诗班（就打个比方而已）。通过Circle Percussion(一个荷兰史诗鼓剧团)，我们可以将所有的鼓声结合在我们的剧情音乐和原声音乐集中——并且所有的作曲人都会“使用”Niels（因为Niels曾经也参加过Circle Percussion内容的制作）来记录现场打击乐曲。
Joris de Man:这两方面的平衡，部分我们是在拥有更多主题深化空间的过场动画中解决的。这里的历史往昔、《地平线：零之黎明》的意义之所在以及Aloy的前世今生都是故事情节中的关键部分，所以这里有我们在音乐上的大量探索机会，而且我对于为此撰写主题意义材料非常累在其中，这里的主旨我可以重复用在不同的场景中。
Lucas van Tol: 真正有效的平衡方式是我们跟我们的配乐创作人进行了大量的交流。我们尽可能地将信心传达给它们，包括整个部落大纲、通关攻略、美工等等。我在游戏开发的办公大楼里是有一桌之位的，我是亲眼看着这款游戏一步步走到今天的。
Joris de Man: 我很幸运，能遇到John Gonazalez（故事主要撰稿人）创作的这样一个绚烂多彩、意义深刻的故事以及故事中这些丰满全面的人物角色。Aloy的内心性格是复杂的，因为她经历了太多不幸；但她那种温柔的力量以及敏感的内心是我在主题曲中想要传达的。
Lucas van Tol：我还记得刚开始我们对Aloy’s的主题曲还不太有把握——因为它太与众不同，太直白坦率了。尽管我们都很喜欢这首曲子，但是“玩家”是不是也喜欢我们不知道。那时的我非常需要在这个方面学习更多，我从中明白了——别去做“玩家喜爱的”东西，因为根本没有这种东西存在；我们只要听从第一感觉便好——你觉得行得通就做下去，这便是Joris秉持的做事原则。
Joris de Man:《地平线》在很多程度上都是非常大的挑战——我们之前有过和Guerrilla游戏工作室在《杀戮地带》系列游戏上的合作经历，这款游戏的配乐必须符合它的激烈游戏玩法，要成为好似一场大型现场交响乐团所演奏出对听众形成听觉冲击的音乐，而这种旋律和声音的强烈是《地平线》遥不可及的。
Lucas van Tol:这是我的第一个作为项目监制的工作——幸运的是我能够得到这个很棒的团队、制作人和Sony的同僚们的鼎力相助。不过我还是有过一些游戏配音经验的——我诶《杀戮地带》2、3和暗影地带都配过乐，所以我对这个流程以及Joris的作品都非常的熟悉。
Joris de Man: 这是一个很好的例子——在音乐的过程中，随着时间的推移，一些音乐逐渐发展起来。
其次，我和The Flight组合在一些音乐片段上的合作——我用钢琴弹出的曲子初稿，然后the Flight组合根据它创作个出一首完整的曲子。我觉得能听到我们按照各自不同方式所创作的声音和作品；以及能听出这些声音是如何发挥我们之间不同优势——这是非常有趣的事。
Lucas van Tol:有一点值得注意的趣事就是：我们的作曲家同时也为我们的音乐片段做起了片段捕捉——他们就是Meridian的Joe、Alexis和Niels,就像诺拉节上的牧师和敲鼓三人组一样——我们把音乐集合起来演奏，他们则将捕捉的片段同步进去。
他们很好地完成了这个任务，视频做的既有娱乐性又有信息呈递性，也是从那时起，我们知道了，我们要面对的是Kuna Bass、Braumdrum和 Iron Pendulum这三种乐器。
The Flight: 当我们一群人去做音乐时我们总觉得音乐是最棒的。在《地平线：零之黎明》中，在和Joris、Niels以及赞爆了的Guerrilla音频团队的合作中，我感觉非常太奇妙了。我们所有人都为能在这个我们觉得是美丽而真正独特的游戏中创作而感到万分骄傲。
Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the most interesting games of 2017, certainly, and possibly of the last few years. So much went in to establishing the world that Aloy and the Nora inhabit that every single conceivable nuance was crafted with meticulous care and attention.
One such area of the game was the game’s music. We asked a few questions to the teams behind the soundscape – composer/production duo The Flight, Ivor Norvello award winning composer Joris de Man and music supervisor at Guerrilla, Lucas van Tol.
What you’re about to read is a real deep dive in to the process of not only scoring a game but also how collaberative teams and studios come to make decisions, how The Flight made YouTube videos to show the motion capture artists how to play the instruments in the game and the story behind Aloy’s Theme. There may be mild spoilers ahead so you have been warned.
How did you identify the three pillars of the game to represent musically – machines, tribes, and nature?
The Flight: It wasn’t so much a matter of us identifying the three pillars of the game; these were explained to us by Guerilla on day one. It was ours and Joris’ job to translate these into the musical sound of the game. We focused on the nature of the world first, a beautiful place full of colour and space, you can hear this in a lot of the exploration music.
The machines are the dark side and most contact with them is when you are fighting, so we needed this music to have a hi-tech, metallic edge. The tribes were humans, some of them quite primitive and naive, some more advanced. We tried to make their music reflect their level of advancement at the same time as keeping it all quite organic sounding.
The juxtaposition of the lush world, hi-tech machines and primitive people is what made this game such an exciting prospect.
Joris de Man: This was one of the challenges the composing team faced, and that we spent a fair bit of time figuring out, both musically and sonically.
The machine world was the easiest: cold, mechanical textures using circuit bent synths, glitching and stretching, and metallic overtones that were achieved running percussive loops through impulse responses of iron and metal objects being struck.
With the tribes, the first thing we thought of is how tribal people would play music – it’s likely that the first things they would do is hit stuff, blow on it or use their voice, so those are ideas we explored. But it was also clear that as this world features never-before-seen tribes after humankind is more or less ‘restarted’, that we couldn’t approach instruments in a traditional way.
Guerrilla made clear we should steer away from any music or style of playing that would pull it towards any particular ethnicity, so instead we looked at playing instruments in different ways – cellos with plectrums and the back of the bow, bowed guitars and piano strings, that sort of thing.
Soundwise, Lucas van Tol (music supervisor) also suggested we’d go for a much smaller and more intimate sound, and a bit less polished, as opposed to the big blockbuster sound that some games go for, with focus on solo Instruments and ‘found sound’, rather than bigger ensembles.
Last but not least, I knew Guerrilla wasn’t overly keen on flutes, especially high ones (as far back as the first few Killzones I’d always have to turn the flutes and piccolos down in my demos!), so instead I looked for the lowest flute I could find; a Contrabass Flute. Even though it’s a metallic instrument, it sounds quite tribal and has this wonderfully deep and raspy tone that breaks up in a really interesting way when overblown. So those elements took care of the tribes’ pillar.
Nature was arguably the easiest – distant pads and ambiences, and wide, spread out chords seemed to work well. I also created a pad sound by sampling myself blowing really softly on a Thai bamboo flute, so that it barely created a pitch, but with lots of air. That was put into Kontakt and Omnisphere so that it could be played as a pad sound and in the latter, granulated to create more textures.
Lucas van Tol: Long before we approached Joris and The Flight, a short document was put together. Sort of a recipe list of things that Mathijs de Jonge, our game director, and the sound team wanted to focus on. Part of that list were those three pillars. We quite literally translated that to robots -> electronic, tribes -> rough, unpolished sounding music with simple instruments and nature -> organic, lush sounding elements. What that meant exactely, was what we wanted the composers to find out through a music test. Joris and The Flight came up with solutions that seemed to ‘click’.
Once you found these inspirations, how did this dictate what instruments to use in the score, and at what points?
The Flight: We talked in detail to Lucas at Guerrilla, who already had strong ideas about instrumentation and feel. We discussed Aloy, the world she lives in and the story path that she follows. As the world was split into zones for each of the tribes, we thought about what instruments may be found in each of them in order to give each one its own aural stamp.
We tried to use existing instruments in different ways, almost imagining how they would have been played by people just rediscovering them. One of our key sounds were bowed resonator guitars layered up with different sizes of harmonicas. We called this our ‘Horizon orchestra’!
Joris de Man: The palette on my music settled on analog synths, cello, contrabass flute, found sound and Circle Percussion, who Niels van der Leest (diegetic composer) had introduced to us. The final piece of the puzzle was Julie Elven, who, after the first E3 trailer’s music, received such an amazing response, became more or less the musical voice of Aloy.
So for the cutscenes, if the scenes signaled an emotional turn for Aloy, her voice and permutations of Aloy’s Theme (as heard on the main menu) seemed like a good choice.
Anything action-based benefited from Circle Percussion, as that would give you an instant aggressive and tribal sound, and if the development of the story focused on the machine world or technology of ‘the old ones’ (the previous civilisation), circuit bend or glitched analog synths were used.
Lucas van Tol: In the early stages of Horizon’s development, I asked Niels van der Leest, someone I had met a couple of months earlier and a professional perccusionist and game composer, to put together a presentation about tribal instruments. We knew where our game would be set approximately, and we had a bit of information about our tribes. By combining that information, you could thus extract what kind of materials tribes would have to their disposal and how they would play that.
For instance, the Nora have very basic musical knowledge, so their music had to be relatively simple. The Carja were much more sophisticated so we could put entire choir pieces there, for instance. By using Circle Percussion, a Dutch epic drums theatre group, we could combine all kinds of drumming sounds in our diegetic music as well as in our soundtrack – and all composers could ‘use’ Niels, who used to be part of Circle Percussion, to record live percussion tracks.
The score at times feels like it’s referencing the in-game past and a measure of sorrow, whilst also keeping a harder, more action filled pace. How did you balance this?
Joris de Man: Part of this was handled in the cutscenes, where there was much more room for thematic development. The past, the meaning of Horizon Zero Dawn and Aloy’s backstory is a vital part of the storyline, so there was plenty of scope to explore that musically and I really enjoyed writing thematic material for that, with motifs I could reuse in different situations.
But the balance between action and more ambient scoring during the game was also largely dictated by the various regions and the type of encounters.
Lucas did an excellent job describing the various regions to us, the tribes that inhabited them and how they differed. Some tribes had not yet gotten into metal forging, and so focused on leather and wood, whereas others were more advanced, so the music needed to reflect that.
Lucas van Tol: What worked really well is that we talked a lot with all our composers. We sent over as much information as we could. Entire tribe guides, playthroughs, artwork… I have a desk in the building where the game is actually developed. I see the game slowly coming together.
That is information that an external composer unfortunately doesn’t have. So a big part of the supervision role is to make sure they get as much information as possible. To feel as much as a part of our team as we can. The more the composers understand the game and the story, the more easily they can play with that and find the nuances in that. And from my side, I knew how and where I wanted to script the music in and how its transitions should work. So in the end, the composers didn’t have to worry about where the music should go or how it should work technically, I was able to brief them on that quite clearly so that they could focus on writing the actual music.
The Flight: The main thing for us was keeping a sense of loneliness. Aloy is alone on a quest to discover her mother and her origins. She has so much she doesn’t understand, and much hardships along the way. This game is not just a story game though, there is a lot of action too, and thus a lot of more uptempo music. The balance between the two wasn’t really our remit – it is down to the arc of the story and the game designers. We just needed to make sure that the two sides worked together to create a coherent sonic experience.
Aloy’s theme has a bittersweet tone with a progressively busier and busier crescendo. How did you approach composing for her character?
Joris de Man: I was lucky that John Gonzalez, the lead writer, created such a wonderfully rich and deep story, with well-rounded characters. Aloy is a complex character, who meets much adversity throughout her story arc; but she has this gentle strength and sensitivity that I wanted to portray in the theme.
The main theme was originally created for the first E3 trailer, and so to work to picture it needed to build to a crescendo…but Guerrilla soon realised that it would work well as a main menu theme also. For the longest time it was considered placeholder, with me potentially writing something else for the main menu, but seeing how people responded to it and how well it set the tone, it would have been foolish to try and replace it.
Lucas van Tol: I remember that initially we were a little bit unsure about Aloy’s Theme. It was so different, and so outspoken. We loved it, but would ‘the players’ like it as well? That was a big learning moment for me. Don’t make anything for ‘the players’, there is no such thing. Make something that intuitively you think works, and that is what Joris did.
We all fell in love with Julie Elven’s voice, and it sort of transitioned into the idea that Julie would become Aloy’s musical voice. Any time something emotional happens to Aloy, Julie will be there to support her. The epilogue track is one of my favorites, and I really think it is because Joris and Julie have taken you on a journey that concludes there. It’s because of Aloy’s Theme and all those other pieces that that moment lands so well.
This score sees a bit of a departure from your previous works in being such a unique and vast world that’s a lot more open to creative interpretation. How do you feel this has differed from your previous work in approaching scoring the game?
The Flight: We are lucky to have worked on such varied projects. Before we started Horizon Zero Dawn we had just completed the score for Alien: Isolation, which is dark, claustrophobic and pretty terrifying, but also coincidentally a story about a lone woman searching for her mother.
Whilst working on Horizon Zero Dawn we also scored a Channel 4 documentary series about children with mental health disorders. Though these are all very different projects, in the end we are just writing music, we still usually sit down, pick up an instrument and start playing.
Joris de Man:Horizon Zero Dawn was hugely challenging on many levels – having had history with Guerrilla Games on the Killzone franchise, where the music had to match the intense gameplay and was an aural assault on the listener with a massive live symphony orchestra, Horizon Zero Dawn couldn’t have been further away from that type of scoring and sound.
It required a very different approach, and I had to allow myself to write simple, effective themes and background music that had a very different pace and intensity. The palette too, couldn’t be further apart, with just a few soloists and found sounds, so the challenge was to do a lot with relatively little, and allow the music to breathe without needing to take centre stage.
At times it was quite challenging and a bit outside of my comfort zone, but I relished the opportunity of sonically traversing this unique landscape, and ended up in places I wouldn’t have had if we’d taken a more traditional, blockbuster-style approach.
Lucas van Tol: This was my first project supervising the music – luckily I had a lot of help from the sound team and our producers, and people within Sony. However, I did integrate the music for Killzone 2, 3 and Shadow Fall, so I was pretty familiar with the process and Joris his work.
But we wanted something completely new here. I was interested in seeing what would happen if we would force Joris to go into a direction he had never been in, at least not for Guerrilla, to see what would happen.
A couple of things happened. He nailed the style, but he also accidently provided a solution for the huge amount of music content we wanted to have. His initial pieces were very rich, very full. I soon realized that although it was beautiful, it would be too much to hear all the time.
So instead I asked for all the stems of the songs, and we started to create more content out of these stems. Often we would find entirely different sounding songs by choosing the right stems. As a bonus, we now had a musical soundscape that could take the spotlight or kind of linger somewhere in the background. There suddenly was a natural flow that worked really well.
… And Finally.
Joris de Man: There’s a nice example on the soundtrack of how, during the course of the game, some of the music developed over time.
The first is the Prologue – there’s a demo on the first disc called Papoose that was the original demo for the opening cutscene, composed to just a section from the script. It became clear, once the scene was storyboarded and put into an early animatic, that the pace and vibe was quite different, but thematically there were a few bits in there I thought worked well. You’ll hear some of those bits (like the main flute melody) back in little snippets in the final Prologue piece.
Secondly, The Flight and I collaborated on a few pieces, which started as a piano sketch from myself that the Flight worked into a full production. I thought it was really interesting to hear our different approaches to sound and production and how it played to our different strengths.
Lucas van Tol: A fun thing to note is that our composers also did the motion capture for our diegetic music vignettes. The three musicians in Meridian are Joe, Alexis and Niels, as are the priests and the drumming trio at the Nora festival. We played the music on set and they synced their mocap to it.
Talking about the music group in Meridan, there’s also a fun story about that. We originally were confronted with three concept art pieces of instruments. We had no idea what they would sound like or how they would be played. So we approached The Flight with the question if they could ‘sell’ those instruments to us, to make a little Youtube tutorial video to show us what these instruments were about.
They did an excellent job, the video was both entertaining and informing, and from that point on we knew we were dealing with a Kuna Bass, a Braumdrum and an Iron Pendulum.（source：develop online ）