Ninive

When composing I like to mix many different (and often contrasting) elements. With Ninive I explored diverse cultural influences and united them in one theme. The main idea came from experimentation with middle eastern sounding scales on electric guitar. From there I kept building additional sections which turned out to sound more and more like western rock music. Another contrast I used is the instrumentation of the song. While Ninive starts and ends with a spacy synth riff and fx pads, the actual main body of the track is played with “traditional” instruments (at least traditional by modern standards). In fact this is the first song on which I introduced my acoustic guitar, audible in the left channel.

One thing about the name and coverart: Ninive was an acient Mesopotamian city of the Assyrians and for some time it used to be the largest city in the world. The artwork, however, is not related to Ninive – well, at least not directly. The image shows a detail of the Ishtar Gate, part of the Walls of Babylon. What’s interesting about it is that Babylon was once conquered by the Assyrians, who subsequently expanded their capital Ninive after the design of Babylon. Furthermore, according to Oxford scientist Stephanie Dalley the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were actually never built in Babylon, but in Ninive.

Survarium

I recently read that game developer Vostok Games announced a music contest for the soundtrack of their upcoming online massive multiplayer shooter “Survarium”. Since many of the developers are ex-GSC Game World employees, the game (currently in beta stage) is reminiscent of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. which I loved. I was always amazed by the atmosphere this game was able to create. According to this website, the music contest is held from August 28 until November 28: http://survarium.com/en/news/survarium-music-contest

People can submit their tracks in two categories – 1) a cover of the main theme and 2) any own work that feels suitable for the game soundtrack. Since I do not enjoy covering songs, I decided to go for the second nomination and already had a track ready for submission.

Jupiter:

So what we have here is basically a dark ambient track already written with a post-apocalyptic setting in mind, but primarily influenced by the Chernobyl disaster and certain related locations like the Jupiter factory (that’s where the song got its name from). However, since Survarium tells kind of the same story (headline on the website: What would happen if mankind lost control over what it created?), I felt like it would fit this contest as well.

By the way, if you don’t have access to the closed beta of Survarium, yet, you can participate in a lottery generating an invite to random users every minute: https://forum.survarium.com/en/lottery.php?list=1

Relief

No shock, no surprises, no distortion. Think of today’s song as a moment of peace. A clean guitar and the world is okay for 2:19min.

Relief:

This track was written during night time. Shortly before going to sleep I grabbed my guitar and played this motif that was in my head. I put the recording aside for a while, but as soon as Crave was released, I picked it up again and developed the idea. Since this track was meant to be an interlude in the first place, I did not intend to add any other instruments at all. Simple, stripped down and short, that was the plan.

For those who want to play this: Tune your guitar to Drop D and put a capo on the 1st fret. This gives you the low droning D# throughout the whole song.