Hey there! You most likely won't know me yet, but the name's Joe and I'm the guy behind Fractured State's soundtrack. I won't talk much about myself so if you want to know more, feel free to take a look at my site for everything relevant. Instead, what I will talk about is the main theme of Fractured State - "Divided" - the inspirations and thoughts behind it, and how it came into being.
Unsurprisingly, main themes are pretty important when it comes to setting tone, both for the game and the general direction of the music. In many cases, the main theme is one of the very first things a player will hear, either in promotional snippets or perhaps when starting up the game for the first time. This means that the theme needs to complement the overall tone of the game and maybe even add to its depth. In that sense, writing the main theme for a game is a pretty heavy responsibility!
When we initially discussed the direction for Fractured State's soundtrack, one of the aspects that really came to the fore was that both factions should have a distinctly different thematic feel. The original thought was that the Laperian Empire would be represented by something evoking majesty and power along the lines of a massive brass marching bad, while the Children of the Ancients should give off more of an air of mystery through a blend of woodwinds and strings. Though there ended up being much crossover in terms of instrumentation, these ideas persisted in some form through the creation and development of the entire score. The real challenge was uniting these elements to form a cohesive theme that could represent the entire game as a whole - not just one faction or aspect. From this theme, we can pull leitmotifs to be used repeatedly across the rest of the soundtrack.
I wrote "Divided" to be a theme built on conflicts. In a sense, it tells the story of a downward spiral into chaos - the descent into war, the fracturing of a state. What begins calm and grows majestic quickly warps into the twisted darkness of civil war. But even amidst the calm and majesty, the conflict of factions can be heard - this is one case where I chose to keep some semblance of the division of instrumentation by faction. Strings and brass continually compete for dominance, a quiet tension building as time progresses.
There are multiple short melodies and fragments throughout the piece, each of which frequently resurface in various forms across the whole of the soundtrack. I won't spoil which of these is which exactly, but suffice to say I had quite a bit of fun coming up with new ways to twist and warp them to match the thematic tone of the two different factions. At this point, I feel like I've rambled on for long enough about the track itself. I'll just get out of the way so you can actually listen to it!