This week I will be going over the species selection tracks for the elder races that are locked in a cold war in Lord of Rigel – the Rigelans and Arcturans.
The sound of the Rigelans is based on the Ascension victory track for end game. As this is unique only to them, I felt it was important to tie in these tracks together for the sake of continuity and hopefully giving the player a sense of significance in that moment of victory. The neutral track has a very minimal sound palette consisting of only 3 things in total. The pads play drawn out chords with a long release time that helps give it an ethereal feel, with distant ambient bells used to add another interest to draw your attention toward.
The hostile track uses the same pad sounds but played at a lower register which gives it more authority. In addition there are deep, reverberated drums and a delayed bass played on the penultimate drum hit in each bar which pushes the rhythm along nicely. Accenting the start of each bar is an ambient choir; I found this really helped upon up the sound of the track.
The Arcturans are a silicon based species, their home world made up of huge crystalline spires. This description is essentially the basis for the sound I came up with, which consists of high pitched bells and cymbals. I have managed to get really close to the sound I wanted with the Arcturans; I think it supports the description of their home world pretty well. Funnily enough, I was re-reading Asimov’s foundation series at the time and I’m sure reading about the Arcturus sector and the atmosphere of those books had an influence in what I ended up writing. Overall I’m happy with the way it has turned out.
So far I have only written the neutral track for the Arcturans but I am thinking that the hostile version will be the same theme with a more aggressive set of instruments but we will see how that pans out. It will be the last of the species music that I need to write for the game. It will be nice to hear everything in context once it’s all done.