A mix of orchestra and grime.
Developed by SIE London Studios, Blood & Truth is a virtual-reality first-person shooter with a soundtrack that fuses orchestral sounds with grime beats and rap.
Posting an entry on the PlayStation Blog, composer Joe Thwaites spoke about how “80 world-class orchestral musicians and a host of top UK rappers” came together under the production of Zdot to create the soundtrack for the VR game.
“Orchestrally, we wanted a big, aggressive brass sound that works either as orchestral low-end or as samples in ZDot’s grime productions,” Thwaites said. “To that end, we had 18 incredible players in Lyndhurst Hall at AIR Studios blasting away on horns, Wagner tubas, trumpets, trombones (tenor, bass and contrabass!), tubas and cimbassi.”
He added: “In VR, music needs to work seamlessly with the action in order to avoid breaking player immersion, so the implementation of the music was key in making the player feel like an action hero. We used a number of techniques to make the music feel like it is scoring each individual players playthrough of the game.”
The music in Blood & Truth is dynamic and changes as players perform ‘badass’ moves during combat. Avoiding damage from enemies and keeping shooting accuracy up will cause orchestral sounds and bassline beats to drop, complementing the action.
“This idea of tight integration also led us to recording bespoke orchestral versions of some of the licensed music in the soundtrack,” Thwaites explained. “This allowed us to blend seamlessly between in-world music and [off-screen] music, helping to take the player deeper into the experience.
“We were lucky enough to be able to do this on tracks by Diplo, Tim Deluxe and MJ Cole who were all very supportive of the concept. London-based Tim & MJ Cole even came to Abbey Road to see the orchestra performing their songs and they were blown away hearing their music transformed in this way.”
Check out the behind-the-scenes video wherein Zdot and MC Eyez talk more about what they wanted to represent and create for the soundtrack.
“Blood & Truth is a game made in London by people who live in London,” said Jim Fowler, composer and orchestrator at Sony PlayStation. “It feels authentic, particularly working with grime artists of… a bit of London you don’t see in films, normally.”
In related news, music label Black Screen Records recently announced the Blood & Truth soundtrack will be released on vinyl this August. A limited 12″ EP is planned for a later date.