The Music - Adding Depth to Bloom
Hey everyone, Dani here again (again). First off, thanks so so much for all the support on Bloom! We have come a long way and still have 11 days left, so please keep spreading the word and we can definitely reach the goal!! :)
Also a special thanks to Penny Arcade (and Sophie Prell) for their recent article covering a bit of the game as well as shining a light on a social issue which is often overlooked. Coming from such a leader in the gaming community, it really means a lot to us at Studio Fawn (and me personally).
Anyhow, back to Bloom and today's update!!
We touched pretty briefly on this on the main page, but basically our goal is to use the music to reinforce the narrative of the game on a subtle (though substantial) level.
In order to accomplish this our composer, Jose Mora-Jimenez, works closely with me while we move step by step through the story in the game. We then break down the feelings and narrative at that point and Jose interprets this into music using different instruments to represent the various actors in the game.
Ok, we really need an example! Let’s look at the “Bloom Main Theme” for this and I’ll let Jose explain it himself.
"After some considerations I decided to use a viola for the mother's "voice", it has a warm, expressive tone that I think works great, it will also mix great with the clarinet which is the main's character instrument.
In the track, after the harp intro (that for me represents the forest and nature), I introduce the viola (the mother) and then the clarinet (the main character) , for me it is like mother and child in a dialogue. The clarinet responds to the melody played by the viola. The viola continues playing and the melody is then taken over by the whole string section. After the melody has reached a climax the music goes quiet and delicate again and mother and child "talk" for the last time. For me it's like the character is leaving his mother behind and starting his journey...but he's not left alone, the mother and Ilana are watching over him and continue playing softly till the end..."
Of course, in addition to this continued narrative, we also have some other interesting acoustical treats. One of these is how we treat the music (even the same tracks) as the world around you shifts. For example, the bridge is filled with life but also rather mysterious and seemingly empty (especially when you first enter). In order to help really communicate this, we can’t just rely on sight alone. So, we shift the music itself to really help tell what is going on. Take a listen to the track below to get an example of this shifting.
As you can see, we really put a lot of thought and effort into this to make sure Bloom gives a complete experience while playing. The music is definitely beautiful on its own, but we go much deeper than that and try to take it a step beyond the norm. Of course, now that you know a bit of the context, you will be able to listen to future tracks and your mind will be left to imagine the narrative we are telling (matching it against the game you are experiencing). Like with everything else in Bloom, if you take the time to appreciate it beyond the surface you will find plenty to think about and enjoy.
So, hopefully this gives everyone a better idea of the music and what we are trying to achieve. Bloom definitely isn't about taking the easiest or fastest rout . ..but hopefully in the end it will all be worth it as we offer up an experience that you can really enjoy.
Anyhow, thanks again so much for all of the support! With your help we can definitely make it! :)