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The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, May 31 2014 1:31 PM UTC +00:00
Keith ZizzaBy Keith Zizza
First created
Keith ZizzaBy Keith Zizza
First created
$2,166
pledged of $21,000pledged of $21,000 goal
24
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, May 31 2014 1:31 PM UTC +00:00

About

Hi there! My name is Keith Zizza, and I am a professional composer and sound designer for video games, having been so for close to 20 years now. You may be familiar with some of my music from Sierra's platinum-selling City Building Series (Pharaoh, Caesar, and Zeus), or Tilted Mill Entertainment (Children of the Nile and SimCity Societies).

In this time I’ve created many soundtracks, especially those for games set in ancient civilizations. In all, I’ve worked on dozens of titles that millions of gamers have enjoyed.

The Project

I would like to ask you for your support in making a new solo album series about the life, stories and mythical beings of Ancient Egypt. I have always had a fascination and strong interest in ancient civilizations and their tales – stories of strange creatures, magic, gods and goddesses, and otherworldly intervention into humanity by both good and evil forces.

If you could take a journey back in time to Ancient Egypt, and you imagined that the mythological beings they worshiped were real -- that they affected the very way you thought and lived -- what might your experience be like? This is my attempt to project those thoughts and feelings of a mystical time, of such a magnificent culture, through music.

Music Goals

Conjuring up this imagery will require careful attention, lush instrumentation, and rich sonic textures. With your help, I will be able to take the time and effort to make this music a reality.

The initial goal of the album is to be a 12 track CD: “Tales of the Sun God”, with a selection of instrumental pieces that will conjure up ancient Egyptian life and times, gods and goddesses, and the journey a pharaoh must undertake when venturing into the afterlife. If additional goals are reached, two other volumes, “Tales of the Moon God”, and “Tales of the Earth God” will follow, and will be available as a deluxe boxed set. Inspirations for these albums may include:

  • Ra, God of the Sun
  • Sekhmet, Goddess of War
  • Sobek, Creator of the Nile
  • Anubis, Protector of the Dead
  • The Pharaoh’s journey to the Afterworld
  • The Judgement Hall of Ma’at
  • The Field of Reeds
  • Thoth, Recorder of Deeds
  • Osiris, Lord of the Underworld
  • Isis, Mistress of Magic
  • Bastet, Protector of Pharaoh
  • Various temples and burial sites
  • Everyday lives of the people

My musical style will be a blend of contemporary instrumentation with some period instruments added, either real or virtual. Depending on the amount of funding received for this project, I can add several genuine classic instruments to the mix. All songs will be instrumental (probably ranging from 3-5 minutes each, depending on the goals reached), all working in concert with one another to paint a lush picture of the past.

I am thrilled to have you on board with me! I will keep you updated with each new track towards the completed album, sharing previews of each new piece along the way.

A Look Back

“This is one of those rare, perfect soundtracks that you'll actually turn up to increase the suspension of disbelief … One of the best soundtracks I’ve heard all year … I couldn’t ask for more” – IGN, Pharaoh, 1999

“A musical score that blends in nicely” -- C|Net, Caesar IV, 2006

“Excellent ambient soundtrack” – Game Informer Magazine, Children of the Nile, 2005

“A pleasant sound track that adds a lot to the gaming experience” – Strategy Informer, Children of the Nile, 2005

It all started when I was very young: I first discovered the world of Ancient Egypt while on a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. There I marveled at the colossal statues (even more colossal when you’re eight years old!), stories, and artifacts of that great civilization. Fast forward twenty years, and I began my role as lead composer for Pharaoh™, one of Sierra’s many epic city-building games which went "platinum" (and I made a lot of new fans!). Then I created the soundtrack to Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile™ from Tilted Mill; here I chose to compose the various tracks using a blend of real, synthesized, and virtual instruments.

Tuning up the multi-stringed esraj for a recording session
Tuning up the multi-stringed esraj for a recording session

Reaching Out

These were fun and rewarding projects, with a great sense of creative flow to the music production. It was a continuing cycle of studying the culture and mythology, then translating those ideas into instrumental pieces for the game, and over again. But now ten years later and with the advent of greater computing power (and an wider palette of sonic production tools), I feel that I am ready to create another lush, even grander musical experience, keeping the focus on the mythology, culture, and stories.

Sadly, there is no publisher is willing to take on a period soundtrack without a game attached to it; nor would they ever allow the longer production time needed for the level of care and detail this music requires. That’s why I’m bringing Tales of the Sun God to Kickstarter, and I hope you find this music project as interesting and exciting as I do!

Performing some string parts into a track, in my project studio
Performing some string parts into a track, in my project studio

The history of audio work (and reviews) in my bio should show you my track record for completion of projects, and I’ve also chosen some relevant examples of my most recent work below, so you can get a sense of my aesthetic style and production quality.

Going Forward

There really is no limit to how great this project can become… it is, of course, up to you! It would be a pleasure to incorporate both real and virtual instruments, additional tracks, and so on. Please see the current stretch goals below for the current plan.

So many years have passed, and I feel that all of them have given me the skills, hindsight, and experience to now offer you the best album I'll have ever made. Thank you so much for your generous support, and I look forward to sharing this wonderful musical journey with you!

Sincerely,

Keith

________________________________________________________

Goals

LABORER’S GOAL of $ 21000: 12 tracks on CD and digital copy.

CRAFTSMAN’S GOAL of $ 29000: 16 tracks + additional artwork on CD and digital copy, as a blend of real and virtual instruments.

NOBLE’S GOAL of $ 36000: 24 tracks, a blend of real + virtual instruments, additional artwork, in a deluxe double-CD format: "Tales of the Sun God" and "Tales of the Moon God"

PHARAOH’S GOAL of $ 42000: 30 tracks, a blend of real + virtual instruments a and three-CD collection adding "Tales of the Earth God", in a decorative box set with artwork, writings, pictures, videos, and more!

Future Goals... are up to you!

A $50 pledge will also include the entire Tales of the Sun God project on a custom USB flash drive!
A $50 pledge will also include the entire Tales of the Sun God project on a custom USB flash drive!

Reaching the Noble's Goal will launch part II, Tales of the Moon God; and for part III, Tales of the Earth God - 30 tracks in all!

________________________________________________________

  My Past Experience

Some of the publishers and developers I've provided audio for.
Some of the publishers and developers I've provided audio for.
Some of the TV networks my music has been on in recent years.
Some of the TV networks my music has been on in recent years.

________________________________________________________

Music Samples

Below are some sample clips of my recent production work for games and television, relevant to Tales of the Sun God. This should give you an idea of my compositional and production quality. Enjoy!

1) Celebration of Bes (for music library):

2) Abbaseh ("Lioness", for music library):

3) Across the Rubicon (from Memories of a Forgotten Age):

4) Urvashi's Spell (for music library)

5) Spirits of the Desert Moon (from Memories of a Forgotten Age)

6) Journey of the Caravan (for music library)

7) On The Falcon's Wings (from Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile)

8) In The Field of Reeds (from Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile)

9)  I, Elemental (from Memories of a Forgotten Age)

10) Grand Bazaar (for music library)

For more music clips, please visit the Tales of the Sun God website, or my home page for more music and sound design demos. Thanks!

________________________________________________________

Page Credits:

 - La tombe de Toutankhamon (1340-1331 AV. J.C.) a été découverte par Howard Carter en novembre 1922 © 2002 by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra.

- Anubis, Ra, Sekhmet, and Sobek © 2007-2008 by Jeff Dahl.

Game Footage: Pharaoh © 1989-1999 Activision Publishing, Inc. Zeus © 2000-2001 Activision Publishing, Inc.

"Tales of the Sun God" Logo Design by Patrick Brigham.

Other art and design from Wikimedia Commons and GoGraph Images. Flat Earth Scribe Fonts licensed from Blambot.

Risks and challenges

There really are no risks to my completing this project, but it will be a part-time endeavor. While I will be dedicating much of my free time on the album(s) with all of my energy and enthusiasm, I also have a daytime job (as a professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute) and family responsibilities.

As mentioned above, I will post regular updates to the project website to keep you apprised, including previews of each new piece as they are completed.

I am estimating the first album (the initial goal of 12 tracks) will be ready to deliver by August of 2015. Additional tracks won't take as much time once I get the project and instrumentation set up. If the full goal of 30 tracks is reached, I would estimate an additional 6-8 months to the finished project.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A digital download of the first album, Tales of the Sun God, and my heartfelt thanks for your support!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A digital download of the first album, Tales of the Sun God, plus a signed CD copy.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    A digital download of the first album, Tales of the Sun God, a signed CD copy of the first album, PLUS a digital copy of Memories of a Forgotten Age, my debut instrumental album.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All of the above, including ALL tracks produced from Tales of the Sun God, Tales of the Moon God (if goal is reached), and Tales of the Earth God (if goal is reached), all on a custom USB drive! Estimated delivery based on first album goal.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The above reward plus a high-quality 11 x 11 print of the finished album cover art, a signed CD of my debut album, Memories of a Forgotten Age, and ALL tracks from Tales of the Sun God, Moon God (if goal is reached) and Earth God (if goal is reached) albums in a deluxe CD package. Estimated delivery based on first album goal.

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    All of the above plus your name in the credits.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    All of the above plus a license to use any three songs from the first album.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All of the above plus an additional three tracks to license from the first album, and you'll be credited as an Associate Producer.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    All of the above plus a license to include ALL tracks from the the first album, and you'll be noted as a Producer in the credits.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You will receive everything above plus a license to use ALL songs from the entire project (including my debut CD), and be noted as an Executive Producer of the project.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    All of the above, plus tell me what Deity, God, Goddess, or other being from Ancient Egyptian mythology to compose a piece for, and I will make it happen!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    You are amazing! You will receive all of the above plus I will chat with you (via Skype) about the album project and / or anything musical you'd like to talk about for an hour or two!

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Funding period

- (40 days)