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The composer of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim continues his personal musical journey by creating Soule Symphony No. 1, "The Northerner".
The composer of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim continues his personal musical journey by creating Soule Symphony No. 1, "The Northerner".
4,256 backers pledged $121,227 to help bring this project to life.

Northerner Update

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As it has been several months since our last update, I want to give you some insights into the production and where things stand. I apologize that I haven't been able to communicate more up to this point as I'm also in the midst of creating some exciting but important technologies that are enhancing my work exponentially.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to not only innovate for my Symphony, but also to leave a lasting mark that forever improves technical capabilities for music makers all over the world. Why the silence?

It’s true that there has been a modicum of silence here and for that I do sincerely apologize. In reality, things have been anything but quiet. Over the last year, I’ve had a plethora of irons in the proverbial fire, any and all of which could be considered a 100 percent occupier of someone’s time.

On one hand, I’ve been crafting and creating the Northerner and on another I’ve been helping build and grow the company that will bring the aforementioned music technology and creative capabilities to the world. Dividing time between these and several other projects has been challenging to say the least.

A fortunate (or possibly unfortunate, depending on how you look at it) side-effect of being at the forefront of something as groundbreaking as what this company is working on is the want and need to incorporate it into the music I compose. Rather than waiting for the fall ship date of this new work to be incorporated, the technologies I'm developing will be featured in beta form along accompanying the already planned live orchestral recordings for the Northerner.

I’ve already tested incorporation of the new technology and am currently utilizing it as part of the recording process. I've also amended plans for Iceland and have decided to record vocals there, and will be recording orchestral sessions in Seattle.

To say that work on the Northerner Sketches and Symphony have stalled completely would not be true. Gated by time, or the lack thereof, certainly. Stalled? Definitely not. So you are still working on the Northerner? 

The symphony is absolutely still in progress. I anticipate the Sketches to land late this fall with the full symphony to follow in 2017.

So wait, you took the Kickstarter funds and started a company? Absolutely not, not even a penny. The company is based on an initiative and subsequent joint venture between Roland Corporation and Virtual Sonics.

As with all endeavors that I’m currently driving, everything has it’s own creative, developmental and financial compartment and the only overlap comes in my ability to utilize the outcome of one to multiply the outcome of another. 

 In this case, the technology and content my company is creating plays to my craftsman’s spirit and composer’s heart enough to warrant some waiting time to allow them to be realized in my compositional process, ultimately enhancing the quality of the finished symphony. Trust me, it’s worth the wait. 

Why do you keep bringing up the technology, and why are you being vague? There are two reasons.

First, I can’t leak anything about the technology yet from a legal and PR standpoint. Trust me, given the magnitude of what we’re building and how we envision it changing the world of music, keeping this secret has not been easy.

Second, you are part of this journey because we share a passion for music. An update about the music is long overdue and that is the intent of this message. There’ll be more about the tech from other outlets later and hopefully it will spark an ‘aha’ moment for those that are interested. In the meantime, there will be music that reaps the benefits coming soon.

For those that would continue to say they support me in what I do in this journey, I say thank you. We are making history together and this is much larger than me or my symphony.

And for those who want to say goodbye and withdraw backer support, please know I will refund you without hesitation. Simply email refunds@maxsteineragency.com.

For those that are in it for the long haul, I’m still overjoyed to be travelling with you and can’t wait to share with you the final destination. I won't let you down, as the work I'm making is far better than I had anticipated and is being created with more capability than I had ever dreamt possible. I am fortunate and I am blessed to be your composer.

Sincerely,

JS

Ryan Gobel, Nathan Camp, and 97 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Geff Chang on

      Apparently, even Jeremy Soule's Facebook page is already dead. Anybody got a refund yet?

    2. Missing avatar

      Sarah Seitzinger on

      Back in February, Bashar posted:
      "since there's a means for backers to request a refund, is it also possible to increase current pledges to a higher reward tier?"

      I'd be curious about this as well. Since then, as we've continued to wait for the symphony and I'm still holding out hope that it'll be completed one day, I've long wished I could upgrade from $33 to $50. (I'm sort of getting a feeling of being a patron of the Renaissance arts like the Medicis and such; I'm sure some of their sponsored projects took longer than 3-5 years, though the artist may have originally promised it sooner, right...?)

      Not being sarcastic here. When this symphony comes to fruition, it'd be nice if those of us who decided to stick it out could choose to support even more. Backerkit seems to have the ability to do this, as 2-3 other (completed/fulfilled) Kickstarters I have funded have used this site. I see Kévin Piquemal also expressed similar wishes back in February. I'm sure there are others.

    3. Missing avatar

      Grant Callender on

      For me, the pledge I made is worth it to hear more of your music, the way you want it made. I will not be withdrawing my pledge, despite the long wait time. I distinctly remember Googling "composer Morrowind" as a kid when the game was first released; your music stood out. It is still important to me after all these years. Take your time, but please remember our commitment.

    4. Gary H. Wishik, M.D.
      Superbacker
      on

      what the other backer said....I didn't back this Kickstarter out of "passion for music". I just like yours and wanted more of it. I have absolutely 0 interest in new audio tools. You commited to produce this symphony 3 years ago and decided to invest your time on something else instead. This is what I call a scam.
      I would ask for a refund if previous comments weren't so pessimistic about receiving

      makes me think about the benny mardones cd i backed (support local talent, i thought)..i got a cd...it's just dreadful

    5. Missing avatar

      Neil Lalonde on

      Good luck completing the symphony! I hope to have it on a shiny new "CD" one day. Also, this is one more project that made me decide never to fund a kickstarter, crowd-sourced, or early-access product ever again. This model doesn't work.

    6. Missing avatar

      John Hoffman on

      My comment is a little delayed but, I'm really excited for you Jeremy! Keep up the good work and I can't wait to hear what you make! Thanks for the updates, they are always a nice boost to my day.

    7. Sentinel on

      @Edward: great news ! I made my refund request on April 10th so I only have to wait one more month to get it. Now that's great service.

    8. Edward Emanuel on

      I made the request for refund on March 6th and was shocked to find that I actually got my refund today!

    9. Brad Elledge on

      If I understand the status, the symphony score is complete - we are waiting for the technology to catch up to produce the actual sonic portion?

    10. Owen Hartman on

      I'm conflicted in the best possible way. I am simultaneously very impatient and I want it NOW, but on the other hand I'd rather have the best possible product. So carry on you magical man, and bon chance!

    11. Missing avatar

      Colleen Vermillion on

      I didn't fund you out of a passion for music - my passion is helping artists achieve their vision. I love that Kickstarter lets me participate in arts patronage without being ridiculously wealthy. A symphony is no small undertaking, and frankly I thought your initial estimate was extremely optimistic. Creativity shouldn't be rushed or pressured by deadlines in my opinion. Art is like pure research. You invest in the activity with the hope (but not the expectation) that something wonderful will come of it. If I were investing in the result, there are many endeavors where the risk/reward is much more favorable. So, I hope that you will be able to achieve your vision for the symphony, and look forward to listening to it whenever it is complete. Even you never get to the original goal, I hope that my small investment will have helped further your art in some way.

    12. Melanie Christin on

      I didn't back this Kickstarter out of "passion for music". I just like yours and wanted more of it. I have absolutely 0 interest in new audio tools. You commited to produce this symphony 3 years ago and decided to invest your time on something else instead. This is what I call a scam.
      I would ask for a refund if previous comments weren't so pessimistic about receiving it.

    13. Missing avatar

      Elliott Ross on

      Thanks for the update, i'll be sticking around, I just hope you find some time to keep us updated on your progress. 1 or 2 updates a month is not a lot to ask, share this journey with us, don't give us the silent treatment!

    14. Frank Talbot on

      Am I the only one who thinks it's kinda funny we'll be receiving a CD in 2017 (so, probably 2018 if we're lucky)?

      Back in 2013, I thought "Well, guess this is gonna be one of the last CDs I'll ever buy", but in 1-2 years, I'm not exactly sure what I'll be doing with it. By the time it gets to my door in Canada, chances are I'll have listened to it several times on Google Play, Youtube, etc. A signed vinyl would at least have some kind of collector's value, but a CD? Meh.

      How many of you will actually use the CD instead of ripping it to mp3s, streaming it, etc.? Maybe I'm not enough of an audiophile, but my CD playback options are shrinking every year, to the point where right now I think only my PC (which will offer to rip to mp3 before the music even starts playing) and my car (which sounds just as good with a USB drive full of music) support CDs, unless the new consoles have the option (and who does that instead of streaming and/or playing games?).

      So I guess my real question is, considering how long this has been delayed for, does making a CD still makes sense for a release like this in 2017+, and could an alternative be offered to people like me who aren't asking for a refund, but want the signature + some kind of collectible thing? Have you thought about offering some kind of higher quality / hardcover "book" with bigger pictures than you'd see in a CD booklet and just offer a download code or something?

    15. Gray Carlyle on

      I will wait, but I must say, considering the overall lazyness of many kickstarter projects, it fits right in here. For me its the first and last time i found any composer. As you can see even a credibly name says nothing in regards of reliability and "work ethos". A shame really.

    16. lametrie@web.de on

      As someone who is composing a bit myself I can say, it takes time to forge your ideas into a score if you want to get it in a way you are fully satisfied with. And in my case I do not sit only with the composition all the time, there are breaks, sometime long breakts, it has to grow to get something organic. And that can take time, that's just the truth.
      It is something different composing for a purpose like a game I think. You got a deadline. You do not compose an organism as a symphony has to be. You compose ambience (without beeing rude! I love this music!!!) But it is just shorter! You can compose little worlds that can be combined into one big emotion of a game.
      In my experience you don't write a big form as a symphony, concerto or sonata in one stroke or in some months. There is a bit try and error, some struggle to get the feeling and themes and variations and growing right. And you could get to a point you have to delete whole parts because they do not fit any longer into the big picture...
      Today no one is going to be patient with someone beeing offline 5 months writing a symphony, you just are out of business doing that. So you have to find your time-islands to compose I suppose. And in a time when a music piece longer than 6 minutes is counting for obscure already writing a symphony is supposed to take much more than a couple of months.
      I'd rather wait 3 or 5 more years than getting something the composer is not really satisfied with! I funded the symphony because I love to hear the music. But I funded it too to give Mr. Soule the possibility to give the growth of his music the time it has to have to come into existence.

    17. Janardan Nathan on

      Successfully funded on Apr 14 2013...
      I'm still waiting...

    18. Missing avatar

      Endyo on

      Considering the ridiculous amount of time I've waited for this, I wouldn't dare back out at this point and seek a refund. However, I can say that I've lost some respect for you Mr. Soule. When you set out on this path to get the community to support your desire to be creative without restrictions, there was an expectation that, even with this freedom, you would deliver within a reasonable time frame. Yet here we are moving to almost three years beyond the estimated delivery date and you're saying we've got another year to go because 'other things came up.' I just think it's really disingenuous for you to say that this mysterious other venture took precedence over your commitment to those people who supported you solely based on a love of your music. No one should argue that it's not reasonable to follow your desires in life, but I think everyone universally agrees that when you commit to a group of people, especially those that are passionate enough to know a video game composer by name, that you shouldn't put them on the backburner time and time again. Many talented creators of music could only dream of having an opportunity where they're given 120k to make whatever they want.

      I just wanted to share my perspective on all of this. I know it won't change anything, but to me seeing update after update focused primarily on stating that there will be delays is not only frustrating, but seems outright disrespectful.

    19. Ahmed on

      I have moved since we had to send out the survey. When can we update our address? Will there be a chance to do so?

    20. Missing avatar

      Trym on

      While personally I would of course have liked to see the work released sooner, you cannot fault the process taking longer and other projects showing up to slow down progress, etc. Needless to say, my pledge stays and I'm looking forward to hearing sketches of the Northerner late 2016 hopefully and then the full symphony in 2017.
      I hope also Max Steiner Agency is decent about refunding those who now choose to opt out, for me it's a small contribution to a wonderful artist and money spent back then that I have yet every belief that I will be repaid for.

      If you can, Mr. Soule, a small teaser or sketch that will appear on Sketches would be very much appreciated. You can tell by everyone here still listening to Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim and Guild Wars soundtracks still to date that your music is timeless and we're all just dying to hear what is to come.

    21. Jonathan Powell on

      I'm still in this for the long haul. Get your symphony done, but do it in a way that you are true to your heart, true to your muse, true to the music in your soul. I'll be here waiting until then. JP

    22. Simon Bérubé on

      Correction: Why would I request a refund if people before me **haven't** received one?

    23. Simon Bérubé on

      Technology that hasn't even been announced should not be a requirement for a symphony you promised to deliver over 2 years ago.

    24. Simon Bérubé on

      ... As if refunds were actually an option. Come on, nobody is receiving refunds. Max Steiner Agency is safeguarding you as is Kickstarter.

      I agree with what has been said in the project comments. Why would I request a refund if people before me have received one. That only introduces the risk of not getting a refund and also not getting a reward.

    25. Jean-Marc Therrien on

      I'm in it for the long haul! I didn't expect something like this to come overnight as you can't rush music. Can't wait to lay down, listen and let the music transport me away!

    26. Kevin Scalzitti on

      Take as long as you need, brother! One should not rush true artistry & inspiration! Thanks for following the update. :)

    27. Mykll Valiant
      Superbacker
      on

      Keeping my pledge in. Honestly though I forget about this until I get an update, but that is just me. Sure I thought when I backed I would have gotten this by now, but I was willing to pay $50 for an autographed CD 3 years ago, and I would pay $50 3 years from now. I like my physical goods, I'm not all digital. So I know I will either get $50 or an autographed CD, and I am not hurting to have either right now.

    28. Evan Howard on

      I love all the music you have created so far. I am excited to see what you are working on. now all I have to do is continue waiting patiently.

    29. Missing avatar

      Vahron on

      Take your time, have fun in your professional and personal life doing what you love to do, and you'll certainly amaze all of us once again in due time, as you've always done so far. You have my full and sincere support.

    30. JourneyPT on

      I don't mind waiting at all, after all I spend a lot of money in other projects and it would be silly to jump from the train this late.
      What I request Mr. Jeremy is some feedback around here, please update at least 1 time for each month. It's my only request. If you don't enjoy writing you can make a video or something like that. I'm sure this project will be amazing.

    31. Missing avatar

      Michael on

      I just want a tangible update that shows progress on the music and not lip service. Morrowind came out ~14 years ago and I still listen to the soundtrack on an almost daily basis, so I hope to get a lot of mileage out of this music. Waiting until 2017 is fine so long as I'm not waiting until 2017 to find out I have to wait until 2018, etc.

      The promise of additional content is nice but at this point it is like the promise of more vaporware on top of the existing vaporware.

      I don't want a refund, I want what I signed up for, so I guess I'm just stuck and frustrated that I have no recourse in this that nets me a positive outcome. I'm not sure if this says more about the progression of this specific campaign, or Kickstarter in general, or both.

    32. Robert Beveridge on

      No way am I backing out. If the symphony shows up in 2017, you've still managed to pull it off in three years, which is half the time it takes Bethesda to put out another Elder Scrolls game... :D

    33. Bashar on

      I intended to echo Tom Maddox's concern below that this "technology" sounds like virtual instrumentation. When I checked the FAQ on the campaign page, I found Mr. Soule was very clear about his intention to use virtual instruments from the start. While I would prefer a fully live performance recording, tf there's a way to make the synthesis sound more natural, I'm all for it. To quote:

      "My original plan was to rely more heavily on the computers and digital instruments while I would "sweeten" important parts of the scores with live singers and musicians. This is exactly how I made the score for Skyrim. However, as we raise more money, I'm able to replace digital elements with real acoustic performances."

      Aside, since there's a means for backers to request a refund, is it also possible to increase current pledges to a higher reward tier?

    34. Joanna Kleinschmidt on

      Well, although I'd hoped for more progress, I'm not one to quit partway through a project. I would definitely encourage more updates, as half the fun of this project is reading the diverse comments people write - whether frustrated or encouraging. I'm not holding out hopes for 2017, but I do believe that at some point you will deliver a beautiful symphony. I just hope those who funded this project get to benefit from its release. I am always supportive of those who refuse to compromise on quality, even if it takes years to get there. (There is no such thing as a "beta" release of music.) My favorite author, Donna Tartt, delivers a novel every 10 years and I wouldn't rush her for the world. Keep at it, Jeremy!

    35. Missing avatar

      Richard Garlick on

      I thought we were meant to get a taster or something last November? zzzz

    36. Missing avatar

      Dennis R Brooks on

      I can wait. I spent $15 on lunch yesterday and can't remember what it was.. maybe Thai. Anyway been waiting on Jesus to return like forever so whats another decade or two for this autographed CD.... keep on!

    37. Jan Pospisil on

      Hahahahahahahahaha...wow. Well, people DID ask for an update. Sometimes it's true that ignorance is sweet bliss.

    38. TheChosenOne on

      I'm looking forward to the extra content/songs/cd's we'll receive as compensation for the long wait.

    39. Kévin Piquemal on

      I will ever support this project and other ones from you. Composing is not easy and for something as personal as a symphony, you surely need time. I (among many other) will patiently wait!

      I also wish that I put more money into this project... Is there a way to fix that ?

    40. Missing avatar

      Glenn Hampton on

      Well Jeremy, I honestly don't know if you're mad or if you're a genius anymore, but we've watched you sliding down this rabbit hole for years now, and I want to see what this wonderland you end up in is like. I'm in.

    41. Missing avatar

      Elidjah on

      I remain convinced that the wait will be worth the cost

    42. Akiva on

      In for the long haul.

      What's the rush? Even a few more years at this point is worth it. A blink of an eye compared to the lifetime my wife, kids and I will enjoy it thereafter.

    43. Rich on

      I would like to change my survey answer since I moved to a different location now.

    44. Jouni Lahtinen on

      I'm in for the long haul, can't wait to hear what you are cooking :)

    45. Ikalios
      Superbacker
      on

      I understand problems can happen but what have you to show ? I don't expect a cd but an sample, some pictures, I don't know, can you show something ?

    46. Missing avatar

      Tom Maddox on

      I'm torn.I am excited to get an update as they do not happen very often. But I also see red flags in that message.

      First, right off the bat we are told not to expect the Symphony in 2016. Pushing it out to 2017, which is the 4th anniversary of the campaign. You'll forgive me if I don't hold my breath for those dates because it is not the first time we have been given tentative dates that never come to pass.

      Secondly, the partnership with Roland practically screams Virtual Instruments to me. In fact, with one google search I found this press release.

      http://www.rolandus.com/company/press_releases/30315

      "The first product release supporting this change will arrive during the Summer of 2016 in the form of Roland Cloud, a cloud-based suite of high-fidelity instruments, connected services and software for modern music creators and producers."

      I am sure the music, whenever it does get released, will be great. I will probably enjoy it, but this Kickstarter campaign has left a sour taste in my mouth. It is the Kickstarter campaign that has made me reluctant to back other projects.

    47. Missing avatar

      Andreas on

      Just wrote my refund request. This has been the most ridicolous and desastrous Kickstarter project I have ever backed and I have always been a huge fan but that's over now. Great job, Mr. Soule.

    48. Marquise de Nonce on

      Thank you for the full update. I cannot imagine not having the wit to persist, either as an artist or as a backer. Keep up the arcane cookery, and remember to write us once in awhile.

    49. Cristina Cassidy on

      Jeremy, you supported my project, and it took 8 years! A work of art has its own heartbeat. I trust that you are moving forward exactly how you have described it. Awaiting your creation with great anticipation!

    50. Andrew Tuite on

      Hmm I guess Elder Scrolls VI will be announced before this is released. Are you working on that at the moment too? ;)