The recent release of Blizzard Entertainment’s “World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor” has not only boosted subscriptions and sales within the popular franchise, but numerous gamers and critics have praised the game’s thematic soundtrack for enhancing the player’s journey through the new world.
The composing team – led by Blizzard’s Director of Audio and lead composer Russell Brower (“World of Warcraft,” “Diablo III”) – included Pyramind Studio’s Composer and Senior Music Manager Clint Bajakian (“God of War,” “Uncharted: Golden Abyss”). Bajakian created 21 minutes of original score and 65 minutes of derived musical arrangements.
The five remaining composers were: Neal Acree (“StarCraft II,” “World of Warcraft”); Sam Cardon (“Meet the Mormons,” “World of Warcraft”); Edo Guidotti (“StarCraft II,” “World of Warcraft”); Craig Stuart Garfinkle (“Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel,” “Forgotten Realms: Baldur’s Gate – Dark Alliance II”); and Eimear Noone (“Diablo III,” “StarCraft II”). The team produced the score with a live orchestra and choir, along with a compliment of several seasoned soloists. Bajakian’s music was mixed and mastered by Pyramind’s Jeremy Garren and Greg Gordon.
Bajakian said Brower approached him to join the project in August 2013 and gave him creative freedom to explore far ranging musical spaces inspired by the massively multi-player online role playing game’s epic story and artwork.
For the project, Bajakian explored many different sounds and experimented with an autoharp, a strummed instrument that has many guitar-like strings on a handheld wooden body with buttons that mute select strings to create different chords. With it, Bajakian created a simple Celtic-like folk tune that plays in the game’s bucolic settings like the village or tavern. The instrument went on to create the mysterious effect at the opening of his composition on the iTunes OST, “Instruments of the Arcane” and would go on to be included in several of the cues.
“Warlords of Draenor,” the fifth expansion to the long-running video game, was released on Nov. 13, 2014 and sold more than 3.3 million copies within the first 24 hours. Polygon.com calls the game “The best ‘Warcraft’ expansion in years; it’s a return to form as the best MMO in the industry,” while CraveOnline called the music, “outstanding” and “the best part of the presentation in Warlords of Draenor is the music … and the best soundtrack of any expansion in ‘World of Warcraft’ history.” – Crave Online
Bajakian music occurrence on WoW Warlords of Draenor. OST:
Track 1 – Siege of Worlds 12-min. Main Menu music from game (medley): 1:48 – 2:54
Track 2 – The Homeworld Beckons (entire track)
Track 10 – Family (first section, slower song)
Track 12 – Instruments of the Arcane (entire track)
Track 14 – Ways of the Ancient Ones 2:54 – end
Track 18 – Lifeblood (entire track)