The Music of Stasis
Skip the text and listen to the music here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDywToYQUrw
Music is incredibly important to me. While I’m usually a I-can-do-it-on-my-own person, I knew that having the perfect music for Stasis would mean having to find a pro.
One of the main goals of the Kickstarter campaign was to bring on a professional composer to translate the Stasis world and story into music. That is way easier to say, than do!
When Mark Morgan asked to be a part of the project I almost fell off my chair. It’s no secret that the Fallout series was a transformative experience for me when I was younger; to have Fallout’s composer work on this little project of mine… well, I was more than a little intimidated!
From the get go, Mark and I shared the same vision for the sound of Stasis. The main sounds of the game come from John’s surroundings (you know who John is by now!) but the music comes from within. It’s his experience – his personal story – that is being told through the score. Mark instantly understood what I was trying to put across and has created a haunting internal score.
The idea was to have a strong melody base around a lullaby. Creepy, huh? There are early leanings towards this idea in the trailers, as well as the opening piano music in the Alpha (played by me when I was in my I-can-do-it-on-my-own stage). Mark took this concept and created a beautiful melody that we are using as a foundation for the score.
Instead of focusing on scene based music, we’re using the score to accentuate John’s emotions. HOPE, FEAR, TERROR: these are the central themes for the music of Stasis – the skeleton that everything hangs off of.
I’m incredibly proud to give you a small glimpse into the musical world that Mark has created.
Interview with Mark Morgan:
The main lullaby is a strong piece of music as a melody – something I know that was difficult to pin down. When creating ‘Dream Of Us’ (the main lullaby tune), what were the inspirations for the piece?
Mark Morgan: To me, it was about John singing a lullaby to his daughter so I envisioned what that would be like and went for a simple melody that could be sung by itself.
Is it difficult to create the emotional aspects from this melody? Do you draw from previous experiences? Or is it a process of trying different keys and instruments and seeing what fits?
Mark Morgan: I think it’s a combination of both. The goal is to have a melody that can speak to you differently depending on the vibe. I believe that it all indirectly comes from your existence and experiences as a human being, rather than finding that emotion though the music. Certain orchestration portrays a certain emotion. Both Chris and I decided that for the more emotional pieces, cello, violin and piano would be the solo voices for the sound of Stasis. Then it’s just a matter of fitting the puzzle together.
While John’s external journey is being told visually, his internal journey is being told through the score. Are you still using the visuals as inspiration or does it help to focus JUST on the story elements?
Mark Morgan: I think for John’s internal journey, musically I am focused on the story elements but I’m always aware of the visuals so not to lose sight of where he is. The visuals directly or indirectly have a huge influence on the musical palette.
Is working on Stasis any different to the other game projects that you have worked on, and if so how?
Mark Morgan: As of late, most of the games I’m involved in are in some way story driven, but in then case of Stasis, the story is so important and the music plays a huge role in telling that story. Sometimes I have found when it’s just about gameplay, musically it’s hard to feel that you’re immersed in the moment. It becomes about broad stokes as opposed to written for the moment.
Read more at Kickstarter: