The Music of Skyrim on Top Score

by Emily Reese, Minnesota Public Radio
August 8, 2012
The mountains of Skyrim behind a dragon. (Bethesda Softworks LLC) A Lake and Mountains in Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks LLC) City of Markarth in Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks LLC) Mammoths and a Giant (Bethesda Softworks LLC) Khajiit Temple (Bethesda Softworks LLC) Riverwood, in Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks LLC) Wolves and magic in Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks LLC) City of Whiterun in Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks LLC) Castle Volkihar (Bethesda Softworks LLC) A Waterfall and Lake in Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks LLC)
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St. Paul, Minn. — Jeremy Soule is, hands down, the most frequently-requested guest by Top Score listeners than any other composer.

Sadly, Jeremy does not do interviews, but his music deserves a listen. This episode of Top Score serves as a review of some of my favorite pieces, as well as an introduction to some of the many solo instruments he highlights throughout the score.

Firstly, I urge you to look at accompanying slideshow, then imagine them on a 41" LCD screen, with the ability to wander freely wherever you'd like to go. These pictures hardly do it justice.

If you're unfamiliar with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, allow me to explain a handful of the reasons that draw millions of us to the province.

My first introduction to The Elder Scrolls, and consequently Jeremy Soule's music, came in its fourth interation, Oblivion. I was astounded by the detail of the breathtaking environment. Swimming in the water created gorgeous ripples in the water, and the terrain was so extensive I do not believe I ever took the time to cross from one side of the province to the other. Mountains, lakes, valleys, snow, flowers, rain, sunshine, moonlight, stars, horses, magic, castles, dungeons, caves, villages, cities, barracks, gardens, farms, ancient ruins; all completely open for me to loot, explore, experience and enjoy.

That already was all in Oblivion.

Exponentially expand that, add dragons and marriage, and you have Skyrim. Of course, it's more complicated than that, but you get the idea. It's an escape for those of us who cannot afford to escape.

Jeremy's music fits the environment like a glove. Using a mix of live instruments and the synthetic, he blends elements of plainchant (in remarkably unexpected and subtle ways), Nordic folk music and the classical tradition to create a deeply expressive soundtrack for the world.

And if you've no clue what a hammered dulcimer sounds like, you'll find out in this episode. Hear some of the music for Skyrim on the new episode of Top Score from Classical MPR. Also available on iTunes.

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