Top Score: Best Video Game Soundtracks of 2013, Number 2

by Emily Reese, Minnesota Public Radio
December 26, 2013

St. Paul, Minn. — I was impressed with Jessica Curry's music for 2012's Dear Esther. You might even say I loved it. However, as is the case with any composer, I always wait with bated breath for his or her second project.

It's fair to say Curry nailed her 'sophomore' score, and anyone with a vested interest in sound design in the horror genre should study each and every tap, scratch, sigh and song on this soundtrack.

Curry and her husband, writer Dan Pinchbeck, run a studio called The Chinese Room. Their latest game, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, is a terrifying game set in Victorian London.

The Victorian era proved fertile ground for Curry. In the 19th century, nearly everyone had a piano. Chamber music and art song, as a result, were among the main forms of entertainment.

Curry incorporates those historical aspects of the 19th century to great effect in her score, focusing on simple (yet not always pretty) songs for cello, piano and voice.

Pigs isn't all gorgeous melodies and lovely songs. Mors Prematura sounds like a church service gone horribly wrong. When Curry isn't employing the voice or cello, she compiled metallic sounds that create an uncomfortable soundscape. It elevates 'terror' to a new level.

Next week, Number One on Top Score's Countdown to the Best Soundtracks of 2013.

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